I love Sundays. It’s a day of gathering with brothers and sisters in Christ, coming together to worship the One who is worthy of all our honor and praise. It’s also a day of rest. I think I enjoy Sunday afternoon naps a little bit too much sometimes.
But going to church on Sundays can also be discouraging. Why? Because I look around and see men and women who does not have their Bibles in their hands while the Scripture is being read. If they don’t bring their copy of the Word of God on Sundays, it is most likely that they do not open it even once on weekdays. According to my personal observation, this problem is not very common in American churches as much as it is in Chin churches/community. I see the youth playing games, texting, snap-chatting and taking selfies to post on Instagram and/or on FaceBook later on that day.
I am sure most of you have either encountered a similar situation at one point or another and maybe you yourself are guilty of doing at least one, if not all of them.
Now, I am not writing this blog to condemn anyone. However, I do pray and hope that God uses this to both challenge and encourage you to become a better follower of Him.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are around the corner.
Good Friday: The day of the Lord Jesus Christ’ arrest and was nailed to a tree. He was 33 years of age. He walked and lived on earth knowing the time of His arrest would come at any given day. He was spit on, mocked, brutally beaten, and slapped (Mark 14: 63-65). You name it; He endured it all. For me. And for you. Could He not have called out for the angels above? Oh, you can bet a million bucks He could have! One word from Him and you can only imagine the angels coming down from Heaven to the rescue of their King (Matthew 26:53).
Jesus died that day. Jesus took His last breath around 3 in the afternoon, to be precise. Can you picture it? Jesus hanging on a tree for three long hours– gasping for air, dehydrated, and in pain…physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained. He died a sinner’s death. Willingly. Max Lucado states, “Nails didn’t hold Christ to the cross. Love did.” Perfectly put. Amen and Hallelujah! Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t call out to the angels?
So, Jesus Christ has died—put into the tomb. What now? He promised He would be raised from the death in three days, but all hopes seemed lost. Mary, His mother, other women who held a significance role in His life, and His disciples were beyond devastated.
On the other hand, you can see Satan cheering on, thinking he has won and that death had overcome Jesus.
But lo and behold! Jesus’ words remain true and faithful. He overcame death. He conquered the grave. He has risen from the dead. He. Is. Alive.
JESUS. IS. ALIVE!!
Friends, we serve a living God. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He never changes. He is a promise Keeper. He is all-powerful and all-knowing. Full of truth and love and grace. That’s our King.
Salvation for you and I could not be possible had it not been for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said it loud and clear in the Book of Matthew, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
To quote one of my professors, Dr. Bill Helton, he stated that “the primary purpose of the teaching of the New Testament is to die to self.”
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ should not be celebrated only once a year. As believers, as followers of Christ, it is something to be grateful for every single day of our lives.
Dying to self. Do we actually know what it means? Much less living it out?
None of us are perfect human beings. And never will be until we reach the other side of glory.
Dying to self means putting God first above anything and anyone else. Life is not about us, it’s about Jesus, who gave His all so that we may be reconciled with the Father. It’s about walking in obedience to Him. Trusting Him in times of laughter and sorrow and confusion. Because He promised to never leave nor forsake us. How foolish would it be of us to turn our backs on Him who has given us such a gracious promise? While we are declaring to be followers of Him, our hearts are so far away from His. Our hearts and minds should be one that aligns Jesus’. If you read His Word because you feel obligated to, then you’re doing it wrong. You ought to be reading the Bible because you seek His will and not your own. You ought to read it because you love Him and cherish the time spent to get to know know Him more a little…one day at a time.
Let us stop living for ourselves and start living for Christ. He is all that matters in this world. Being a Christian is so much more than stepping a foot in church on Sundays.
Jesus walked on earth. He died and resurrected again. Isn’t it good to be free? Free from our greediness, lust, pride and the list of our sins can go on and on. He bore our sins and nailed them to a tree. Let’s go daily at the foot of the cross and always remember that He is absolutely more than enough.