The kind of death that brings Life
God is very deliberate.
Jesus' life was short. His death was painful, shameful, and vulnerable. When He rose from the grave there was no live footage He could use to "convince" the world He was God. To this day majority of His people still do not acknowledge Him as the Son of God.
Salvation's story was not endorsed by the most reputable newspapers or circulated by the most sensational blogs either.
At the beginning, He chose to come through a simple couple with no special titles, no buoyant bank accounts, or prime real estate properties.
His earthly parents didn't have the latest range rover, or the last years model.
Before Mary could comprehend the full extent of what the angel was telling her, she was carrying a child whom she didn't have a choice in his conception, in a culture that was unforgiving of a woman who conceived out of wedlock. It would be a season of tension in her family.
Joseph was probably not the hottest "rave" in town either as we fondly paint. Their age difference would likely have been a lot. At that time women married very early while the men waited till they finished apprenticeship and were ceremoniously acknowledged in the community as "men". It was a young girl betrothed to an older man from a family of carpenters. No Hollywood story.
In reality the manger scene was not " cute". They would have been extremely exhausted from a long journey by foot and donkey, hungry, homeless, lonely and confused as to all the stress experienced when it was the son of God they were supposed to be carrying. No friends to ping for advice, no google map for direction.
And when a woman is in labour, the baby doesn't understand "chill let's find a nice cosy place first for you". It just wants out. God chose to come at a time where there was no radio or television. No pictures to keep record of how He actually looked throughout the different stages of His life. Joseph could not video His birth with the latest high resolution camera phones, upload selfies of the cute baby and latest mum for friends and family, and update timelines that gave minute by minute footage of the world's greatest event.
While all the technologies mentioned above are NOT bad and are the advantageous realities of our current culture....He chose NOT to come this way. Remember I said God is deliberate...
He is very deliberate. Most often than not God works in the ordinariness of life...He will interrupt time in the most unassuming ways, and start up a spiral of events that will change history. Look at David, or Esther, or Abraham, or Paul. Nothing was flamboyant, elaborate, colorful about their lives initially. But take a closer look and you would see a life of sacrifice, enduring commitment, and ordinary men who didn't know that the world would one day be reading about their inspiring lives in nicely covered leather bound books called Bibles.
Oh but here is the beauty of it all!:
That ordinary men chose to die to self so that God's will be accomplished, and many often paying with their lives. And we see this pattern over and over again that:
- In death is life born... - It is in taking up your cross to follow Him that lies power that makes history... - In the dying of a seed is the birth of a tree that will feed and shelter so many...
"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds" John 12:24
Our "dying" is directly proportional to our truly living a life of greatness. True greatness is wrapped in the quiet yielding to our "dying daily". Even though our decision to be born again automatically grants us unhindered access to unimaginable riches in Christ, we may never "experience" continually, the deepest wells of His grace, His love, His peace, until we have put that seed called 'Self' into the ground and buried it. Only then can we be raised into that "newness" of life that is indescribable, incomprehensible, irreplaceable in Him. You see, the fullness of our joy comes firstly from our private intimate times with Him, and secondly through our uncelebrated commitment to His will.
I said earlier that God is very deliberate.
So, observe His patterns. Learn His ways.
His operations are not like man; we are by default self-seeking, driven by the impatience of selfish ambition, having a constant craving to be praised, to be acknowledged. We blatantly overlook a time-tested fact that history's record of greatness is filled with ordinary men making great sacrifices, often unnoticed and often content to be; and heaven's books are filled with names unknown to our Guinness book of records. Heaven is filled with countless crowns of glory worn by 'ordinary men'.
AND SO this is my earnest prayer for all Our Father's children this Easter season; Father, may we see past the filters of our 'self' into the crevices of Your heart; the most powerful God offering Himself in the most humbling of ways...a constant reminder that we are called to be as You are.
I pray that "the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.." Ephesians 1:18-19
© Ozichi Omotade 2018.