Regeneration

The Doctor from Doctor Who, when on the verge of death, can “regenerate” and become a completely different person.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about salvation, redemption, forgiveness, all those other Christianese words that basically say Christ has given us a brand new start. Colossians Chapter 3 says “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Sometimes, this death is hard to explain. But thanks to my favorite television show, Doctor Who, I have been able to come up with a half-way reasonable way to explain our death and resurrection with Christ.

Keep in mind when I say this that I don’t mean that we can and should sin whenever we want and be okay. We should always be looking to grow more Christ-like. While we always have infinite grace, as the Lord will never abandon us, if we’re not growing into mirroring images of Him, how can we know we’ve been shown this grace in the first place?

So, on to the picture I’ve found of this death and rebirth process. Sin is eventually going to kill us. Ceterus paribus, sin leads us to our death and then the second death in Gehenna. All other things being equal, our sin is going to burn us.

For this not to occur, something outside of the natural order has to intervene. And boy, was there intervention. God sent Himself down to die the death we deserved so we didn’t have to, as long as we accepted Him for who He is. Deicide. Deicide saved us from our long-term suicide.

So what does this mean for us individually? That’s where I believe my Doctor Who picture starts to come in. When the Doctor is going to die, he regenerates, becoming a totally different human being with a different personality, different thoughts, different goals and different desires: a totally new man with the same memories.

The newest Christmas special makes even more sense of how it relates to what Christ does for us, as the Doctor can no longer regenerate without the help of the Time Lords, which he gets.

Essentially, that’s what Christ does for us. We are dying, and only intervention from some outside source can save us from death. But this intervention changes who we are entirely. Our desires, our beliefs, our goals, our worldview, sometimes even our names.

And there will be times when we start dying again. Paul himself never claimed to achieve sinlessness. “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead (Phillipians 3:12-13).”

That’s the point of grace. It’s not so we can keep sinning and do whatever we want. It’s so we can forget about the past and move on toward becoming a walking image of Christ. Whether it takes 12 of these regenerations or 12,000, we move on, and we inherit the image of Christ with each and every moment we choose to lift His name higher. Just something to think about.

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