We could all wish this were easier. The fact is that this is desperately hard. Individually and collectively we always fall short of being the kind of people and community God desires. It's not easy to follow Jesus, not on Palm Sunday and not on Fig Tree Monday.From Here
Come to think of it, following Jesus in the week ahead will finally wind us up at a place called Skull Hill where a cross will be sunk into the flesh of the earth like a dagger through God's heart; like a dagger through all our hearts. That will be Jesus' ultimate solution to helping bring you, me, and as many people as possible to God.
So we follow this week. We follow. We watch. We weep. We repent. And when it's all over and the worst has happened, we sit quietly for a couple days fearing that maybe death is the end only to find out come Easter that Jesus is not finished yet. He'll arise. He'll keep going. And he'll call us to keep following, dragging the world behind us and praying we'll find room for them to pray, too.
This one would have fit right in with last week's text as well. Powerful insight. I've highlighted what struck me the most.
Here was a man who could raise the dead! This is what completely frees us from the addiction to wealth and power. The reason we strive for these things is we think that with them we can prevent the loss of our dreams, health, relationships, jobs, and all the things that make up a life. But the message of Jesus Christ is that the way you get over your fear of losing your life is not by collecting more money and power, but by going ahead and dying to this life. Die to having the life you expected. Only then will you be able to receive life as a grace.I know, I have mentioned this thing about grace once or twice before. Some have wondered if I do not need to speak more about sin as well as grace. But the thing that prevents us from receiving grace is not our sins, but our insistence on achieving life on our own. The Pharisees were great at avoiding sin...but they had already determined to kill Jesus and Lazarus, again, because Jesus viewed their self-righteousness as one thing to collect like power and wealth. Thinking that we have cleaned up our lives and are now avoiding sin is just one more way to delude ourselves that we have secured the future.From Here
Cheap grace, according to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is grace that does not bid you to die. Costly grace asks for everything: your money, power, dreams, family. Everything, and especially your ability to be moral and religious. Give it all up. Give it to Jesus so that you can discover a whole new life, that is finally free to use everything you are holding for stewardship. Otherwise you are going to waste life worrying if you will lose things that you certainly will lose. Trust me on this: one hundred percent of all people eventually lose their jobs. One hundred percent lose their marriages. One hundred percent lose their loved ones, their health, and their lives. One hundred percent of our bodies will eventually return to dust. You are not going to beat those odds, no matter how much wealth, power, or righteousness you collect. Whatever it is that you are afraid of losing, you will lose. So why do you want to waste your fleeting days worrying about when it will happen? Get it over with! Choose today to die with Christ, that you may spend the rest of life receiving his sacred mystery day after day.