Monday, March 29, 2010

?Good Friday?

Good Friday is coming up later during this Week of Passion. This morning I was prayerfully considering the events that unfolded on that night. What was unlocked that night, or course, carried over through the entire weekend and culminates in the Resurrection.

As I personalized Christ's suffering, I was brought to tears. My Savior and closest friend enduring the cross for my sin is overwhelming. I don't believe I will ever feel worthy enough to receive such an act of true love and forgiveness.

My thoughts turned to those of us who desire deeply to follow Christ. For those of us who sincerely desire and long to be a true believer and disciple of His. For us God seemingly leads us into a place of trial and testing. Our flesh resists these times, but Christ didn't.

These types of places are where we become thoroughly convinced in our heart that we can not accomplish His will in our own strength and intellect. A place that forces us to depend only upon Him. To look at His pierced hands and feet and realize that He is our only way. He is our only strength.

As we focus on the Passion Week, many of us can more easily identify with the crucifixion instead of the resurrection because of the trials we maybe currently encountering. We usually want a quick fix, such as three days (Good Friday till Easter). However, many times we have to endure for a longer period of time, because our flesh isn't so easily crucified.

"For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin."

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires."

If you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed, turn to the cross. The cross is the centerpiece life and faith. Embrace the cross with all of its splintered afflictions with this one thought, "I am crucifying my flesh, so that Christ can life in me and through me." With this you will be able to echo the feelings of Paul, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

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