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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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