I know that it is after Easter, but the relevance of the resurrection should be a year-long celebration. Looking back, it would have been hard to get through 2012 without hearing or seeing the acronym YOLO (You Only Live Once). The term regularly trended on Twitter, showed up in Facebook news feeds, and quickly became part of the pop culture vernacular.
Like a modern Carpe Diem, “YOLO!” is the cry of a generation seeking to squeeze all the possible goodness from life. If the end of your one life is death, why deny yourself happiness now?
It may seem crazy, but it makes sense. If this is our only opportunity to taste life’s fruit, then we should indulge. Even Paul affirms this in his discussion with the Corinthians, “If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’” (1 Cor. 15:32). It would seem that, in a closed system in which death is life’s final outcome, “YOLO!” is the only rational response.
But the fact that Jesus rose from the dead changes everything. For those who believe death has the final word, to embrace life from a “you only live once” perspective makes perfect sense. But for those whose lives are lived in the light of Christ’s resurrection, nothing in this life is “worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
“YOLO” has an intrinsic sadness in it. The reveler who looks at life with a “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” mentality cannot help but shrink from death’s inevitability, and mourn for those who’ve passed.
Death isn’t a period at the end of our lives; it’s a comma.