The end of the Lenten season is at hand topped off with a weeklong commemoration of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. The “HOLY WEEK” is anticipated by the Filipino people, not because of any spiritual undertone, but because of the long holiday weekend. It’s a chance for the working people to experience uninterrupted days of rest. So…who’s excited for a long holiday weekend? (If you’re reading this in the far future, I’m writing this during the enhanced community quarantine where everyone has been in lockdown for more than a month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Celebrating Jesus should be a default for the Christian. Apostle Paul declared it best to the believers in Philippi – “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21 NIV) The life of the Apostle Paul before his encounter with Jesus in the road to Damascus was so much against God, and yet, God in His love and sovereignty pursued Paul (it was Saul back then) to live a life with a greater purpose. That is why when the great Apostle said “For to me, to live is Christ…” it was a statement that as long as he is living, the life he is living will be in parallel to Christ. He can confidently say that because he has nothing to lose. Even dying is gain…profit! That is why, if you only have this week to think about Christ, to honor His sacrifice, then what does that make us?
Dedicating our lives to Jesus is never easy. Even Jesus said that the world will hate us because of Him (John 15:18; Matt 10:22). We will even be persecuted because of Jesus (Matt 5:11). The Christian way of living will be hard, and the only way for us to live it out the way it should be is when we understand that our hope is in the Lord (Isa 40:31). That is why our best shot in this world is to really stick close to Jesus. How close? Like you have “…been crucified with Christ…” (Gal 2:20). When you continue the verse, it says there that being crucified with Christ gives you a grace-oriented perception that it is no longer you and I who are living, it is Christ living in us!
So let’s get to my main point.
We, who have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ, draw strength from the God who pursued us. We are spiritually weak and vulnerable. And it is in our weakness where God’s power is made complete and full. That is why we should never be ashamed of our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Our capacity to comprehend the grace, mercy, and compassion of Christ is all because of the power of the Holy Spirit in us who teaches us all things (John 14:26).
In conclusion, during the holiest week of the year, we have to accept the fact that we are weak. If Jesus, in all His power, decided to veil His deity and become a man just to fulfill the Father’s plan (Phil 2:6-8), then we, who are spiritually weak, have no choice but to submit to God.
This is my first installment in my personal reflection regarding the importance of knowing who Jesus is. I hope and pray, that as we progress in our walk with God, that our ultimate understanding of His nature would radically change the direction of our goals and aspiration in life.