For my family here in Brazil, Easter seemed to take on a new meaning; or a refreshed meaning would be more accurate. We are here without all the American traditions and Easter is now exposed for what it should be. That led me to ponder and that pondering led to this post…
I woke up feeling especially emotional today. It’s Good Friday. The day we celebrate the death of my Savior on the cross. The day that the Good News resonates in our hearts.
I’m so grateful Jesus didn’t die to give us “religion”. I’m eternally grateful He had so much more in mind. I’m grateful He had you and me in mind all those years ago.
Today I’m also grateful for the hope I have in Him and that I can share that with others. Think about that with me…
What if we came to this nation and offered these people religion? Some people would love that, more traditions to add the long list of ones that already fill their empty lives.
What if we offered them a large beautiful cathedral to worship in? Some people would love that, it’d be a beautiful place to bring their family/friends to. It’d be a place they’re proud to attend because of the outward beauty of it all.
What if we offered them us and our friendship? We’d be someone they could hang with, fellowship with, dine with and confide in.
What if we offered them programs? Their lives would be full of things to do, good things. There’d be plenty for their kids to do to stay out of trouble.
All these can seem like wonderful things but is that why Jesus died? If your answer is no, then why is that what we look for? Why is that what/all churches offer people? Jesus died to save souls from hell. To restore families from divorce. To deliver addicts. To heal the broken hearted. To bring forgiveness to the bitter and angered.
When you’re pioneering you don’t have much to offer people other than Jesus and yourself in the beginning but why doesn’t that seem like enough? It was enough for me. It was enough to change my life completely. It could do the same for countless people of we sought the truth instead of what is selfish and comfortable. Jesus died to give us the best and we settle for or seek programs and beautiful buildings. Programs and building have their place but that’s not the issue here. Jesus died to give us something more meaningful than that. Why do we give Him only part of us? We give Him the part we don’t like and try and keep the rest. We try to live with one foot in and one foot out; what if we dove in? He’d give us a life we could never imagine for ourselves, that’s what!
If I’d just settled for religion, I’d still be an addict. I’d also still be a bitter, selfish individual. I’m far from perfect but I’m also far from who I once was and that’s all thanks to the cross.
So this weekend don’t settle for tradition but cling to the cross. Cling to a Savior who willingly suffered and died so you could have more than a feel-good religion. So you could have Him, dwelling in your heart where He belongs. Die to yourself, like He died on that cross; then resurrect and be holy for He is holy. Be changed because that’s why He died and because of that it’s a good Friday indeed!