A Joyful Journey! or One To Be Sacrificed? YES!
Devotional Thoughts for this Day:
5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. 7 They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem. 8 O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. Psalm 84:5-8 (NLT)
51 As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 (NLT)
882 To be a Christian, and in particular to be a priest—bearing in mind, too, that all of us who are baptized share in Christ’s priesthood—is to be at all times on the Cross.(1)
The Book of Psalms has many verses that talk about the journey toward Jerusalem. Often, we picture the journey as one of great joy, one where people are excited, because of the feasts, because of the nature of the “homecoming”, and because that journey would be spiritually refreshing.
They were going to witness the sacrifice that would assure them that they were still God’s people, that as they prayed toward the temple, even as Solomon prayed centuries before, they sins would be forgiven. They would find rest…and peace beyond understanding.
For Jesus, the journey was different. He set out resolutely, for He knew He wasn’t going to witness the sacrifice, but to be the sacrifice. He was going to bear our sins, to unite us to His death, and to His resurrection. Yet the author of Hebrews tells us, that this too was a journey for the joy set before Him. A journey that was so much a paradox, as life dies and lives. As shame gives way to joy, as Holiness absorbs evil, as Sacrifice brings healing.
For us, going to church is a joy as well, but it is also a great sacrifice. Not His again, rather we are joined to His. We die with Him, we rise with Him, we gain a share in the precious Body which was given, and the blood given out. We love our lives, and gain them, all in one moment. Our sinful nature killed off again, yet in doing so, a precious life comes into view.
Our lives become living sacrifices, that is the result of our journey to Jerusalem….It is no long us that live, but Christ that lives in us. We are told in Philippians 2:5 to have this mind of Christ, the mind that sets aside everything else, to sacrifice everything and serve. This is something that can only happen if we are in Christ!.
So let us go to Jerusalem, with joy anticipating the cross, and our being made a living sacrifice…. as we are joined with Jesus.
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3114-3116). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.