Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week 18 - Looking to the Cross

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I have never watched The Passion of the Christ, but within the first paragraph Nancy Guthrie has me convicted of my reasoning for not seeing it.  It is real.  The blood, suffering, and death of Christ are real from the past, and these things should not be ignored.  This movie definitely is not a requirement for heaven, but through discerning eyes, it can better our understanding. I must say this every chapter, but I am convicted.  I acknowledge what Christ has done for me by dying and God by giving up his son, but it is hard to think of the details of such a gruesome death.  My thinking is completely wrong because I stop on the death of it all.  Through this chapter I learned not to stop there, and I pray that God will continue to allow my life to reflect it.  By such a shameful death, I can find hope and guidance for my life.  A Christian hope describes a definite hope that we have.  It isn't a possibility as in "I hope you get better", but one much more secured in God's promises.  
In the cross we see Jesus' characteristics that we should exemplify.  As Jesus hung on the cross he did not curse those harming him, but he knew that this was God's will for his life.  Although the pain was severe, he continued through it all willingly because of the joy that would follow his death (Hebrews 12:2).  And not only did he suffer and die, but he humbled himself to die in the most demeaning way.  (Can we say that we are humble when God calls us to do EVERYTHING?.....again, the "C" word comes....conviction!)

"There's only one thing that enables me to accept what I cannot understand about my suffering and the suffering of this world: the Cross." "...the Cross is the ultimate example of God's ability to world all things together for good.."
Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
This verse has become more significant to me after Magdalena's death than before.  Since God worked through the death of his only son, so that we may presented before him holy and blameless, wouldn't he work through our other sufferings?  I still cry out "Work it out another way!", but in my heart, I am confident in His love for me and I am given peace that his plan is greater than I could ever imagine.  To see this I focus on the cross.
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:47 AM

    Julie... This one in particular made me cry. It has been awful and beautiful to watch the changes in you through this suffering, but most importantly, it has been such a vehicle of God's grace. And yet, I want Him to "work it another way" too. Thank you for letting us see inside a small window of it all.

    As for hope. I always think of Hebrews 6:19. With this verse, I have heard (Denise Richardson said this at one of our ladies' conferences years back) that the original meaning of the Hebrew means "confident assurance" when looking at the verse Hebrews 6:19. That verse says that the hope of Christ is an "anchor for our souls". I love that the hope is something solid to cling to and that anchor is set in Heaven. We can absolutely know that our Father loves us and He defeated death once and for all.

    -Katie Elliott

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