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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Wow, it’s weird that I haven’t posted. Don’t I get paid to do this? 😛

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Heb. 4:14-16

In trying to find some measure of peace in my life, to regain my sanity, I turn myself to God’s word. There is comfort here knowing that my God will never leave me nor forsake me. I wish at times that I were heartless and that I was impervious to pain. But that is simply not true. I am what I am, and I know that my humanity is something to be cherished. This makes me appreciate the work of the incarnation of the Christ all the more. He, as God, decided to become man in order to fully give himself to man. He felt the extremities of emotion, he had friends and connected with people who he ministered to, he felt the limitations of the human body. He was all and completely human.

I am drawn back to Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. There, he faced a spiritual warfare that we cannot fully comprehend. His body was weak with hunger from the fast, he was alone and exposed. Perhaps this is a foreshadow of what he would face at the garden of Gethsemane. Satan tempts him three times, pushing him to use his divine authority to make food (note later his miracle of multiplying fish and bread), to call upon the angels to his side, and to claim his rightful place as King. To all these temptations, Jesus chooses to have faith in God and persevere. We all have been tempted and knows what it is like to face these things. Yet, the height of his temptation we can barely conceive. We often think that these things would be easy for Christ because he was born without a sin nature and because he is God. Yet, we often overlook the fact that we often cave into our own temptations far before the temptations have become the most severe. The one who has resisted these temptations has faced a trail far greater than we because Satan would have pushed him as far as he could. Jesus was tested to extremes that we cannot comprehend because we would have given in far sooner than he. And, as we know, the temptations become harder — not easier — the longer they endure.

Jesus fully identifies with man and what it means to be human? It seems an absurdity to think that God would want to do that… but he invested himself into us, even into death on the cross. In light of God’s holiness, are sins are glaring. Yet, he died for all though we were criminals in his sight. How many of us would die for someone who is rightly charged guilty of murder? But this is like what Christ gave for us. As it is written, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6-8). How incredibly powerful and moving.

Thus, I gain comfort in knowing that my God can identify with me, that he has chosen to do so for the zeal of his name. His love is so beyond what I can comprehend, and it is this love that I run to when I feel abandoned or lonely or lost. God’s faithfulness will not fail, and I have confidence that when I call, he will be there to answer. It is in light of this truth that prayer is profound and necessary for our lives.

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I’ve started picking up Moltmann’s The Crucified God again. I never did get far into it because of school and work. But now that I have time, I’m reading through it. He says some heavy stuff that I have yet to process (it’s definitely not light reading). In particular, he mentioned about the concept of losing one’s identity in order to find it (Mt 16:24). This made me think about how true that concept is to the Christian life…and to all life in general. It seems paradoxical. But when you think about giving so much of yourself to one thing, your time and your mind and your body, your life becomes a part of that movement. Your identity becomes wrapped up into that ideology, concept, cause, or whatever it may be. In essence, to give completely to something means that your life and your self is swallowed up into the thing which you work for.

It’s kind of scary to think, but people do this all the time, unknowingly, for many sorts of things and for many sorts of reasons. Some of these things may have worth. Some of it may be destructive. But all of it falls short of what God calls us to be. Why, then, do we take the cross so lightly, knowing that what we give ourselves for is so much greater than any other cause? Why do we falter short of having our identities placed on Christ’s death and resurrection when we would willingly become involved in other things that will not last? The truth is, we — or rather I — lack discipline and my self becomes more important than Christ… and it is by God’s grace that he brings me back to the cross. But in light of his grace, I struggle all the more to conform myself to his will and to the truth of his person.

As the Word gave his identity from eternality to come down as human, to be crucified and identified with the cross, so likewise we should pick up our cross to be “crucified” with him. Then, we will find our identity. Then, we get to take part in his glory. We get to be more than dust. Let us not forget that what we value very much shapes who we are.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:1-11.

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Sometimes, I think I’m the most neurotic creature in the world. Other times, I know it to be true. I wonder at times if it is a result of a lack of faith, somewhat akin to anxiety, but it’s not as if i constantly worry about things. It’s more that there are some things that I can’t throw off very easily, and they come back to pursue me.

Knowing this, I’ve been trying to cast my burdens onto Christ. This doesn’t necessarily make me feel better, but it does have a sense of rightness, a putting on of dependence to someone who is worthwhile and able to carry them far better than I ever could. Yes, this is an admission that I need something outside of myself. And by admitting this, I find my weaknesses swallowed up in the greatness of Christ. There are many flaws about me, but none that he cannot change or use.

And then I have to think, hey, you know… there are a lot of good things about me. I know I am strong and intelligent, I know that I’m fairly spiritual (whatever that means), I know I’m pretty, I know I’m kind and compassionate (*cough* most of the time…), and I know that my passion is toward the right place. So I can’t hate myself too much. 🙂

Maybe I’m wrong and I’m actually just crazy. I mean, who drinks hot tea on a warm day like this?

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Pt. 5:6-7

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