Sunday, July 2, 2017

Difficulty with the Cross of Christ

"Whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
- Matthew 10.38-39

I once had a student tell me that Jesus frightened her. She didn’t like some aspects about Jesus. She said the gospels made him sound scary because He drove out demons, calmed storms, and walked on water.

He also sounded like he thought he was God when He said things like: “Come to me all of you who are weary and heavily burdened and I will refresh you for I am meek and humble of heart.”
She said a humble man could not say a thing like that. Only God could say such a thing. And when he forgave people their sins, He acted as if he was the one who had been sinned against. She understood what the Pharisees meant when they said, “Only God can forgive sins!” She wasn’t too sure about this Jesus.

His brandishing a whip made of cords and flipping tables over, spilling coins, and running the money changers out of the Temple – along with letting the animals for sacrifice run free – was wrong. 

The student was unsure whether she wanted to put her faith in this man Jesus because of what he said and did. That would be too exclusive. It would mean that she was placing Christ above Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Muhammad, among others.
By claiming that Christianity was true, she feared that this would offend other religions. She said, “If I say Jesus is Lord, then that means I would have to believe it. Believe in Him, and live like I believed in Him. That would be hard." 

“You mean it would be a cross to bear,” I said.
She replied, “Yeah, that’s it."
Her willingness to ponder the call of Christ and wrestle with the hard questions was the beginning of faith. 

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