This is a great time of year for each one of us to take Jesus off the cross. He can’t rise in our lives if we don’t bring him down, take out the nails, and unfree him to rise, just like Joseph of Arimathea did. What? More abstraction than reality? Think again.
Jesus was put on the cross to free each one of us—past,present, and future—from our sins. He is our personal Savior. Therefore, we have the responsibility of taking him down, pulling out the nails, and freeing him to rise in our lives. It’s that simple.
OK, so just how do we do that when Joseph physically took Jesus off the cross and laid him to rest in the tomb over 2,000 years ago? We simply acknowledge what Jesus did for us—including both the physical and mental suffering—and repent what we have done wrong and what we have not done that we should have done. We then commit our lives to doing the right thing by following in Jesus’ footsteps. As I have written more times than I can count, that walk is a simple walk of love. We need to love those around us equally and completely. When we start doing that Jesus truly does rise in each of us.
I know there seems like a lot of “religion” in all of this. Actually, there is not. We simply have to “feel” Jesus on that cross, understand what he did for each one of us, and commit our lives to a new walk—a walk of love. When we just start feeling for each other how Jesus feels for each one of us we will feel him in our lives. That’s a lot of feeling—I know. But feeling for others and not feeling for ourselves—by resisting satisfying the cravings of our physical bodies—is how God commands us to live. That’s what love is all about.
And if this sounds too simple and pat, it is that simple and pat. God intends life to be so simple but we complicate it beyond recognition. That’s why so many people are fundamentally unhappy.
Take Jesus off the cross today and let him rise in your life. This is a great way to really celebrate his birth on Christmas day.
I am going to sign off tweeting for a week or so after today. I may or may not post any thoughts on this site until after the New Year. Going to rest and put into action what I write about and try to live by each day. It’s a great time to take stock.
If I don’t sign back in, let me now wish you a joy-filled, blessed Christmas and a great New Year ahead!