I remember the moment clearly. I had resistantly agreed to attend a Christmas Conference with Cru, a college ministry I connected with at Penn State. I honestly went to a bible study that freshman year out of a longing for something I couldn’t describe, but knew I didn’t want the religion that I had known.
I was listening to a few recent college graduates who had given a year of their life to travel to remote areas of the world to show the Jesus film. For some reason, God pierced through my cynicism.
Was faith more than just blindly following rules and missing out on fun in life? What if joy and adventure were part of the journey?
Throughout my high school years of exploration, questioning, and identity searching, I never stopped believing in the truth of the Passion week. Without allowing it to influence my life, I still believed that God entered into this broken world, died a gruesome death on the cross on our behalf, and then came back to life a few days later.
As I walked away from the Jesus film highlights, the weight of that belief became unbearable. I was professing belief in something that was insane. If this was true, it should change EVERYTHING!!
If God loved us so much that He was willing to enter into this world to rescue us, I should want to know Him. If Jesus was willing to die on the cross so that I did not have to carry the reality of my selfishness, I should be overwhelmed with gratitude. If Jesus was able to defeat death, then this should influence every tiny decision of my life!
I can’t tell you how often I go through the day completely forgetting what Jesus has done for me and what that sacrifice means about who God is! I like to think the world operates for my benefit. I am such an idiot, but luckily there is grace.
This weekend is a time to remember the greatest sacrifice in history. And this sacrifice is the most profound window into the tremendous love that God has for each one of us.
I have been noticing how amazed my 4 and 5 year old are when they learn the reason behind this holiday. I wish time had not dwindled my amazement. My prayer is that the God’s love is fresh and eye-opening this weekend.
May this weekend change us. May the weight of God’s grace become unbearable for us each and every day moving forward.