On August 13, 1961, a wall sprang up overnight. For nearly 30 years, it would be a symbolic and physical reality that separated the city of Berlin — and, in fact, the West and the East. The Berlin Wall felt imposing; in fact, was imposing. How could anyone, on either side of the wall, deny its reality? How strong and lasting must it have been to have 96 miles of concrete and steel that said: Keep out!
But it didn’t last. On a surprising night in November, 1989, a gate was opened at Bornholmer Street (itself a fascinating story), and as fast as it went up, it just as quickly came down. And the gate went from being an imposing reality to a relic and reminder.
The truth is, so much in life is like the Berlin Wall. It feels overwhelming, unmovable, permanent.
Sometimes it is the work of our hands. We work so hard on our careers, our families, our houses, our reputation, our legacy, that we sometimes grow to count on them. Look at what we have built; how can it fall?
But other times, what seems unstoppable is not what we do, but what happens to us: the finances that fail, the job that falls apart, the future plans that never materialize, the loved one who walks out, the health condition that bottoms out. Look at what is happening; how can I make it through this?
In both cases, we would be wise to remember the lesson of the Berlin Wall. Sometimes, what seems unshakable, in fact, shakes. Sometimes, what feels like it is foundational, doesn’t go all the way down to bedrock.
What we need, what we really need, is something that is really foundational, unshakable, bedrock. The kind of thing we can build our lives on, whatever comes. No. Matter. What.
I Corinthians 15 takes us to bedrock. It points us to what is certain, no matter how uncertain life is. And it is found in the person of Jesus — his death, burial, and resurrection. This is not only the foundation of what Christianity is all about, it is also the foundation of what life is all about. That when what I build falls apart, Jesus doesn’t. When life comes at me, Jesus is there. When my sin and my brokenness overwhelm me, Jesus has taken it — is taking it — on himself. And through his death and resurrection, overcomes it all.
It’s the truth that changes everything. And it’s the truth that you can build your life on. For Now, and For Ever.