During this Lenten season, I always think about the fact that we are headed to the cross.
As we studied the book of John before this season began, Jesus would often say; “My time has not yet come.” Then He finally says, “My hour has come.” That hour was His death on the cross. And I always remember that He also called us to be His followers by “denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Him.”
It’s funny that a couple of books I have been reading this week, and our Bible study for the SLI team, all have highlighted this significant call of Jesus.
Newsletter articles don’t allow enough space to talk about how badly we have interpreted this passage in our modern day Christianity. So I will give you a couple of thoughts about what it really means.
First, Bonhoffer says, “If our Christianity has ceased to be serious about discipleship, if we have watered down the gospel into emotional uplift which makes no costly demand and which fails to distinguish between natural and Christian existence, then we cannot help regarding the cross as an ordinary everyday calamity, as one of the trials and tribulations of life.”
A criminal only picked up a cross after a death sentence. The Lenten season is not about giving up coffee, or taking on good deeds for 47 days. It is about running headlong to the cross where we come to die. Die?
Second, we have reduced our relationship to Jesus by saying, “We have invited Him into our hearts.” I think “wrong answer.” I have abandoned my life over to Jesus Christ. I no longer control my life, but my life is controlled by God. Bonhoffer again says, “For the Christian the only realities are those the person receives from Christ.”
Well, I hope you die this Lenten season. And I hope you come alive in Christ Easter Sunday morning.
Geaux Tigers, Barry
Published on Friday, March 22, 2019 @ 2:01 PM EDT