In Part two of the Easter series I look at the resurrection and the mission Christ has given us.
One of my very favourite songs by Jeremy Camp is “This Man.” It asks a difficult question that a lot of us would struggle to truthfully answer: would you take Jesus’ place? After Jesus was beaten and crucified, He rose again and gave us the mission to carry His love forward. Pick up our crosses. It’s a hard concept to grasp and a hard question to answer truthfully.
For most (and I too still at times struggle with it) laying down our lives is not an easy thing to do. We have our futures planned and our desires marked down. Laying it all down to serve God is a pretty tough decision. And then there’s that sin that we want to keep so badly, right?
But here’s the thing that pulls me in. Jesus’ death didn’t end in hopelessness and despair. It ended in victory! He rose again and defeated the grave. He defeated our sin and shame and gave us His life. That’s quite an attractive offer. And then He say in John 14:12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”
When we lay our lives down, we’ll become like super heroes! Christ has given us much more than what this world has to offer. He’s given us His own life, and look what He did when He walked the earth. Not only that, but He’s also invited us into His love and embrace.
So maybe taking up our crosses isn’t such a difficult thing to choose after all. Yeah it’ll be hard-Jesus never promised it will be easy-but look what’s waiting ahead. Now when I look ahead on a life lived for myself, there isn’t a lot of hope. In fact all I see now is darkness and betrayal. And whatever pleasure I would have received from that life would only last a fleeting moment anyway compared to the eternal pleasure Christ has promised us.
So for this Easter, would you take the place of this man? Would you carry your cross, lay down your life, and love your neighbour and enemy as yourself? Maybe then we’ll see, as Jesus did, that we have no enemies; only brothers and sisters whom we share the love of God with. It’s a mission I’m willing to accept, how about you?