Wednesday, September 21, 2011

He chose us

            Hey guys today I ask that you will bear with me as for just this one post I want to set aside the funny stories and analogies in order to focus on something vital and important. I'm not an ultra serious guy but this is one message that can truly change your life, and I don't say that lightly or proudly because as you will soon find out it has nothing to do with me.

            Allow yourselves for a few minutes to be taken into a court room, where you are the defendant and everyone it seems is your prosecutor. You have broken no law, but yet here you stand accused of crimes that can lead to death. After hearing numerous screams and attacks on your character by the crowds the judge then turns to you to attempt to get your side of the story. However, when he asks his question instead of starting to defend yourself you simply remain silent.

           How crazy does that sound? Here you are wrongly accused of crimes you didn't commit, facing the worst punishment imaginable and yet when you have the chance to defend yourself, to stand up and save your own life, you choose to instead remain silent. To not even tell the Judge where you are from, Why would anyone do that? I mean in the words of my Dad when he would catch me in a lie "Boy are you just looking to get whipped?".

         As lucid or unreal as this scene may sound this is exactly what Jesus did in his last few hours before his crucifiction.  We find this very scene in the beginning of John 19, where Jesus remains silent throughout the questioning, only speaking up for a brief second to quickly put Pilate in his place.

         Through my years of studying and going to church and school if there is one lesson I have learned it's this: Jesus was very intentional about everything he did. What may have looked like him going to a random samarian village was really a trip for a woman to meet her savior (John 4). There are countless other examples throughout the Gospels, but that theme got me questioning why did Jesus choose to remain silent? Why didn't he choose to save himself?

         As I sat there frustrated with Jesus for a few seconds because he didn't make a choice, He hit me square in the face and said "I did make a choice Dustin, I chose the cross."

         Talk about feeling like a complete idiot, man there I sat flabbergasted and breathless as I contemplated what I had just heard. That Jesus had the chance to defend himself to avoid the cross altogether but instead chose to remain silent. He chose the cross.

          My mind then raced to the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane where the soldiers come to arrest Jesus, and Peter tries to protect Jesus and in the process chops a soldiers ear off. (Side note, this is one of the scenes in the Bible I really wish I could watch. Something tells me Mike Tyson has nothing on this.) Jesus then heals the man's ear and rebukes Peter saying don't you understand that I could summon angels down here right now to rescue me? Jesus then goes with the soldiers.

          My mind racing at this point, recalling various times in Scripture where it really seems that Jesus time and time again chooses the cross. From a Sunday school perspective I could ration that it was because he wanted me to go to heaven so he had to die for my sins. But that wasn't sitting right in my stomach, I knew there had to be something more. Why choose the cross?????

         "I didn't choose the cross, I chose you" He replied. You want to know why I suffered and endured pain and mockery, it was so that you ,through my payment of your sins, could experience a relationship with the Heavenly Father! John 17:3 tells us "This is eternal life, that you may know God, through the one whom he has sent in Christ Jesus." The word to know there is meaning to know someone due to a relationship you have with them. Frankly Jesus chose the cross so that we could have a real relationship with him!

        Joking aside I asked myself and I challenge you to ask yourself " Is the way I value my relationship with God equivalent with the price paid for it?" If my parents bought me something as a kid they expected me to play with it and use it. Jesus paid the price for us so that we could have a relationship with Him and God through the Holy spirit. Are we using it? Or has that gift just become something we hold onto that collects dust.?

         He chose you! He paid the price for you! Will you use it?

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