We are all suffering from a terminal illness, but I think I have it worse than most. Apathy is a drug, one that drains our life away like marijuana, cocaine, or meth; anything we can get strung out on and in which we can lose ourselves. I’ve sat, stagnant in my own selfishness, in my own lethargic state of mind and body, so self-satisfied in bringing myself the maximum amount of pleasure for the least amount of pain.
The heart of every man is pure selfishness.
We all look out for ourselves. We’re all in this to get the most out of it. Part of my problem, at least a major symptom of the real disease has been what you have not witnessed on this blog. I say, “what you have not witnessed”, because it’s been a while since I’ve posted; more than that, it’s been a while since I posted something that offended someone. Not that I wish to offend people, but I would rather offend all than not offend one. If I offend someone, at least that means I stand for something. But if I don’t offend anyone, what am I doing?
The truth is, the cross of Christ is offensive. Worse than that, the cross of Christ is oppressive. No greater plague to mankind has ever been known. There is no more gruesome, more revolting, more disgusting display of self-sacrifice, (something we humans have no concept of), in all of existence. The very thought that someone would call the cross, and what happened there beautiful is the most horrific, most depraved, most repulsing thought of all.
Because of the cross, people are oppressed. Because of the cross people are enslaved. Because of the cross people are tortured. Because of the cross people are murdered. Because of the cross men sit up at night and wonder what their life has been for, what all of their work has amounted to. Because of the cross, people living their own lives are so inconvenience, so uncomfortable, so bombarded with the intrusion of God upon their life when they never invited Him.
Worse than all of that, because of the cross people gave their lives willingly to serve a Master, in rebellion of their innate selfish nature, people laid down their pride to become slaves. Because of the cross people live and die in Jesus’s name.
The cross of Christ is oppressive to mankind.
If I can make a difference, if I can offend someone in a good way, it will be by preaching the cross of Christ. Because even those who have accepted Jesus Christ, His sacrifice on the cross, their sins of been paid for, and they are among the redeemed on their way to heaven, living and serving Jesus Christ, even they take offense at the cross of Christ. It’s not just offensive and oppressive to sinners, but it is offensive and oppressive to every Christian who knows they will never live up to it. It sheds light on the sin in our lives. It reveals the hidden secrets of our heart. It chastises our spirits. It exhorts us to be better followers, better Christians, better people.
If you look at it that way, everyone needs to be offended in some way. And if I’m not offending you, if I’m not lifting up the cross of Christ as an example, if I’m not showing you that you can’t live the life He lived, all you can do is let Him live that life through you; if I can’t show you your failures, and show you His infallible nature and power to work through your failures and in spite of them, then what am I doing?
We’re all sick. We all suffer. I have a medicine: a cure. Yet it sits in a bottle on a shelf.
O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
The answer is Christ. The answer is surrender: daily crucifying my life in a show of total commitment to Jesus Christ and His calling.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist