IT HAD BEEN years since I felt such rage. I wanted to grab a chair and smash it to bits. My chest heaved and swelled with living heat. And like every rage, my anger was mixed with great sorrow. Where did this come from? Was it holy? Was it foolish pride? Or some swirling combination of the two?
I imagine Jesus cleansing the Temple — the zeal for the house of his Father consumed him. Then I imagine Judas — his remorse driving him to the depths of despair.
Purity vs. pride. Justice vs. ambition. Mercy vs. condemnation. Was the fire unleashed within me a result of these passions waging war?
I had come up against a situation I did not ask for, I did not want. It was humiliating. This hard stop encapsulated so many things that challenged me to my core. Will I swallow the bitter pill and keep going, or will I refuse and run away?
And as I fell to my knees in prayer I was screaming inside.
Have you ever been there? If you stay you expose yourself to hardship and pain. If you go, you know you abandon those who need you. And in the midst of your tangled emotions all kinds of temptations rise to the surface.
We look forward to Easter, but first comes the Passion. Sometimes you don’t have to stay. You are free to go, and maybe it’s for the best. But in other cases, you know what’s the right thing to do.
I know what my Lord did for me. He stayed. And the inner struggle he faced reached cosmic proportions. The fate of billions of souls rested upon his shoulders. During Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, the heavens themselves must have trembled.
So we too contemplate the truth of the sacrifice of Christ as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection.
What do I need to break free from? What sin or toxicity do I still cling to? What do I need to nail to the cross once and for all? In what area of my life do I need to give up control and trust in the will of the Father?
The Cristian faith is as real as it gets. There’s no such thing as a sugar-coated life. Eventually things get painful, humiliating, and even bloody sometimes. And the Son of Man goes the distance with you through it all. He shows you the way.
Do you remember what happened all those years ago on Calvary so that you could be free?
So stay. Struggle. Dig deeper. Trust more. Give more. Love more.
Today, you might not feel like you have much strength, but take heart. Wake up!
Shake off the dust and shackles. In Christ, even death has no power over you.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.1 Corinthians 1:18
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