Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Painful Experience

So a week or so ago, God lead me to read about Jesus’ crucifixion in the book of John. I didn’t understand why, seeing as I have heard the story countless times of his blood being shed, but this time, God gave me a whole new perspective...and a good kick in the rear end.

The first verse I read was: In John 19:26-27, Jesus says to Mary, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And then he said to the follower, “Here is your mother.”

A lot of people tend to look over this verse, and focus on the “It is finished” line. True, it’s ALL important (otherwise it wouldn’t be in there), but verses 26 and 27 stood out to me the most. 

So I did some more reading and came across where Jesus says, “I am thirsty” in John 19:28. This got the gears in my head reeling again…

Which lead me to read in Matthew 27:46 (and in Mark 15:34), where Jesus says, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” [My God, My God, why have you forsaken me...for all of you who live under a rock and/or don’t go to church].

And then Luke 23:43, where Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

And finally, in Luke 23, verse 46, “Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Father, I give you my life.’”

I know the scriptures seem “random” but notice their theme. Jesus said all of this while dying on the cross. That’s right… dying as in pouring all his blood out and enduring excruciating pain. While he was hanging by his hands, this is what he did:

-Gave Mary and new son & the apostle a new mother
-Cried out for a drink
-Asked God why He left him in his time of need
-Saved a man
-Gave God his life.

Ok, I don’t know about you, but if I were at death’s door…in this painful manor…I doubt I’d care about the dude dying next to me or anyone else around me for that matter. But see, this is what makes Jesus…Jesus. He didn’t even let the physical pain of abuse, or the spiritual pain of having all of God’s wrath poured out onto him, or the emotional pain of having God turn his back on him, distract him from fulfilling his purpose. Yet we can’t even go through one trial without thinking our whole world is falling apart. 

Your horse isn’t looking to strong and mighty, now is it?

What stands out to me about this whole thing is when Jesus cries out that he thirsts. Before when I read this verse, I always saw it as a physical thirst, but then I realized it was a spiritual thirst. Jesus had just bore all of our sin…sin is bound to us by chains…which we burn, correct? Well Jesus bore the sins, and then God’s consuming fire destroyed them all. Naturally, fires dry things out…so Jesus was thirsty. He was thirsty for a new life, to be with the Father, and to return home. 

Do you thirst for God after he’s burned everything away, or do you use your own means of hydration and instant gratification?

I noticed after reading where God turns his back on Jesus that Jesus was so close to the Father that the moment he turned his back, Jesus noticed. Thankfully, God will never forsake us (well, the righteous, of course), but do we noticed when we don’t feel him? When we don’t hear his voice? 

If you look at the last verse…where Jesus gives God his life…do you notice a similarity, say, an example? I sure hope so! Dying for sin, only to be given new life…sound familiar? When we are in pain, when we suffer and lose things/people around us, are we willing to give it all to God? Are we willing to give every part, every aspect to God? Do we really though, even if we say we want to? 

This is my challenge to you: Be more like Jesus and less like the world. Hold onto Jesus, and let go of the world. Listen to Jesus, and ignore the world. Love Jesus, and hate the sinful world. 

If you think you’ve given everything, check again. And after you’ve cleared it all out, check again. Check again and again until every tie to this world has been broken. Give it all, no matter the cost. Because when you think about it, there is not cost –it’s already been paid


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