Hey Church Family!
Hopefully you're getting a glimpse of the real Jesus. Over the past few weeks we've talked about hopes, worship, sin, forgiveness, and grace. What is fascinating about this journey with Jesus is that, as you begin to understand him more and more—as you get a glimpse of who he really is—he's going to start to talk to you about death.
But why? Why does Jesus seem fixated on death? It's not because he likes it. It's simply because he knows that there is a counterintuitive principle at play: Life comes through death.
We are death averse. We don't like death. We do everything we can to avoid it. It's unknown. It's a loss. It feels so final. So we do everything we can to stay away from it.
And yet, we live by this principle every day. Something has to die in order of us to live. Every time we sit down to eat a meal, we find our sustenance because something sacrificed itself (or part of itself) for us to live. It's this counterintuitive principle of life through death.
Jesus understood this principle. It's why in Luke's gospel, Jesus says, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." (9:23-24)
It's a question we with which we must wrestle: has your faith journey felt more like a death or surrender? Or has it felt more like something you just accept?
That was my life for so many years. It was my life, then I met Jesus. I accepted him, but Jesus was just "part" of my life. He was there to help me make good decisions. He was there when I needed him. He helped improve my life in areas I was lacking. But the reality is, it was still MY life. But this isn't what Jesus is talking about at all.
It's going to take a surrender. A death to self. A bowing of the knee of our heart before Jesus can do the work he really desires to do in us. The reason he talks about death is because he knows that there's always a cross before a resurrection.
Jesus wants to bring you resurrection. He wants to restore relationships, mend the broken areas, heal wounds, give you hope and freedom like you've never imagined possible. But to get to that, you have to walk by the cross first. Every. Single. Day.
So what in your life needs to be surrendered today?
Together in Christ,
Notes from the Staff @The Woods