Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Does It Mean to Be Crucified With Christ?

As most of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers know,  I try to start every day with reading the Bible and time in meditation and reflection.  No, that doesn’t mean that I’m  “super spiritual” or that I spend hours in prayer every morning,  I have simply learned that I need more than just a cup of coffee to start my day.

Today I awoke to a house that is in utter chaos. One quick glance around was enough to make me want to crawl back in bed and stay there for a month.  But I don't have a month. I don't even have a week.  I have to be out of my house in less than a week.  So I have to get on with the process of packing, trying to hold a pseudo garage sale and trying to launch a business.  More than ever, this morning I really needed a word of encouragement to carry me through the day.   So I pull up one of my morning bible readings on my phone and this is the message for today.

"Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve [apostles], went off to the chief priests in order to betray and hand Him over to them. And when they heard it, they rejoiced and were delighted, and they promised to give him money. And he [busying himself continually] sought an opportunity to betray Him." -- Mark 14:10-11

Oh wow.  I know that it's Holy Week and Christians around the world are remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but for me, this message, on this day, has a whole new meaning. I know how it feels to be betrayed.

One of the harsh realities of life is that if we live long enough we will all feel the hurt of betrayal by a person, or persons, close to us. If you are a visionary or a dreamer you will probably feel that hurt more frequently and with greater intensity. Often, as in the case of Judas, your betrayer will be someone who believes that their actions are in your best interest. There are many theologians who believe that when Judas approached the chief priests he was actually seeking that they grant Jesus an interview and an opportunity to explain his teachings, make his case so to speak. Judas was a practical man and when Jesus spoke of "a kingdom", Judas' vision was limited to an earthly government. The reality was that for all of the time that Judas walked with Jesus as a disciple, he never truly understood Jesus' mission or that His kingdom was one of the spirit.  A Kingdom of Heaven.

So if today you find yourself in a position where you feel betrayed by someone close to you or by some form of leadership, do not be discouraged. Everyone, including those closest to you, will never share your vision, encourage you in your mission or lend a helping hand in time of need.  If you have chosen to follow the path of Jesus, more times than not, just the opposite will occur.  People who do not know you will question your motives and/or your integrity.  There will be friends who will not really "hear" what you're saying when you speak.  And people who you thought would be there for you, will abandon you.  When these things happen you are simply sharing in the sufferings of Christ and experiencing your own form of crucifixion.   Just know that if your dream is from God, He will bring it to pass. Not in man's way, but in His.

"What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off 
to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could 
be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. 
I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.
 My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. " Galatians 2:18-20 (in Context) Galatians 2 (Whole Chapter)

1 comment:

  1. Good and nice post.....

    Thanks & regards


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