Sunday, March 31, 2013

Following the Steps of Jesus

The Bible says in 1st Peter 2:21, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps..." What beautiful sentiment. Who among us has not wanted to be like Jesus Christ. I remember that chorus we used to sing in church "To be like Jesus." Why do I always bring up old and outdated choruses, you ask? Well because they are beautiful, not just in melody but the words are very meaningful to me. The chorus goes like this:
     To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus.
     On earth I long, to be like Him.
     All through life's journey, from earth to glory,
     I only ask to be like Him.

1st Peter 2:18-25 however speaks of the steps of Jesus as steps of  suffering for the Lord. The Bible says He, "did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:..." Yes Lord I still want to walk in your steps. But wait a minute. The Apostle Peter said in the verse 18 of this passage, "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward."  You mean to follow in the steps of Jesus we are to subject ourselves to the good and to the bad? Well, that is what Peter said.

Many desire to make a pilgrimage to what is called the Holy Land, the land of Israel. Maybe you have had the privilege to go there in the past. To walk where Jesus and His disciples walked, etc. But walking in Jerusalem and around the Sea of Galilee, is not following in His steps. The Apostle Paul wrote about Jerusalem and the Holy Land in Galatians 4:21-26, (I realize he was dealing with some folks who wanted to observe the strictness of the law of Moses) when he said that Abraham had two sons, one was born to Sarah and the other to Agar. Paul said it was an allegory in which, "Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."  In fact the Bible indicates that the Jerusalem that now is none other than spiritual Sodom and Egypt, "where also our Lord was crucified." (See Revelation 11:8 if you don't believe me) No, as much as we might like to take a trip to Israel, walking in Jerusalem that now is is not following in the steps of the Lord Jesus.

Where will the steps of Jesus lead us? Well He famously said in Matthew 26:42, "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." (See also Luke 22:42) He was speaking of the cross that He was soon to be nailed to, to suffer for our sins, "the Just for the unjust." (See 1st Peter 3:18) The Lord cried out from the cross in His final indignity "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (See Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34) The Lord tasted sin and its consequences for all mankind that day. I wrote a song years ago which had the following words:
      "It was for you my friend, Jesus suffered and died.
      Because He loved you so, He was crucified.
     Your life was sold in sin, Jesus bought it back again, 
     It was for you my friend, and it was for me."
We may not know where the steps of the Lord will lead us. But let me assure you that He will never lead you wrong. Wherever the Lord Jesus leads us, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (See Romans 8:28) So, having said all that I have said, I still want to follow in the steps of the Lord Jesus. How about you, will you follow in Jesus steps?

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