I just came home from church and there has been something grating on my mind for the past week and especially during today's service. It concerns the life of Jesus, where he resides now. While the pastor speaks with the kids each Sunday the past two Sundays they have used the phrase "He is in our hearts" in response to the question, "where is he?" Though I do not fully disagree with the statement and I understand the metaphor as it pertains to explaining God's presence in our lives to our children. However it grates against my reason and it is incomplete, but many people as they grow up in their faith do not grow up in their knowledge of God's presence. They continue to hold on to the comforting thought of Jesus being in our hearts. Here is my problem, that is not the only place he is. He is on his throne in heaven. He is working around the world preparing the way for His servants to do His work where a Christian presence is not known yet. He is in a great many places other than our hearts. Actually if you want to be theologically accurate, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, but that is another discussion. When you stop at Jesus is in our hearts, then you introduce a whole host of problems such as what then is the difference between us saying this and the comfort we offer to children when loved ones have died and we tell them, "They live on in our hearts." When we say "Jesus lives on in our hearts" without saying any more we inadvertently deny the resurrection because to the North American culture, living on in our hearts does not entail physical, spiritual, or any kind of life. Rather is signifies memory, that we remember and cherish that person. Also if he lives on in the hearts of those who believe, then to them he lives, but we can not say to the unbeliever he lives because he does not live in their hearts. Ultimately it comes down to the problem of subjectivity. When we say "Jesus lives in our hearts" it is a subjective matter to each individual as He may or may not be present in the hearts of others. But Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension to His throne are not merely subjective truths, but objective realities that are true for the believer and unbeliever alike. They are not subject to the beliefs of a person. So just keep this in mind any time you say, "Jesus lives on in you and in me" and realize that there is so much more going on than just that. Remember His authority and presence in heaven and on earth. Remember that your heart is not the only place he resides.
For His Glorious Name,