We all wanted to nose up to the manger and see the baby Jesus.
We wanted to celebrate with Him at the wedding.
We loved it when He fed us.
We thought it was great that He knew the best place to fish.
We enjoyed hearing Him teach.
It was a treat to have Him wash our feet.
We were so thankful when He touched us and healed us.
We said we would follow Him anywhere.
But then …
He started hanging out with questionable people we didn’t like.
He touched people that had contagious diseases. He let people touch Him.
He definitely did not social distance.
He didn’t even condemn outright sin, like adultery.
He didn’t understand there were bad people in the world, who had to be stopped.
He said crazy things, like, “Love them. Pray for them”
He told us to put our weapons away, even when we were trying to defend Him.
He didn’t seem to understand the teachers of the law.
We thought He should get on with saving our country or just be silent.
But He would not listen to us.
We thought things were on the upswing again when we all rode together in a public parade. All the people cheered and we were proud to be His Friends.
But something went terribly wrong the next week.
He was arrested. He was beaten. He was tortured. He didn’t even defend Himself.
Now we are headed toward a very bad place. He is carrying a cross.
We are remembering something He said.
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My Sake will find it.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
Is my soul worth all this?
Can it be Jesus wants us to give up the life we planned in exchange for The Life He plans?
What’s ahead if we follow Him? Will there be trouble? Will there be suffering? Yes.
Will we understand every detail of The Plan? No.
Can we trust Him? Yes.
Will we get out of this alive? Yes, more alive than we can even imagine!
We are headed for Joy. Don’t look around. Keep your eyes on Jesus!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him Who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”