Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pull Me Close

There's a line in John's Gospel that Jesus says after his finally entry into Jerusalem. He says: "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself (John 12:31-32)." The power of Jesus' cross is that he takes upon himself the sinfulness of all humanity. He carries it freely; by his own choice. Through his act of sacrifice he defeats death (the ruler of this world) and gives us all the opportunity for eternal life through faith in him.

Through our baptism into Christ we are drawn into his cross. When I was a kid growing up near Milwaukee one of my favorite pastimes was going to the Milwaukee County Museum. I loved seeing the Streets of Old Milwaukee, the totem pole outside, and the display of the stuffed lions getting hunted. I also loved the big yellow coin funnel in the main lobby of the museum. I could spend hours putting coins in the little slot and watching them roll in a circle along the sides of the funnel. At first they would roll slowly, but as gravity pulled the coins closer to the middle they rolled faster and faster and faster. There was no escape for that coin. Eventually it was going to be sucked in.

Through our baptism we are released into the "coin funnel" that is Christ. We live our lives thinking we might want to pull away... that our way is best. But the Lord does not let go. He has pulled us close to him through his cross. He has promised us abundant life... eternal life. As we roll faster and closer to the core we see that the Lord's cross stands in the middle. The cross is Jesus' glory. It reveals that he has done all of this because of his love for us.

There are plenty of ups and downs in life. I'm sure you have had your share. It feels like you are rolling out of control. The future is uncertain and your faith may seem distant. Through it all, though, the Lord is still pulling you close to him. Through his cross Jesus makes the ruler of this age impotent in his attempts to pull you away. You belong to Christ! Enjoy the ride and tell your story because there's only one place you're going... and that's to him.