When are we going to die on the cross?
She, apparently, has believed that we will die on the cross – that this is how we end our life here on earth. While I explained that it isn’t usually the case anymore, it got me thinking. And I remain in awe at her acceptance that believing in Jesus will eventually bring death on a cross.
There was a time in our history where choosing to be Christian meant near certain death. One only has to look at saints Perpetua and Felicity to know how real that threat was. We’ve lost that constant threat in our western society. Cassia’s comment reminded me how life-changing my decision to be Christian is – or should be. Am I willing to be put to death for my belief in Jesus? And while we can talk all we want about spiritual persecution and political persecution, there’s a finality when we think about physical death.
My answer is yes. But I do not feel brave. Nor do I feel confident. I do, however, trust. I have met Jesus and cannot deny him any more than I can deny my own self exists.
As I look at other Christians around me, even ones I’ve known for years, I do wonder if each has had at least one experience of meeting Jesus themselves. I wonder if they have that personal encounter that, in times of trouble and doubt, they can turn to and remind themselves of the person of Jesus, the one whom they’ve met and cannot deny.
For without that experience, it becomes much harder to maintain faith. Not impossible, but persecution would be much harsher to endure.
So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’