Is it Christ or is it us–the Savior who hung on the cross and is accused of not rising from the dead to complete His mission or those of us who accept the cross as a “happening” without at the same time accepting the Savior who’s mission made it necessary? A mission that included us, was prompted by His desire to save us from sins that we chose to commit. This is to be decided–for now–not in a court of law or in a college classroom or philosophy conference, but in your own heart.
What does the cross mean and why is this particular cross more important–worthy of notice–than all the others? This is a story too closely intertwined with your own for you to dismiss it; if you reject a part of it, perhaps you are rejecting a part of yourself. Yes, maybe an unpleasant part, but what if it is also the key to pleasantness that atones for all the unpleasantness?
What all the worst of you meets at the cross is all the best of Him. What if it’s better to have His best–even what looks like weakness–than your best. Could this be true? Give it some serious thought. But don’t restrict this process to your brain–extend it; indeed, bring it into the living room of your heart. It must be played out here.
There is no other place for it to go on. Your heart is the place that the cross makes its claim on–though it doesn’t exclude your brain in the transaction. You cannot boast of entertaining or dissecting the death of Christ unless you take it to your heart and let its case be spread against your own. But, by doing this you’re basically asking for a fight because your heart will not passively or pleasantly consent to the claim without resistance. Expect it discomfort and trouble from facing the truth and lies–for both have such sway over your heart.
In fact, if you think resistance is an indicator of this not being your “truth,” then you are wrong. This truth is above you. All other truths are beside or below you. This one exerts supreme authority. You will either submit to it and change accordingly or you will fight to remain in steadfast ignorance of it. There is no middle ground. But this does not mean that you are all one way or the other. There is a choice; which means that both sides have pull on you. You must decide which one you will give your will to that it may have mastery over you.
Scary concept? It’s only as scary as the worst of the two decisions. Decide which one is which by studying each. In most cases, that will only require studying the one you are unfamiliar with. Yet what is required of you is more than a cursory study. You must remember that the side that has been courting you does not merely play offense. Part of the defensive strategy employed in this war is to anesthetize you to the claims of the opponent or to make you ignorant of them all together. In this world, this often isn’t very hard. You very easily miss what you never knew was there.
Don’t let this be your fate. Consider the side that’s weakest in your eyes. Perhaps it’s weak because you considered its mystery too strong to unravel. But there is a message here. Do not let the mystery so pre-occuppy you that you ignore or discredit the message. Learn what it is you were intended to know. The object on which you were meant to make a choice.
Both good and evil have their mysteries. God and the world. Your job is to discover their revelations that you may not miss the contrast between them. You must have information to weigh–when you look you will find plenty. Just be sure you get the whole story!
Some good questions to be answered are:
Jesus died, why?
I have a future with God, why/how?
What’s the eternity argument–how do I get to each?
You may be surprised how many answers you find and how much there is to them. Take your time and digest them. Let the answers appeal to your conscience–what you know of truth. Because you are made of truth, based on truth, you have built in receptors for identifying it.
These questions and answers must go deep. They serve no purpose, if left on the surface, but to shift around and make trivial fodder for weak brains. Wisdom is only as deep as the dive that mind and heart together take to find it. Don’t let these two remain separate on this expedition of truth, God and man. Let all be involved–all of you and all of the Deity that out-measures you by at least 2-1. This is the only smart way to do it.
You will not “sail through” this expedition. Why then, does one undertake it? Because there are some rewards more meaningful than sorrow-less success. What you find at the end will not be trivial, and neither, anymore will you be. This journey will change your life and engage your heart and give you a new reason for life. It will return you to your original reason to live/source of life. You will feel as though you’re finding in real life what you once lost but knew till now only as a dream.
You life will be complete yet only because you acknowledged it was empty and sought the One who made it to be full. Your joy will be full, but only to the extent that you enter your sorrow and let it’s work be made complete at the cross–where real sorrow and joy meet. The whole work of the gospel includes everything in your heart being united with everything in God’s heart. The cross symbolizes with the Way, the Truth and the Life being presented to us in human flesh that knew how far we were from Him. But, don’t be discouraged by this reality; instead, be drawn to Jesus who is manifested and magnified in His dealing with our need. To forsake the cross is to claim it is a forgery–that it is not real and does not stand for anything, anything capable of upending your life. The only way to authenticate the power of the cross on a personal basis is to yield yourself to its purpose–letting the Christ triumph in your heart and life. Will you?