by Chris Riddle, 2006 EMS graduate serving with Virginia Mennonite Missions in Bari, Italy.
Read: Luke 23: 1-49
Luke 23:23, 49 “But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed…But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”
Have you ever said, “Today I want to make a difference for Christ. Today I want to share Christ with someone else.”? Many of us have done this in the comfort of our home or in the midst of fellow believers in church, but then we encounter the world outside and something changes.
The people outside don’t want to hear about Christ, they want to do what they feel like doing and do not want to be burdened with “rules”. For them, Jesus is dead and they would prefer to leave him that way. When we meet with this type of resistance, often we are like those that saw Christ on the cross; we step back and watch from a distance as the crowd shouts us down.
But Christ shows another way even in the midst of all the evil. “…do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves…” (Luke 23:28) Jesus told the women as he carried the cross and to the thief who believed even at the point of death, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43). Christ understood why he had to suffer and that those who believe in him would also, but he gives hope even during the suffering.
Are we willing to suffer today, even a little, for Christ? Can we accept that we may hear unkind words and be scoffed at when we tell others about Christ, what he has done for us and can do for them? Draw close to Christ to hear his words of hope for you, even in the midst of your suffering.