In a few hours, many of us will head to church. There we will commemorate the death and crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We will think about the terrible price He willingly paid so our sins could be forgiven and we might come in to a relationship with God. For many, it will be a time of deep personal reflection and sadness that our rebellion caused Jesus to suffer and die.
But what will we feel after we leave church? Will we quickly return to our self-centered attitudes where it is all about me? Will we quickly forget the pain and suffering our King endured and get wrapped up in our own petty problems? Or will the memory of His pain and suffering be burned on our hearts, so that we might find the strength, courage and peace to endure our own hardships and challenges?
On Sunday, we will head back to church and celebrate Jesus’ conquest of death. We will feel the collective joy of knowing our King has conquered the grave and that we can have eternal life by our faith in Him. But again, what will we feel when we are back home or back at work the following day? Will our joy be a brief blip on the radar screen? Or will it carry over and permeate every minute of every day?
We are called to be set apart—a peculiar people. And this weekend we will fit the mold. We will worship Jesus Christ as He died and rose from the dead for us—as growing numbers in this country look at us as weird for our beliefs. But when we return to the realities of this world over the coming weeks, will we cease to be set apart and peculiar? Will we quickly return to the ways of the world? Or will we be committed to standing up as disciples of Jesus in our words and actions?
Sadly, many will quickly forget the emotion of this weekend. We will set aside all Jesus did for us and return to our human ways. We will once again become immersed in the problems of this world and make it all about me. When we reflect on all Jesus went through for us, doesn’t He deserve better from us? Is He asking too much when He asks us to obey all He commanded?—when He asks us to pursue holiness?—when he asks us to turn our back on sin and follow Him?
The bottom line is this: Is Jesus our savior? Or is He our Savior and Lord? Do we think we can cherry pick in our faith and accept Him as savior without a commitment to walk in obedience to Him? Are we the whitewashed tombs that Jesus called the Pharisees? Looking beautiful on the outside, but rotting on the inside? If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that too often we are those whitewashed tombs.
Are we willing to commit ourselves to a life of holiness, regardless of how the world will view us? Jesus said to the apostles: “Come, follow me.” Are we walking with Jesus right at His side, willing to sacrifice anything for Him? Or are we following at a safe distance, out of harm’s way. At a distance where we can quickly disassociate ourselves with Him when trials await us? Like Peter did.
“When the world hates you, remember that it hated me first”. Are we willing to make our lives a living sacrifice for Jesus? Or are we more concerned with being loved by the world?
I’m Mike LeMay, standing up for the truth…
Remember—always remember—what Jesus did for us on that cross.