I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” (Matthew 5:10). There is one fact of which I am deeply aware. The call of Christianity is a call to suffer. This is the “shouting” message of the Beatitudes. We are not off on our own. We do not experience persecution in isolation. We are embraced by and filled with the essence of His being. Any persecution we experience only takes place by participating with Jesus in His movement in our lives and our world. Why would we hesitate to be a part of it? If Jesus’ death were the result of lawless hands (Acts 2:23), would I not experience the same persecution in His death? Peter uses this phrase to describe the Jewish religious leaders. Persecution comes from the self-sourcing in our world as well as within the religious organization. It comes from self-sourcing because this is the core of all sin.
We have marched into the middle of the essence of Cross Style. It is fundamental to the Christian experience; we have summarized it into a phrase and painted it on our wall. We have taken it as the slogan and expression of our basic belief. We cannot embrace Jesus without embracing His style. His style is the cross. The cross was not just one event in the life of Jesus. It was not something He had to go through and then it was over. The cross is the core of His thought process, His nature. He leaped off His throne as God and became man; it is the cross style. He was born in a stable; it is cross style. He did miracles and wanted nothing in return; it is cross style. As Master, He washed the disciples’ feet; it is cross style. He never ever thought about Himself, but poured out His life for others; it is cross style. Was He persecuted? Indeed, yes! It is cross style. Is not persecution a natural result of cross style in a self-sourced world? I am a Jesus pusher!!!