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Land of Venti

Bob Hostetler talks about living the “venti” life—the kind of life Jesus rose again to give us. By Bob Hostetler
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My friend Adelee often laughs at the frequent and sometimes hilarious misspellings of her name on her coffee cups. Matalie? Ataie? Really?

That has never been my problem, but I do sometimes have trouble ordering in coffee shops because sizes differ and they call them by different names. I just know I always want large—“venti,” as some call it. And it goes beyond coffee.

I want more from my years than working, watching TV, scrolling through social media and spending money. I want life. Venti life. Maybe you do too.

Is This the Real Life?

Jesus said, “I came that [you] may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, ESV). We want to live the venti life, to go beyond the “tall” and “grande” kind of existence we often settle for. When Jesus died on the cross, He destroyed the power of sin, death and the devil; a “tall” order. And, rising from the grave, He made it possible for His life to live in us — here, now and forever. That’s pretty “grande.”

But that’s only the beginning. It’s huge, but that’s not all there is.

Roughly 1,700 years before Jesus’ times, a young man named Joseph appeared on the scene. He was his father’s favorite, which made his brothers angry. They eventually turned on him and sold him into slavery; he ended up in the darkness of a prison, where it seemed his journey would end. But it didn’t end. He not only came out of that prison, but was exalted to the very right-hand of power! And though he could have used that power to exact revenge on his brothers, he didn’t. Instead, he saved not only them but multitudes of people from hunger, famine and death. Joseph came out of darkness to bring life and light to others.

Fast forward more than 800 years. A young man named Jonah served God as a prophet. But God asked him to take good news to Nineveh, a city not only of foreigners, but the enemies of Jonah and his people. So, Jonah ran. After he boarded a ship, a storm came and when the sailors cast lots on who was to be thrown overboard, the lot fell on Jonah, and Jonah surrendered himself to them. They threw him overboard, and Jonah was carried off by the waves and swallowed by a great fish. There, in the darkness of that underwater prison, it seemed his journey would end. But it didn’t end. He prayed for deliverance, and on the third day, “The Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2:10, NIV). So Jonah went where God had sent him in the first place. When he preached to the people of Nineveh, they repented, and God saved them! Jonah came out of darkness to bring life and light to others.

Fast forward again, another 800+ years. A young man named Jesus became renowned as a rabbi, and even a prophet. He called God His Father, and at His baptism, and again on the Mount of Transfiguration, a voice from heaven proclaimed Him as His Father’s favorite—all of which made His brothers angry. They eventually turned on Him, His own flesh and blood. They handed Him over to the authorities, and though He had the power to stop it, He let Himself be handed over to them, and laid down His life. He was nothing but faithful and righteous, but He ended up in the darkness of a tomb, where it seemed His journey would end. But it didn’t end. He not only came out of the tomb on the third day but was exalted to the very right-hand of power. And though He could have used His power to exact all kinds of revenge on those who had done Him wrong, He didn’t. Jesus came out of darkness to bring life and light to others.

The Venti Life

That’s the kind of life Jesus rose again to give us—a life that feels like we’ve just been released from prison (Joseph), delivered from darkness (Jonah) and saved from death (Jesus). A new, venti life that is not only to be celebrated…but shared.

No matter how strong your prison or how deep your darkness, you don’t have to stay in that place. And when He brings you into life and light, He expects you and empowers you to help bring life and light into the lives of others as well.

That’s what the resurrection did for you and for me. It made “living venti” possible.

“No matter how strong your prison or how deep your darkness, you don’t have to stay in that place. And when He brings you into life and light, He expects you and empowers you to help bring life and light into the lives of others as well. ”

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Read Genesis 39-41 (or for Joseph’s whole story, Genesis 37, 39-50).

Read the four chapters of Jonah.

Compare how those stories are told with the account of Jesus’ resurrection in John 18-20.

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