Thursday, April 27, 2006

Calvary to the nations

I've been listening John Piper 'Doing Mission when Death is Gain' again. And something struck me, and you might have to bare with me here, because i'll sound like i'm stating the obvious for a while. Maybe i am stating the obvious, but it struck me as wonderful, and humbling.

Jesus suffered on the cross. There can be no doubt about that. I believe that his greatest suffering, His greatest concern in Gethsemene was not physical, but spiritual, but despite this, there can be no doubt, no doubt at all that he suffered physically as well. Crucifiction wwas brutal and horrific more or less beyond our imagination. I've disgressed. Jesus suffered on the cross to glorfy His Father by winning a people for Him, thus, i believe setting the precedent for missions. Is there was a way to win a people for the Father, and to gloryfy Him without suffering, why did Jesus, the one through whom the universe was created have to suffer to do it. The owner of the universe, between two nobodies, all dying the same. Maybe i've missed something, but if there was another way, surely Jesus would have taken it.

So what? So to bring people to Jesus, to show people the glory of the Father in the face of Jesus Christ, we must suffer. That is the means, the price of our evangelism. Suffering. But thats alright, because all men can do is kill you, and when you die to go to Jesus, your exceeding joy. So the enemies greatest weapon becomes our greatest victory, which is good. But i digrees again. So please, and i talk to myself as much as anyone here, don't be happy, content with a quiet surburban life, with a decent job good kids. Of course, of course there is work to be done amongst the office workers of the world, they need the gospel as much as anyone, and we need Christians there. But the Christians working in offices will suffer when they proclaim Jesus.

But think, just think. Jesus suffered. And He calls us to suffer. We can partake in the great commission in the same way that Jesus did. By suffering! By taking up our cross and following dying. Is that not an honour, is that not the greatest thing in the world? That we, in some small way might go through a similar experience to Jesus as we evangelism and proclaim. Isn't that amazing? We are counted worthy to suffer, and i think that's great. And i hope i still will when the question is more immediate.

I've blogged on this sermon before, here and here.

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