Recently a mate of mine sent me a text as we were ending a conversation about God and some stuff and he mentioned this;
‘it’s like Jesus you get for free, but Christ costs you everything.’
Let me start with some points of clarity.
I am not suggesting here anything outside of grace, forgiveness from Jesus being completely his movement towards us, humanity. Our role in that is to respond and accept him as our rescuer and friend, simple.
But, I did find this text from my mate really interesting. You see for me, it challenges something profound that is often not really spoken of when we show people who Jesus is.
When I say ‘Jesus is free’, I guess I am saying that the understanding of Jesus, or the awareness of him is free. We have a clear record of the ‘historical Jesus’ and that if you like is free. The man Jesus lived, breathed the same air as us, understood the seasons, the feelings of emotions and had mates.
Jewish and Roman historians, who have details of his life in their writings, were unbiased about recording the life of Jesus and his followers, his life and his death. All of which are also spoken about in Christian writings.
So, the historical Jesus is, if you like, free. He was a man and lived when the bible said he did and there are lots of records that support this.
The Christ on the other hand is where we start to discover some cost.
To make Jesus Lord in our lives, to follow him and trust him as our Christ and saviour will mean there is a cost to pay, and as my mate said, it costs you everything.
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
There seems to me to be a shift in commitment here, a shift in the relationship. We can move from knowing about the historical Jesus, (the free bit) to stepping into something that will cost us everything, something our lives have been made for.
The cost is real. To make Jesus the Christ in your life will impact your dreams, hopes, finances, ambitions, attitudes, fears, failings, family, friends and more. To deny ourselves too, wow this is massive stuff – talk about opposite spirit! To deny myself when I want to retaliate from a place of anger; to deny myself when I feel like I should shout and defend my name or to deny myself when I want to make sure I go first or get the best bit. Instead I am to work out from a place of radical generosity.
What do you think? If you are following Jesus in your life, what has the cost been for you?