This year our Passion Week Concert will have a sub-theme: belonging.
Instead of just throwing together a bunch of songs about the crucifixion, I wanted to do a read-through of the entire account, from the Last Supper to the death & burial, in hopes of peeling back another layer. What I found is this:
When you think of the disciples, do you picture them as saints with halos over their heads, or ordinary men? Are they the image of the perfect Christian, or are they flawed? In my study, I discovered that these men are exactly like me: intending to pray one moment, falling asleep the next; desiring to turn the other cheek, cutting off a soldier's ear the next; promising to carry a cross, denying Him the next. These men had poor performances as followers of Jesus, AND YET...Jesus accepted them. They were the ones Jesus entrusted with the gospel. They belonged to Him. By dying on the cross, He bought their souls forever.
Do you ever feel guilty because of a poor performance as a Christian? Do you, like the apostle Paul, find yourself "joyfully concurring with the law of God" but seeing "a different law in the members of [your] body"? I struggle with this alot. Reaping rewards for good behavior is gratifying. Receiving approval for good grades from your teachers and parents keeps you going, right? What about as a Christian, when you completely mess up (because you know it happens)? How does Jesus reward/rebuke you?
He calls you back from your silly fishing boat and bids you come eat breakfast. With eternal love and forbearance, he says to you and to me, "You belong to me. I paid for your sins. Receive mercy and grace, and keep fighting the fight of faith."