While reflecting over some of the articles we have previously written I also realize that there have been many times in my life that I had great difficulty in truly embracing the cross of Christ. So many times when I would turn to scripture and read the words of Jesus and the teachings of the Apostles I had a tendency to overlook the failings and disbelief of the disciples we so highly esteem.
The disciples were not truly transformed into the what they had been taught until after they understood and embraced the cross. I then found much common ground with this group of twelve when I saw that in God's wisdom he allowed the failings of the disciples to be recorded just as much as their successes.
And Peter went out, and bitterly wept. (Luke 22:62)
This verse came so alive to me after experiencing the same feelings of abandoning my savior when it actually came to living and practicing the message of the cross. I had also fled from him at that very same time when the reality of the cost of the cross became too difficult. I had been willing and even eager at times to spend time in his presence, to walk beside him day by day except when it came for embracing the cross.
As I reflected back on my commitment to follow him I saw more and more of my life reflected in the doubtful and fearful actions of the twelve. Yet it also birthed a sense of great hope within me to know that I was not alone in my betrayal. I, in my dismay, had even been much like them when after I, in embarrassment, fled him on the final walk to calvary. Just as many of the disciples had gone back to their own lifestyles before they had been called so I had slipped back to where I had been comfortable before hearing the message of the cross. But there is such hope in this.
For just as the disciples were revisited by their Lord and Savior after his resurrection so he revisited me allowing me to understand
for the first time the true wondrous work of the cross.
So I am writing this article today to encourage those of you who have fled from the message of the cross, knowing deep down that it is the pathway to being found in him, that Christ is waiting for you so he can lead you into understanding what being part of the Kingdom of God is truly like freeing you from the bondage of sin. Just as Jesus experienced his very own, his chosen, flee from him at the most crucial moment in history, he knew that when they chose to come and truly follow him again by taking up their cross and following him that it would turn the world as we know it upside down!
Are you ready to to revisit the cross? For it is at this moment you have been called to also be part of the Kingdom of God that changed the entire world as we know it. The weeping that Peter experienced was replaced with joy unspeakable when he finally understood the message of Christ. That joy is just as available to us as it was to him.
May we be like the eleven who repented and then boldly took up the cause of the Kingdom. It's not good enough to just feel bad that we have denied him, Judas felt that way and he robbed himself of the healing gift of repentance, now destined to spend eternity separated from the one he denied.
Dear believers, do not think you are unique in your fleeing of the cross, rather understand that the even the twelve went through this, but eleven of them didn't stay there. Are you ready to experience the transforming work of the cross? I am so glad that there have been others before me that were!