Devotional: February 13th
In a few hours (it is 5:00 DST here in Georgetown) several ministers from the Stamping Ground, Kentucky area will be walking from the Christian Church in Stamping Ground to the Baptist Church in Stamping Ground. So what, right? Well, it is a big so what. Each of us will be taking a turn carrying a cross. I got to heft the cross yesterday in the workshop of one of our elders at Minorsville and it is heavy. T. Wright makes a cross to last and makes it solid.
The distance we will be carrying the cross is roughly an eighth of a mile. Nowhere close to the distance that Jesus had to traverse 1,976 years ago. Plus, none of us will have sustained a beating anything close to the brutality He endured before having the cross placed on His shoulders for the long trek to Golgotha. Still, by the end of our little journey our handful of men will have a kean sense of appreciation for the difficulty Jesus endured in just getting to Calvary.
The writer of Hebrews has issued an indictment against the church. Most people miss seeing it because, well, most people just don't read the Bible. "You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin." Hebrews 12:4 For the majority of us our faith has cost us nothing. We life in a nice safe coccoon of faith in countries where our right to display that faith is protected. Others are not so fortunate.
Hebrews 12:4 is blown out the door in many cultures around the world. If you're a Christian and public about it, you can be beaten legally for your faith. If you're assaulted by someone for being a Christian and try to take legal action against your attackers you're told the courts won't participate. And if you should happen to die for your faith you're just a statistic; good riddance to you.
That, good people, is what Good Friday is all about. We are not measured by the standard applied by man. We are measured by God against the standard set by Jesus. We have been called to live dangerously in the hand of the Lord. "Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and falsely accuse you for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad." Matthew 5:11, 12 You have become like Him.
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