When Jesus tells his followers, including us, that we must lose our lives, deny ourselves, and leave our old life behind to find our life in him, we become truly disciples. This isn't because we now understand everything clearly and know just what Jesus means, but on the contrary we are like disciples who hear Jesus' word but quickly move beyond because we don't know what it means. It seems too spiritual, theoretical, perhaps philosophical. How are we to understand what it means to die in order to live?
At the very center of the Christian Church stands the witness of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. That is that he was crucified and died at the hands of sinners, and three days later he rose from the dead to proclaim peace and forgiveness to those same sinners. We know the facts, but we struggle - as do the disciples in every generation - to grasp what it means for us.
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul insists that Christian faith stands not in our understanding, but in trusting in Christ, not in theory, philosophy, or generic spirituality. For we live by faith, by which "it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:11).