Like every other intending couple, we looked forward to our wedding day with so much anticipation. Everything we did or talked about for the 12 months between the proposal and the actual wedding day was mostly about ‘the Day’. The dress, the hall, the food, the guest list, the location, the cost – such an exhausting list. I remember that we were told to enjoy the planning process by a lot of people, we tried our best to and have also shared this advice with those who have come behind us. Why was it important to enjoy the process, you may wonder.
From our experience, we learnt a lot during the planning process about ourselves, our parents, siblings, friends and other important areas of our future lives. We learned how to manage all the important relationships that were about to be fused by our love, we learned how to allocate resources, we learned how to manage expectations, we learn how to negotiate, we learned how to win and lose honourably, we learned how to disagree and still return to the drawing board, our patience was tested and we developed vendor management skills. The most important lesson for us was knowing that when the wedding day came, we were both ready for the responsibility that those rings and vows represent. The process prepared us.
In my Christian walk, I have often focused a lot on the Cross, after all, it is the symbol of sacrifice and salvation. Last week, I gain fresh insight, that the path to the cross is just as important to the Jesus story as the cross itself. God sent Jesus not only to die for us but to live for us, that in His living we will have a model of the life that we can live in our human form. His death on the cross, a symbolic representation of the burden of our sins that He took upon Himself was also a bold statement that points to His living. His death reminds us that He lived on earth like us and amongst us and did not sin, so we too can live like Him by daily choosing God in our minute by minute decisions. The more godly decisions we make, the more natural it becomes for us until He is fully formed in us.
When I look at the path to the cross, I see a few highlights worth sharing:
• He spent His early years like every other child, in the confines of a home under the tutelage and protective custody of His father and mother
• At the temple, through His grasp of Scripture, He taught us that understanding of scripture can be attained at an early age
• When John displayed discomfort with baptising Him, preferring a role swap, He knew the timing of His assignment and was patient for His manifestation
• When it was His time, He read His manifesto and went on to check each box, fulfilling everything that Prophet Isaiah spoke concerning Him.
• For forty days and throughout His ministry, He was tempted in all ways and overcame
• He went about doing good
• He had the right answer for every situation
• Because of His message, He was loved by some and despised by others
• He knew when to be quiet, to speak a few words, to speak a lot
•He expressed different swings of emotions – fear, weeping, anger, frustration
• He gave us two powerful prayer models and taught us to pray
• He had customs that guided His daily existence that we can emulate
• He never left a room without sharing a message of hope calling His audience to repentance
• He was merciful and filled with compassion
Because He did these and many more, we are confident that we have a High Priest or big brother who can connect with our walk of faith.
The cross will only make sense when what you encounter on the path to the cross convict you. The surrender effect that we feel at the cross comes as a result of our encounter on that path. So glean and enjoy the ride!
In His footsteps, we place ours, one step at a time until the day of His second coming.
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