I’ve worked at many places over the years where pranks were a pretty common occurrence. And, while there were some pretty complicated long cons, my favorite was one of the more simple ones. Simple, yet elegant. It involved a very realistic-looking rubber snake and some fishing line tied to the glass door of the office complex. That was it. Later in the day, when the receptionist opened the door to leave, she spotted the ferocious snake sliding towards her. She screamed. And we laughed, because we’re bad people. Then realizing it was fake, she’d open the door, only to scream again seconds later as soon as it would lurch forward again. Three times this happened! We just rolled on the floor laughing.

You see, the snake was undoubtedly fake. But for that brief moment, as the door was opening and the snake was moving, it mimicked life just enough to fool her, time and time again. Upon closer inspection though, it was obviously just a two-dollar children’s toy, not alive by any stretch of the imagination.

Sadly, many people’s stories are similar to that toy snake. They’re doing just enough to fake being alive, at least for a moment. Yes, they’re breathing, existing, even walking around, but life — true life — is something different entirely. The Bible points us to the essence of this life and its source in John 1:

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
— John 1:3–4

Jesus is the wellspring of life. Or in case you missed it, he says it even more plainly in John 14:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
— John 14:6

Jesus is life.

Since the beginning of time, God has been in the life-giving business. From the first verses in Genesis 1, when he looked upon a dark, formless world, void of life, and decided to (in accordance with his goodness) create a beautiful reality full of light and life. These first recorded actions in the Bible give us our very first glimpse of the character of God. He is pro-life, and I mean that in a much deeper way than any political context. And this is taught to us anew in Ephesians 2:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…”
— Ephesians 2:4–5

We were dead in our trespasses, separated from the source of life himself, and that could’ve been the end it. But God, in his mercy, looked upon our lives, dark and void of life, and decided to do a replay of Genesis 1. Through the gift of Jesus Christ, for all express purposes, God was saying, “Let there be light! Let there be life!” He was offering the gift of a beautiful new reality connected to him, connected to the source of life. That’s true living, for which there is no substitute. So what will that mean for you? Will you embrace true life or settle for something else?