Imagine yourself there. You're a follower of Christ Jesus, and you're at the cross where He is being crucified. This is not a time for Sunday-school answers. I'm not looking for the proper doctrines in this exercise. Just imagine you were one of the disciples, and you're there at the cross. Its the end. Its all over. Evil rules the day. Our Lord, our King, our meaning in life, is dying. The servants of Satan are taunting. This is the hour in which the good guys lose. A dark day; literally, the day turned to night.
In the middle of such a situation there is only one way to feel: despair. To be hopelessly sad. And if we weren't sad, it would seem as though we weren't really disciples of Jesus. It would seem as though we were rooting for the other team - Satan's team. That would be completely true with one condition: that we do not know what happens next. That we are completely ignorant of God's design and purpose in all of this. That we have no idea of the resurrection. It would be the end, if not for the resurrection. Satan would win, if not for the resurrection. But if we had the foreknowledge of Christ's resurrection, being there at the cross watching Him die might be quite different.
Now imagine yourself at that cross again. But this time you know what happens next. God has informed you of His plan. You know that Jesus will rise again in three days. You know that this must happen to fulfill God's ultimate plan. How surreal it is. You cannot be happy, because our precious Lord is being insulted, beaten and killed. Everything sacred is being profaned. Everything your senses are reporting to you is sad and depressing. But you know in your mind that its not over. You can take solace in the knowledge that Jesus will rise again and defeat Satan. You can be happy knowing that God will win in the end. Should you be happy or sad? Should the happiness merely be delayed?
This is more than just an exercise. We as Christians are living this reality today. Our Lord is being crucified right in front of us. Literally, no; but figuratively, yes. You see, the church of Christ is the body of Christ. The church is Christ on earth. And the way things are today, at least in much of the developed world (I'm in the US), the church is dying. Maybe the church is dying from poor health. Maybe the church is being killed by the forces of darkness. Either way, it is incredibly sad for any Christian to see how Christianity is being profaned, mocked and killed in public places. It is sad to see that what once was no longer is. Where there once was reverence for God, there is now open opposition to Him and His word.
It is sad to witness what we are witnessing. But let us go back to the cross and remember what happens next. We know that God wins in the end. While it seems as though Satan is winning today (surely he is), we know that the body of Christ will come back from the dead. The church of Christ will rise again, and it will be far more powerful when it does. This is the reenactment of Jesus' death and resurrection, which the Christian Church has performed again and again throughout its history. Patiently wait for that day to come, and remain faithful to our Lord until it does. The resurrection is coming.
- ► 2012 (31)
- Brent Heatwole
- Unimpressive in person. But always praying that these letters I write will be weighty and forceful. I serve the Almighty as a servant of Christ. I strive to conquer hearts and minds with the word of God. I am nothing, but the Holy Spirit living inside me is omnipotent. By Him I can run and not grow weary, or walk and not be faint. All glory and honor be to God and to Jesus the Christ.