The following entry came from an Australian woman who sent a comment for Pushing Jesus. The entry is long but worth reading. It makes me feel like what I’m doing is worthwhile-Jack.
Hi Jack – Dianne here
I have been contemplating Jesus crucifixion over the Christmas period, and I just posted this reflection on my blog site when yours came on my email.
I don’t expect you to post this comment – I just wanted to share this reflection though as it is not a perspective I have often seen.
Your post is timely for me – I am ready to get back into it but finding the right doors is not so easy. The blog site is helping me at least release some of the hope growing inside me.
Here it is!
WHAT IF OUR CRUCIFIXION IS GODS GREATEST GIFT TO US?
“My time has not yet come!” are words Jesus often said when confronted with his adversaries. The time he was referring to was the time of his crucifixion.
Jesus also asks us to “…take up our cross daily and follow him.”
These are tough words most of us just don’t want to hear.
When Jesus first spoke them, many who followed him left him. Was it because they were after the good things Jesus could give them rather than embracing the fullness of the opportunity to follow him even if it meant accepting crucifixion?
Isn’t this the same today?
How many people don’t go to church or listen to God’s word because they think it’s old fashioned and behind the times? How many say, “I am not going to let the church tell me how to live, and I live in sin. So what! It’s none of their damned business.”
Well, this reality got me to wondering about Jesus crucifixion.
When the devil tempted Jesus, we learn that angels were appointed to stop Jesus from stubbing his feet when he walked. Isn’t stubbing your foot a lot less painful than being crucified? – so where were the angels then? How come they didn’t intervene?
It is this thought that led me to the view maybe God’s greatest gift to his son Jesus was his crucifixion. If this is true, maybe our own crucifixion is God’s greatest gift to us. It tests our faith beyond what we know and takes us through the veil death prevents us seeing beyond.
Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” This means if we have a cross we also have a crucifixion – that seems logical to me. So why be a Christian if we are in for all this grief?
Christians get eternal life, and eternal life is to know God and to know Jesus is the one he sent. You can find the Bible comments on this in the Gospel of John Chapter 17:2- 4. I like the Amplified Bible best on this one as it helps my mind grasp what it is saying.
And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.
I have a problem with this – I just don’t like the idea of being crucified. I don’t know anyone who does. Even Jesus asked if he could be let off when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane words to this effect: “Can this cup be taken from me? But I accept your will Father not my will be done.”
There is a key here, and that is the words of Jesus when he says his time had not yet come. The time for our own crucifixion is revealed to us just as it was to Jesus. When it comes to us, we have no doubt what it is. The trick is to accept it and do all it requires of us by faith to get through it.
It takes a lot of prayer, faith, hope and love to make it through. At the end of the process, the mirror will not reveal a pretty sight but a rather horrible one. The life we knew will be gone and replaced with another one we may not find as comfortable.
I know crucifixion in my life, and I hated it. When my time came, I knew what it was, and I reluctantly accepted it. It absolutely knocked the stuffing out of me, and I was so ill in the end. I was sure I was actually going to die.
In my case, I found my knowledge of what Jesus did when he faced his own crucifixion helped me, however, it was hard going as no one understood me. Not even church people, and they are the ones who I felt would.
I confess I was also struggling to understand myself. It was a “me and God alone” journey. I now believe it is this way for us all. Even those who really do love us will not understand what we are going through, even if they want to. This is just as it was for Jesus when his time came.
When my journey through my cross began, I was given by God a gift of the most profound and sweetest love for my accusers. It terrified me. It was a love that didn’t mind dying, even for my enemies. I found myself giving my things to my enemies with good grace.
This was hard to explain even to myself.
On the hardest day, Jesus spoke to me and said “I understand.” I knew he did, but it didn’t take away the pain. All I had for my pain was an assurance I had made it to a place on the spiritual journey of following Christ few people make it to. It was very hard for me to see how such agony of body and soul could lead to anything at all worthwhile.
I spent three years like this. It was tough.
The day came when I was awoken by a piercing light bursting open my heart. I recognized it as the light of Christ. That was the day I knew all the agony and ecstasy was worth it. I was going to live after all, even though everything I thought I knew had changed forever.
It’s been a while since that day for me.
Around the world people have been celebrating Christmas. This Christmas I realized Jesus has to come to us as a hope of new life first. Then as we believe he grows in stature within our hearts and soul till we learn how to trust him and love him. Once we have learned how to do that, we can let our sins go and struggle with the more resistant sins using his techniques.
When our crucifixion comes to us those sins most present and persistent in our hearts are confronted by the light of Christ and overcome by Gods love. Then our self will is spent and His will is all that’s left.
So brother’s and sister’s of all faiths and creeds – the best is yet to come. The real grist of the Christian faith is in gestation. This is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. This is how the life of God truly does come into the world. This is also why I pray I don’t miss the chances I have to follow Jesus – his life is eternal.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we will face tough times – even crucifixion of some type. I now believe the journey through the cross that comes to us when we follow Jesus as best we can is God’s greatest gift to us personally. If we learn from Jesus, we can make it and know God.
I really do have compassion for those people who make no preparation for the day they face their own crucifixion. You see, I also believe crucifixion comes to everyone ready or not. It is important to remember there were two others crucified with Jesus when he faced his own.
God sets the time for us all.
A NOTE TO THE READER
There was a time when I would never have believed I could believe this. My time has come – this is what I now believe.
God bless you
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