Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm a Christian who happens to write blogs...not a Christian blogger.

Christians really mean well with our projections of Jesus, but...

Okay. I'm guilty party as anyone when it comes to personalizing an image of Jesus because even Christians are autocratic and infatuated with the concept of power. One might even say especially Christians from a historical perspective. So, we've created a paradox within our own belief system, and nothing epitomizes that quite like the events of Holy Week.

Everything Jesus did on Earth was for a reason...His reason. Some actions were extremely overt and witnessed by many, while others took on a subtle nature and may not be understood or even discovered this side of Glory. Why is it so hard for Christians to accept the life of Christ, as He actually lived it, as the living model for the Kingdom of God?

How do Christians continue to be the show love for others, seek justice, and carry out the Great Commission if we fail to fundamentally recognize the very nature of our Savior? 

Palm Sunday, as the story unfolds in the Word, is a head-scratcher for most people. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a direct collision course with the mighty Roman Empire, the Jewish religious establishment of the day, and a date that will forever change history. He does this on the back of a borrowed donkey to the cries of Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest...or literal shouts for salvation; yet just a week later, the same crowd enthusiastically cry out for Jesus to be crucified. Did they have any possible comprehension that the two separate sets of exclamation would forever be Divinely connected?

The concept is mind boggling even today, and Christians have the benefit of knowing the outline of the whole story from birth to return. So why do we continue, even today, to misconstrue the nature of Jesus? I believe as the people did during Holy Week over 2000 years ago, we still to this day subscribe to the same crowd mentality that breeds a very narcissistic attitude.

The crowd on Palms Sunday had surely heard the stories of Jesus. Some may have even witness a miracle or two in person.Their cries for Jesus to save them were done from a secular frame of mind...not an eternal one. Sure. The qualifier of calling Jesus the One the Lord has sent was a nice tribute, but if they really believed Jesus had been sent by God to save them, why did they turn on Him so fast?

Jesus gave the people hope. What they failed to realize was that hope was on a far greater scale than just delivery from Roman oppression. Even if Jesus had delivered His followers from the hold of the Romans, that didn't change the broader setting of living in a fallen world. Most of them couldn't see past the immediate challenge to seek after the more meaning reward of eternal life in Heaven.

Aren't we guilty of the same mistake today? Even as Christians, we often focus on paltry things like status and image. We even use the name of Jesus selfishly to attain such secular objectives. Sometimes we even do this while claiming to serve the Kingdom...which not only pains me to write...but shames me even more to realize and admit includes myself. No, we don't have to be guilty of cheering for Jesus to be crucified or physically throwing Him up on the cross to be lumped together with those who did. Each and every one of us have our own sins that Christ died on that cross to atone.

I'm excited myself about the day I get to cheer and worship Jesus in person. But until that day comes, I need to be just as enthusiastic about serving God in humility and on the terms He established in His word while always remembering this is all about Him...not about me. I need to learn to ride the back of that donkey just like Jesus did and with great confidence He rides right along with me...and that's what makes the task so wonderful.


Tracy said...

You're right Tony, it really does make it wonderful that our Lord is with us. I've often thought about even the bad times aren't so bad when I've got friends. Being alone is the worst.

I can also relate to the fact that I've been selfish and misconstrued our Lord to make Him about my world view. I haven't even always done it in a crowd; sometimes I've come up with those things all by myself.

David-FireAndGrace said...

Serving in humility - that's the most important thing I think you've ever said. :)

Joyce Lighari said...

serving? you mean we actually have to do something beside go to church on Sunday? you mean we have to serve those we may not like to serve? :-)
Seriously, great words to ponder this weekend as we remember the Triumphal Entry on a donkey.