What would you do if an infectious cloud descended all around you, threatening to take your life? What if you had heard rumors of this cloud before, rumors of how it made its end of you? Some of the effects would be immediately felt--it would affect your vision and your hearing, and even darken the way you perceived reality. But, some of the damage would be slow and torturous, killing you one cell at a time. What if some of the rumors were even queerer? Rumors that the cloud would mutate you into a completely different kind of creature? One that had supernatural strength and perceptions, ate flesh and blood, and was even immortal? Do images of a vampire come to mind?
What kind of crisis would it be if this cloud descended not only around you, but your whole family? Your neighborhood? Your nation? The whole world?
This is exactly the striking image I got from reading Mere Christianity to my boys in the car last night as C. S. Lewis described the salvation process. There are two types of life, says Lewis: bios and zoe. Bios is natural life, created life, life that God made. Zoe is timeless life, the life of God that is and was always existing, the life that the Bible talks about us "entering". Salvation is when we enter that zoe life that was made available by Christ and leave behind the bios life. In fact the bios life is opposed to the zoe life, and will do everything it can to resist the process. No one wants to die. Even if rumors of a superior life exist.
There are many ways to "explain" salvation and many pictures to imagine it from different perspectives. Right now, I'm quite excited about the idea that the difficult part of eternal life has already been done. Christ has descended and envoloped you, me, our families, our neighborhoods, our nations, and the whole world. The question is:
How long can you hold your breath?