Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The more we have, the harder it is

The more we have, the more we have to let go of to make room for Jesus. A centurion was an officer in the Roman army, over a hundred men. In the story of God coming to earth as a man, the Centurion who supervised the Messiah's death wasn't the first to face the choice to make room; there was also the Centurion who made Jesus marvel. But the centurion at Calvary was caught up in a very different day in the life of Christ. Did he tell his men they had permission to cast lots for Jesus' clothing? Did he order the making of the sign at the top of the cross? Did he add his voice to the mocking jeers? Did he count as Jesus was lashed? Did he oversee the hammering of the nails? He helped put the Son of God to death. 

Just after three o'clock in the afternoon, when the whole land was cloaked in darkness, the high and heavy curtain separating men from the Holy of Holies in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The physical obstacle to know the Almighty was removed, and Jesus declared out lout that His work was finished. This was the day Simeon had foretold, as he stood in the temple with the young parents holding their baby son, the day that would pierce Mary's heart. The earth shook in response to the unfolding battle on the hill, and the Centurion watched. 

As the veil was torn in the temple, the veil of unbelief was removed from the Officer's heart. He moved his power and prestige out of the way of his faith, and he believed. Having heard Jesus speak to the criminals, having watched the divine darkness wrap around them, having heard Christ pray to His Father, and finally having watched the Son give up his life .... he made room in his heart to BELIEVE.

Despite the fact that his soldiers would've been with and around him, he declared, "Certainly this man was innocent!" (Luke 23:47) and “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matt. 27:54).

He saw Jesus. He praised God for what he witnessed. He believed. 

If you're like me, you probably have a lot left to do before our Christmas celebrations this weekend. Food to prepare, gifts to wrap (and buy), events to attend, cleaning to do. The temptation builds to get our work done and ignore taking time to make room to see Jesus, praise God for who He is, and strengthen our belief. We can read Advent stories and watch Christmas programs of the amazing events of Christmas, without making room to see them anew, praise God for them, and affirm our belief; we can rush past the point of Jesus coming. If we give in to the temptation, we'll find ourselves on December 26th feeling rather empty, disappointed, and even blue. We will have missed the joy that comes from pushing aside a "hundred" things to make room for the Son of God who came for us. 

Today let's make room to see Jesus, praise God, and believe.

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Rebecca Bristow said...

Julie,  Thank you so much for sharing these words... as I scramble to get done with everything this morning I just popped on here because as you wrote I had too much to do to make "real" time for my quiet time... Wow, God has spoken once agian into my heart via your blog.  You are such a blessing! 

Julie_Sanders said...

So glad to hear that Rebecca. I'm right with you today, but I'm asking the Lord to rein me in. ;)

Julie Sanders

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