It is jarring indeed to learn that what He went through in His passion and death is meant for us too; that the invitation He extends is Don't weep for Me! Join Me! The life He has planned for Christians is a life much like He lived. He was not poor that we might be rich. He was not mocked that we might be honored. He was not laughed at so that we would be lauded. On the contrary, He revealed a picture meant to include you and me.
By extinguishing the spirit that burns in the gospel, we scarcely feel the glow anymore. We have gotten so used to the ultimate Christian fact—Jesus naked, stripped & crucified—that we no longer see it for what it actually is. We are to strip ourselves of earthly cares and wordly wisdom, all desire for human praise, greediness for any kind of comfort, spiritual consolations included. The gospel is a summons to be stripped of those fine pretenses by which we manage to paint a portrait of ourselves for the admiration of friends.
We really aren't that bad. Are we?
Even the last rag we cling to—the self-flattery that suggest we are being humble when we disclaim any resemblance to Jesus Christ—even that rag has to go when we are face to face with the crucified Son of Man.
Because we approach the gospel with preconceived notions of what it should say rather than what it does say, the Word no longer falls like rain on the parched ground of our souls.
Hits hard, doesn't it? I needed this though. I needed to set my focus on things everlasting, or rather, the Everlasting Himself. He is what I really want this 2012, not some to-do list disguised as resolutions.
So whether I (and you) like it or not, I start my year with what saved me in the first place: the cross.
I'm able to see another year by Grace alone!