Check out this verse from the Bible: “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4 NKJV)
I prefer life over death – anybody with me? Matter of fact, I hate death. It feels like robbery. Especially when someone dies “before their time.”
Does our aversion with death cause us to not fully embrace the death of Jesus Christ? You might embrace the death of Jesus and His resurrection, but do you embrace your own death as this verse describes? When Jesus died, He died all the way. As a character in the Princess Bride put it, “fully dead or just partly dead.” Jesus was fully dead. Have you fully died to your self?
I want to say, “yes”, but I know I hold onto some self-centered things. It might be the way I think, or what I watch, or how I eat. Fully dead.
Here’s a question: can you be fully alive if you haven’t been fully dead? My guess is “no, you can’t.” Otherwise, death is always crouching at the door ready to take your life. But if life conquers death, death can’t win.
When I put to death my selfish desires, I bury myself with Christ, and that burial immediately results in a kind of life that puts others first.
Everything in this life pivots on the person of Jesus Christ. If you believe in him you try and live one way, if you ignore him or deny him you live another. The pivotal moment in the life of Jesus is when He died on the cross.
As I prepare to speak this weekend on The Cross, there has been a battle raging. Someone or something doesn’t want me to talk about the most pivotal moment of the most pivotal person in all of history.
If you think about it, pray for me. There has been distractions, sicknesses, and pain in the necks the past 10 days (the same days that I’ve been trying to study and prepare for this weekend). I’m confident God will give me strength in the moment and He will speak regardless. In my weakness He is strong.
Think of the worst person in all of history. Do you have it? Maybe it was Hitler or Bin Laden or… Now, think about whether you would die for that person. If they were about to be killed, would you step in the way? Would you take a bullet for that person or push them off the train tracks? Most of us would say, “what, are you crazy? Of course not!”
I love what Paul writes in Romans: “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
If you have been wondering about this Jesus character and what he is all about, here it is: he loves us so much that he took a bullet for us, even when we didn’t deserve it. All of Christianity, when you get rid of the hypocrisy and the institutions, still comes down to this: Jesus died, because of love, for you and me.
You might reject Christians and their religion, but give Jesus a chance. He wants nothing from you and He needs nothing from you. All he desires is to have a relationship with you. You don’t have to work for it, act a certain way to get it…He offers His love, acceptance and forgiveness without charge.
Just receive it today.
Some believe prayer is just a religious exercise to make you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. Some believe it is a last ditch effort…when everything else has failed, then it can’t hurt. Some believe it holds great power.
What do you believe about prayer?