No Short Cuts

David Ruis, Apr 02, 2021, 12:48 PM
David Ruis National Director
Jesus Died On The Cross
"No Short-Cuts"

If you've been journeying in any way through the Stations of the Cross over the last couple of weeks one thing has been clear. This was no easy leg of the journey for Jesus. Yet as we've moved station by station we find incredible comfort in seeing that he truly was challenged and tempted in all phases of what it means to be human. Identifying with us. Experiencing all, while each step opening a way as our forerunner into the very sanctuary of God. Anchored. Secure. Saved. Safe.

And now we see Him here fully in the grips of physical death.
"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit." Matthew 27:50
Earlier in the week he could see the whole thing unfolding before him like a looming nightmare. While in the Garden of Gethsemane, in his lamenting prayer asking the Father if there were any other options than this cup of suffering, he found the sweet spot of surrendering to the path before him. Trusting. Leaning. There would be no short-cut. No quick fix. No easy out.
Just as when the Devil tempted him at the very beginning of his vocational calling, taunting him to take the easy path, the easy way into glory,  the temptation to take another path in this moment presses on his mind. His emotions. His body. Sweating drops of blood under the duress. Yet Jesus refused to run. Surrendering to the Father. Trusting. Leaning. There would be no short cut. No quick fix. No easy out.
Now he hangs. Lifeless. Surrendering his life into the hands of His Father. Trusting. Leaning. There would be no short cut. No quick fix. No easy out.
It is a strange Gospel that has emerged particularly in the last century that has sold the Good News as the exact opposite to this Jesus Way. No surrender required, just an assent to a belief, or signing a membership card with an entrance pass to heaven. No real trust, for if you had "true faith", there really is no need for trusting , because you should have it all. Now. Isn't that what Jesus died for? No real lean. No dependance or meekness, for that would be weak and lacking.  Fixed. Done. Ah yes, just find the right mix of prayer, worship and service and there's no need to embark on the journey of formation and transformation.
Yet is this the eternal path? The Way of Jesus? There is something of the eternal that begins now as we surrender all to Christ. It does not begin after we die, but we embark today. Each day. Step by step. There is something of what we learn here. What we suffer here. What we celebrate here. The joy that is found here. The forming and transforming work that happens in the midst of real life and living is actually laying up eternal treasure. Each moment precious gifts to us now that will last for all eternity. We follow Jesus. And the Good News is that we can do this thing! That whosoever will may join us. The most broken. The most ostracized. All may come and taste of eternal life through Jesus.
Yet, there are no short cuts.
Every in-breaking work of the Spirit is an invitation to formation. To transformation.
You've been healed. Awesome. Praise the Lord. Now go, and sin no more.
You're in the midst of revival. Turn your face to heaven. Let the fire fall. Now lean into true repentance that takes you in formation. Transformation.
You've experienced the renewing work of the Spirit. Be refreshed. Be filled. Now go, freely you've received, freely give. To the poor. To the marginalized. To your city. Your neighbourhood. Your streets. As you are being formed, let your light shine. As you are being transformed, step into what the Father is doing and see the transformation of those around you and the place you live.
There is death that brings life. We look at Him today filled with the courage and confidence that He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion. We can discover the forming and transforming power of the Spirit even as we move through the veil of death and dying. There is no other way. Let's journey!