Tuesday, March 22, 2016

when have you forsaken Christ?

"My God! My God! Why has thou forsaken Me?"

These words, uttered by Jesus while on the Cross, magnify that He was not only the Son of God...but also, the Son of Man. He had feelings just as we do. He laughed, He also cried. He healed, but He also walked the same journey that we also walked. He felt pain, yes...but it was His example of how He dealt with that pain that should be our inspiration as well.

At this time I am also reminded though, of Peter. Of his journey, of his faith and yes, sadly, of his temporary lack of it. Peter is so much like every one of us. When Peter denied Jesus three times, did Jesus think, "Peter! Peter, why hast thou forsaken Me?"

To forsake something or someone means to give up on them, to distance oneself, to literally abandon them. What a scary thought. Like a child, lost in the supermarket crying out, "mommy!" Like a child having a nightmare, crying out, "daddy!" Like a child who is frustrated with life, crying out, "I can't do this anymore!"  That child, even for the fraction of a moment it takes to be soothed, it feels forsaken. Sadly again, many children never have that comfort, though they may spend a lifetime seeking it...in many ways, destructive solutions take over. Drug use, alcohol, toxic relationships. And once more comes that cry..."Someone, please....anyone! Why have you forsaken me?"

This can be seen from the opposite side as well. When someone is crying out in need, do you help...or turn away? Do you see the need and alleviate it, or walk away and allow it to fester? For every time you walk away, you have not only forsaken that person, you have just also forsaken Christ!

"I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'…  ~Matthew 25:43-45

When the Jews at the time cried out for Jesus' crucifixion, they gave up on Him. When Jesus took that agonizing walk with His cross, He was forsaken. How many people stepped out to help Him, even briefly? At the foot of the Cross, as He was breathing His last, who stood with Him?

And today...when YOU are asked about how you live out your faith, what do you do? How do you see Jesus today? How do you regard those who are lost...who are addicted? Homeless? In need of a helping hand? To any and all of these questions, if you feel ashamed to say that you follow Jesus, you have just forsaken Him. It is easy to be distracted by the noise that is all around you: movies that take the Name of the Lord in vain, the sex, the violence, those whose greed for money and pleasures mean more to them rather than seeking good...all of these are examples of how God has been forsaken.

"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." ~ Matthew 10: 32

Luke 12:8
"I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God."

Romans 10:9
"If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Revelation 3:5
"The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels."