“We have made the bitterness of the cross, the revelation of God in the cross of Jesus Christ, tolerable to ourselves by learning to understand it as a necessity for the process of salvation… As a result, the cross loses it’s arbitrary and incomprehensible character.” H. J. Inwand
Jesus was the ultimate revolutionary. He was the epitome of that which halted society and threw things off-kilter. He was here to precipitate change. Today, change is a word ringing in our ears, piercing our hearts and being used to manipulate the masses to feel good about things which irresponsibility and a self-seeking agenda have brought a darkened doorstep to many. Christ’s level of change was to the mind and unconditional love of the Father. His purpose was to open our eyes to a life realized in the joy and peace of the Most High. The power of his change is embodied in the forgiveness, acceptance and love of the God of the ages. His method of revolution was gentile and self-sacrificing. This revolution which he led his followers to was a life emulating his death for them in the purpose of drawing them to his Father; by their relinquishing themselves to the life which that his sacrifice has afforded them.
These days we hear a society calling us to take control of our lives and take control of our circumstances, asserting for ourselves a life embodied with the purpose of our destinies. We have been confused to think that if we focus on ourselves and manipulate every situation to coincide with our goals, that we are a success. Unfortunately, this perspective in a single life is bound for failure, and in a society of self-centeredness, causes an implosion of purpose to isolated existence. We find far too many things, people and places out of our control, out of our sphere of influence, and outside of our subjective reality to succeed. When we fail to control or master the conformity of our worlds to our will, we become discontent, dissatisfied and disillusioned amidst our circumstances. We pray for God to restore our control. Fortunately for us, He is far too real to allow us to continue in conformity. He knows and is sovereign in the inner-workings of our lives, and his goals are to bring us closer to Him, for the good of his purpose. We would have God bless us to fulfill our purpose. It might be difficult to accept, but He is far too real to allow us an unmarred ascent to success in our pursuits. God is concerned with our character, with our soul. He is intent in our pursuit of Himself. The easy, or self-achieved, ascent to the top of the heap doesn’t match with a God who responds to the needs of those He loves: The Lord who healed the thankless lepers, who used mud to make the blind see, who draws in the sand on behalf of the adulterous, and sent his Son to die that we might live. To die, for our life: in giving life, it must come from somewhere, life given from one causes death to that which gave. Christ did not create life in his death on the cross, He gave life. The gentle revolutionary Christ died bloody and beaten to the proportion of the life which would come from that sacrifice. He died that we might take the focus off of ourselves and see the Lord who provided forgiveness. He was stripped and beaten, not so that we could retain control, but that we might be able to know the presence of the Holy God. The halt of society which our response should be characterized by is an echo of the Savior who loves God and loves others. In order to give this love, we must die to ourselves, die to control and die to our agenda. In this we emulate the ultimate death for another; and we give life.
We die to ourselves, but give life to others and life to hope. This is true hope. This is hope which satisfies, rather than change which leads to the possibility of satisfaction. We must have life and hope on our lips. We must embrace and show the change of Christ. He is lasting. His peace transcends understanding. In Him is life which is real, and hope that is based on the sovereign power of the Father. Highs and lows, pain and joy, character building and soul feeding, actual hope and unconditional love: These are the rewards of his sacrifice. His death has produced life which allows us to see purpose and contentment in loving God and loving others. Our revolution in the name of Christ is to focus on the Father and be open to his abundantly real existence. Our gentle revolution is one that puts others ahead of us. It responds rather than masters the circumstances ahead. It may be viewed as an effort of nonsense in the eyes of the world, pursuing power, security and pleasure, but the rewards of the Father are perfect. The revelation of the revolutionary is validated in the unspeakable peace that overwhelms the heart. It is an upheaval of purpose. It is innovation of joy. It is a life that comes from death; a life worthy of the sacrifice made on its behalf.