But the LORD reigns forever,
executing judgment from his throne.
He will judge the world with justice
and rule the nations with equity.
With the tragic circumstances that are taking place in Ukraine right now, I have found myself drawn lately to the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor, theologian, and anti-Nazi dissident living in Germany at the time of the Second World War. This would eventually lead to his imprisonment and death. At 39 years old, he was executed, just one month before the war ended. Some of his parting words of faith testimony were, “This is the end—for me the beginning of life.” Bonhoeffer’s life lives on through his writing and through the powerful witness of his defiant stance against the sinful wrongs in the world of his day.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote,
When a madman is tearing through the streets in a car, I can, as a Christian who happens to be on the scene, do more than merely console or bury those who have been run over. I must jump in front of the car and stop it.
The challenge issued here by Bonhoeffer is a profound one for every follower of Christ. As we come to the closing days of the season of Lent, we are reminded that this is exactly what Jesus did for us as we relive the Good Friday moments. He literally jumped and took the impact for all of us who are from Adam’s helpless race. And we all say, thanks be to God!
As well as his witness and teaching on standing up against the world’s injustices, Bonhoeffer also taught powerfully on the cost of discipleship. He urged Christians not to settle for cheap grace, he wrote that:
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.
I wonder what my faith in Jesus might cost me today? The Lenten season reminds me that is not only Jesus who has a cross. Obviously I am not the Messiah and I could never have carried his cross. There is, however, a cross for us to carry. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” And all God’s people said…..Amen!!
God of all justice and grace, I submit again to the all-consuming call of Your gospel: to give all that I have in order to gain the true treasure found in You, and only You.