Sometimes we think that just because something is simple, it’s easy. Indeed, there are many times this is true. Simple equations in math are often easy to solve. Some simple concepts in logic are easy to understand. And if you’re into yoga, the simple poses are much easier than the more complicated ones.
Here’s another simple thing. Accepting God’s gift of reconciliation through the love he demonstrated by sacrificing Jesus on the cross for us is a no-brainer. Why don’t all people do it? They don’t all do it because they understand that living out that choice is anything but easy. The way of Jesus is the way of the cross, the way of discipleship and sacrifice. What we want in the flesh is to live for ourselves. Jesus wants us to live for others, and nothing could be more challenging. He went even further, instructing us to love our enemies. In short, demonstrate your love for God by loving each other. Impossible.
So, are we doomed to constant failure in trying to live like Jesus did, pursuing the impossible? It may feel that way sometimes. But Jesus didn’t leave us the way we were, and he did not leave us alone. When we choose to follow Jesus, a transformation begins – carried out in our lives by his very own spirit. Paul puts it this way:
“I am confident in this, that he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”Philippians 1:6
Though it may seem like a one step forward, two steps back process, success does not rest with us. Completion of the transformation to be like Jesus rests in Jesus, and he is faithful. He proved his ability to accomplish anything by defeating our undefeatable enemy, death. His resurrection is our assurance of being exactly like him when we see him as he is!
As we approach the passion and Easter, let’s remind ourselves of how far God went to bring us back to himself and of his promise to finish his work in us.