I don't know about you, but I find sometimes I take the amazing work done for me on the Cross for granted.
Sometimes I look at Jesus sort of like a Father, or a Big Brother who is always there; who can be counted on ... who will always come through for me, without really realizing the amazing price He paid for that honour. Sure, I know it in my knower, but I catch myself sometimes.
How can we really know? In the intimate sense of the word? It is such a huge victory. A huge gift. Beyond what we can really comprehend in our little finite minds. How can we really know without taking that cup of suffering along with Him?
We have gained and received all of the benefits without the cost.
Then I remember ...
Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Ah yes, that cross ... that deeper relationship ... that cup of suffering ... crucifying the flesh ... walking in the Spirit and denying my screaming emotions ... ack ... loving my neighbour as myself?
What about the Good Samaritan? Would I do that for someone on the side of the road? What about those who have no physical, visible wounds, but those who are so wounded inside they cannot help themselves, let alone give a thing back to the relationship? I believe I will ... I believe I do.
But it is not my actions. It is my heart He wants to change. It hurts so much to see how much wickedness remains in this heart. The woundedness that still remains.
Oh Lord. Please deliver me from this wretched flesh .. and lead me in the way everlasting!