"On this Good Friday, May we stay with Christ, to his death, even death on a cross."
7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ,* the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ* and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
1) "...because of Christ;" "...surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord;" "...I regard them as rubbish;" "...gain Christ;" "...faith in Christ;" "...know Christ and the power of his resurrection;" "...like him in his death;" "...gains... loss;" "...faith in Christ;" "...gain Christ and be found in him;" "...gain Christ and be found in him;" "...the righteousness from God based on faith;" "...I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection;"
2) by becoming like Christ in his death, we come to know him and the power of his resurrection. I'm reading Bonhoeffer's the Cost of Discipleship and hear the evocation of "costly grace" the grace that demands obedience and belief at the same time. "The one who believes obeys; the one who obeys believes." Can we embrace a desire to know Christ that is so deep that we can become like him in his death? It is no easy thing to give up the things I feel I've earned: respect, regard, authority, leadership, decency, even a little curtesy. When I feel I've been denied any of these things I get angry and feeling empathy for the individual who has denied me is simply impossible. I struggle to experience empathy when I feel empathy condones sin. But does Christ condone our actions when he asks God to forgive us for we know not what we do? Or is he just showing empathy even though we haven't earned it, still in hope (in his case certain hope) that we will be transformed by that compassion?
3) What is the invitation in all this? To regard as rubbish the things I feel I've earned: respect, regard, authority, leadership, decency and even curtesy. To find empathy for the people who would deny me all things. To know Christ and the power of his resurrection.
"Holy One, help us to know you and the power of your resurrection by becoming like you in your death."
Breathprayer: "Gain Christ... and be found in him.: