Walking WITH Jesus to the Cross this Resurrection Season
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. — Mark 8:31
Wow! Can you believe we are only a month away from Resurrection Sunday on April 4th. I am beyond excited for what the Lord has in store for us as a faith family and for the new series we will start once we finish up Nehemiah this weekend. It is called:
But even before we begin this 4 week walk up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, WITH ONE MONTH TO GO, I want to personally invite you into the unique opportunity this season affords us to let go of our junk and journey with Jesus to the cross.
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” - Matthew 16:24
What might you let go of? Fast from?
What might you grab hold of? Lean into more?
That would grow you in Christ-likeness in these coming days?
Here is a great little article from Paul Tripp with some ideas. And I am reading through his book on the subject at the end of each day and it is excellent.
Finally, though as God’s redeemed people we should be the most JOY-FILLED people on the planet, that does not mean we walk through every moment or every day looking like what the world defines as happy. Joy in Jesus does not mean seeing life as nothing but ‘rainbows and unicorns.‘ This world is hard and hurtful. It is full of bitterness and brokenness. As Chris-followers we are meant to see even the hard things as those things that our Sovereign Savior uses to cause us to cling to Christ all the more. It seems clear that embracing suffering, learning to lament, and finding our joy in light of the truth of the gospel is something we must learn to get better at as we look back at all the past year has taught us. (You can read more detailed thoughts on this below).
I look forward to hearing how getting intentional about letting go and grabbing hold leads you into His presence all the more in these coming days.
MUCH love and keep looking UP! - Luke 21.28
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS FOR THOSE INTERESTED
Something is wrong with us if we can look around and look inside and not mourn. You don’t have to look very far to see that we live, work, and relate in a world that has been twisted and bent by sin. The sin-scarred condition of the world is evident in your heart, your home, your neighborhood, and your church. We see it in government, politics, business, education, entertainment, and the internet.
In Romans 8, Paul captures the sad condition of the world in three provocative phrases that should break our hearts: “subjected to futility” (v. 20), “its bondage to corruption” (v. 21), “in the pains of childbirth” (v. 22).
Mourning, though painful, does something wonderful to you. Christ taught in the Sermon on the Mount that those who mourn are blessed. These sad realities that cause you to weep also cause you to cry out for the help, rescue, forgiveness, and deliverance of a Redeemer. Jesus said that if you mourn, you will be comforted. He’s not talking about the comfort of elevated feelings. He’s talking about the comfort of the presence and grace of a Redeemer, who meets you in your mourning, hears your cries for help, comes to you in saving mercy, and wraps arms of eternal love around you. It’s the comfort of knowing that you’re forgiven, being restored, now living in a reconciled relationship with the one who made you, and now living with your destiny secure.
Mourning sin—past, present, and future—is the first step in seeking and celebrating the divine grace that is the hope of everyone whose heart has been made able to see by that very same grace. So it is right and beneficial to take a season of the year to reevaluate, recalibrate, and have the values of our hearts clarified once again. This is such a season. It is about remembering the suffering and sacrifice of the Savior. It is about confessing our ongoing battle with sin. It is about fasting, and not just from food; we willingly and joyfully let go of things in this world that have too much of a hold on us. And it is about giving ourselves in a more focused way to prayer, crying out for the help that we desperately need from the only one who can provide it.