And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. Matthew 27:50
We are familiar with Jesus’ crucifixion, yet we must never grow comfortable with it. Whilst it grants humanity the opportunity for personal encounter with God, the price of forgiveness, both to God and to all responding to God’s offer, weighs heavily in the balance.
Scripture is clear, no-one took Jesus’ life; He voluntarily gave it up in an act of redemption for all who choose to bow the knee and accept forgiveness. (John 10:18) This was not an execution that the authorities could quietly action on a forlorn hill outside Jerusalem. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, and all of creation responded with a series of unexpected natural phenomena. (Matthew 27:51-54) The whole world was adjusting to a new order, the rhythm of the Kingdom of God arriving.
This event, intended to anonymise Jesus to a footnote in history, only fostered the dawning of a global movement still growing 2000 years after it was recorded. Murdered amongst Jerusalem’s rubbish, this man demonstrates He is Messiah, the rescuer of humanity, who continues to seek and find us amongst the rubbish that often constitutes our own lives. Today, this same Jesus is alive – it’s Friday but Sunday’s coming – and voluntarily meets us with a message of hope in the rubbish that clutters up our own lives. He alone holds the power to guide us to freedom from that rubbish. This is the miracle of the cross.
The choice is simple. Jesus surrendered to death so we might enjoy friendship with God. Am I willing to surrender myself to God daily? Not only when the sun shines, but also when the storm clouds gather. ‘Come follow me’, is a simple invitation. But learning to live every day with Jesus challenges me to my core. Am I up for the challenge?
Something to Consider: Listen to Chris Tomlin’s Love Ran Red on YouTube as an act of worship (edwj.org/ma21-2apr).
An Action to Take: Consider what rubbish has built up in your life which you’d like to be rid of. Invite Jesus to carry it away and recommit to learning to live every day with Jesus.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Used with Permission