Drawn or Driven

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself (John 12:32 ESV).

God desires to draw us to himself. As a host invites guests to a party (Luke 14:16-24), and as a shepherd leads his sheep (John 10:1-4), God invites us to join him in the kingdom and to follow Jesus through a life of personal growth and Divine glory.

We may be inexorably drawn to that which is beautiful, to that which is unique, to that which is lovely. While Jesus is all of that and more, God desires to draw us to the crucified Jesus. The drawing power Jesus refers to is his death upon the cross (John 12:33).

Continue reading “Drawn or Driven”

Following Jesus involves a cross

Crucifixion was Rome’s way of dealing with people it didn’t like. Crucifixion was Rome’s way of dealing with enemies. Its gruesome nature was a part of Rome telling people they’d best behave or they might find themselves hanging from a cross one day.

Jesus had a discussion with his disciples that put the figure of the cross front and center. In Luke 9, Jesus told the men following him that if they were his disciples, they must deny self and take up a cross. The condemned was required to carry his own cross to the place of execution. The figure is clear. Continue reading “Following Jesus involves a cross”

Christ, Christians and the mob mentality

The way people treated Christ is basically how they’ll treat his disciples. Since persecution is a fact of life for Christians (2 Timothy 3:12), we shouldn’t expect anything less.

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18, NKJV).

Everything about Jesus’ trial was illegal (Mark 14:53-59). Their hatred consumed them (Isaiah 53:7-9). The mob took to the streets with blood on their minds. They were willing to free a notorious murderer and a thief just so they could see Jesus killed (Matthew 27:17-20). Continue reading “Christ, Christians and the mob mentality”

Unspoken words from the cross – Pt. 1

I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).

Most people are familiar with the seven utterances of Jesus on the cross – the ones recorded in the Gospel records. Jesus forgave his torturers (Luke 23:34), and the penitent thief (Luke 23:43); he turned over the care of his mother to John (John 19:26-27); he cried out in anguish for his Father (Matthew 27:46), and in thirst (John 19:28), declared his work complete (John 19:30), and gave up his spirit to his Father (Luke 23:46). Continue reading “Unspoken words from the cross – Pt. 1”