Imagine a world, where you and everyone you know, are hanging off the side of a cliff. Everyone clings to the edge with only their fingertips. A ghastly fall to certain death is only seconds away as grips and strength fade. At the very moment that you slip away and began to plummet to the rocks below, a hand reaches out, grabs you and trades places with your falling body. From safety of solid ground above the cliff side, you turn to see a man falling to his death. You see this man spinning and tumbling in the air. He smashes into a crumpled and bloody mess, in your place, on the jagged boulders below.
Realizing only after the event that the man who had saved you was someone you had hated for your entire life, what do you do? You, and everyone else who is still barely hanging onto the cliffs all around, had spat on him, cursed him, refused him. He had only love for everyone, even in the midst of countless tantrums and endless rebellion. He had never asked for anything, but had always only given, regardless of the vitriol spewed at him. That man wanted nothing but good, in ways that everyone knew in their hearts were best, but instead of accepting countless offers of relationship with him, people threw rocks and insults his way. This man just sacrificed his life for yours, what do you do?
Lets take this story a step further. Suppose, after the terrifying fall and painful death, endured in your place, this man reappears. He shows up at your side and offers to do the same thing he has done for you, for all the folks that are perilously close to falling to the same death you just watched him succumb to. He offers his hand to each of them one by one only to be repaid with profanities rejection. He begs you to relay to your friends, neighbors, and even strangers, that his offer is genuine. You know he is speaking truthfully because he showed you that it was by taking your place earlier. He endured what should have been your fate, and offers to do the same for everyone else if only they will accept it.
What do you do? Do you refuse to get involved? Do you shy away from helping? Do you continue down a path of concerning yourself with only you? Do you turn your attention to making a more comfortable place in which to watch all those helpless people fall? Do you continue the spitting and rejection of the man who selflessly reached out to you?
A life given to Christ…what does that look like? It is a question I have been turning over in my mind for the last few weeks. It is question every Christian should be looking at, regularly. We accept Jesus as our savior, accept his sacrifice on the cross, in our place, and move forward into life knowing that our sins have been forgiven, but then what? Our eternal destination has been changed. We have been given a new life, washed clean from our past transgressions, free to enjoy a life in common relationship with the creator, so now what do we do?
A life given, really? If I choose to give my LIFE, to anyone, then I am choosing to submit to their will. I am deciding that I will model myself in such a way that it will be obvious to whom I belong. My passions and desires will be theirs. My time, treasure, and talent will belong to them. It is my LIFE I am giving, after all. I’m not volunteering moments or items, I am choosing to give everything I have and everything I am, that is my life, right?
I say this is what I have done, but have I? Is it just words or feelings? Is my LIFE no longer my own? Did I give it away fully and completely? Often, I’m not so sure. Thankfully, that man is always there with his outstretched hand, ready to step into my place, again and again.