This week is holy week, the last week leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. While Christmas is huge in my books, Holy Week carries even more significance. It’s a week to remember and reflect on the sacrifice Christ paid. This week I’ll journey through John 12-20 and share some of my thoughts. I’d love you to share some of your thoughts as well.
In John 12, the day after Mary anoints Jesus, He rides a donkey into town and the crowds go wild as if at a concert of some famous rock star. I love the excitement of the triumphal entry, don’t you? The crowd cheers, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:13) From all appearances it looks like Jesus is going to take over and establish a ‘successful’ kingdom. But, soon after, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep if for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25) Here’s the thing, God’s definition of success is different than ours. God’s definition of following HIm and being His disciple is also often different than ours. The kingdom of Jesus is an “upside down” kingdom as one author wrote. If you want to be a part of Christ’s kingdom you have to first die. Ouch! I don’t know about you, but those words sober me. I like the part of the gospel that talks about the hope of the resurrection and new life. I love the part of the gospel that talks about eternal life. But dying? Not so much.
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” What does it look like to be crucified with Christ? Death to our desires. Death to our definition of success. Death to our dreams. Death to our rights. Death to our independent thinking. Death to our striving for self-righteousness. Death to creating a “good impression”. Death is rarely comfortable, that’s why so many people are afraid of dying. Today, I am asking myself this question, “Becky, what does it look like to be crucified with Christ?” I’ll be giving that question a lot of thought today and I would encourage you to do the same. Have you bought into the lie that says, “If I follow Jesus, I am entitled to health, wealth, success, and a happy care free life”? I just don’t find that in scripture. Jesus seems to say, give up your desires and take my desires for your own. In the end you will have abundant life – but it might not be what you expected.
Thoughts? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!