Before you read: I posted this back in the Fall of 2012. Both Cody and Claire are now in a different part of their life still fulfilling all that God has promised for them. Cody has been back in America for about a week now. Callie, and I drove up to Danville First Baptist to listen to him speak about his journey through Europe. He is back and because of answering the call to obedience to Christ he will be in Fayetteville taking his dream job. Claire is married, and living life to the fullest making disciples, and encouraging believers all over Northwest Arkansas. It truly is an honor to watch these two grow in and towards becoming like Jesus Christ.
The title will change until I feel like it fits the body, but for now it will remain “He came forward”. You can find this in John 18:4 “Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to Him, came forward…”. This is one of the most radical statements recorded by any of the authors of the four Gospels. Jesus, the Son of God, knew what death would satisfy the wrath of God. He knew the sufferings, and the beatings that went along with it. The man didn’t even hesitate. He came forward. Why would He do this? Thankfully I have been around friends who have been called to the mission field or even to a foreign area. Now their calling probably wasn’t as terrifying as facing crucifixion, but to me it is a small glimpse through a periscope looking at the agony that Jesus would face. These friends left family members behind, and churches, and friends. In small town, U.S.A, that is a pretty big step of faith. One of my friends Denver Cody Dennis, pretty bold name if you ask me, just left for Western Europe on a two year business trip. He left his family who is struggling with illness, and friends who are growing up, and every person misses being apart of that. Trust me its a pretty big thing. Then, I have this friend who I just made, she has decided to take on an internship at her church in Fayetteville. She is a sophomore here at Tech, and is one of the most audacious girls I have ever met. It is good getting to know her, and how God is calling her to obedience, and how she is being tested in that obedience. She will be ministering to the youth up in Northwest Arkansas, and Cody is sharing the Gospel in Western Europe.
God calls us to certain places, not because He couldn’t reach that area without us, but that he wants us to be a part of His glorious plan that He is doing in each and every nation on this planet. It is crazy that He would want to use us, but He does. Not only does He, He prepares us, He sets us apart after choosing us into His divine redemptive plan. We don’t deserve it. This is a big part of why Cody, and Claire went forward because they are doing, and will do great things in furthering the kingdom here on earth. Jesus had to go forward. If He didn’t many prophets would be found false, and the plan that God saw before the foundations of the world wouldn’t have been true. Paul would be a liar, along with the rest of the NT writers. The Holy Spirit wouldn’t have been given up, and we would have no hope. Jesus Christ is our hope. He is our mediator, and we can do nothing without Him. Because of this we too should go, and seek the areas He wants us to come forward. Whether it be at your local church, or your college. Going forward has many implications. We tend to look at Jesus’ life as a baby, and admire how adorable he was. We see Him as a young boy teaching leaders in the temple, and think of how simple his life must have been. Also we see Him as someone who lives in great love, with people surrounding Him. Sometimes we can picture Him as someone who was a popular figure of the day, who lived a good life, with friends, good health, and a loving family. Now John 18 back we see this. Jesus is the epic nature loving, earth saving dude of today from chapters 1-17. Why is it so hard to see Christ suffer? Is it because that is the lifestyle we don’t want inherit? Sadly, this is more true today than ever. “Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him”, should we go forward into the next parts to what He went forward to?
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters,[d] and they gathered the whole battalion[e] before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.”-Luke 27:27-31
Along with becoming heirs of all that is Christs, His suffering is ours too! How great the news that one day, maybe even very soon we will see persecution face to face, and have the opportunity to be counted worthy as the suffering Christ. From a non-believer looking in the life of a Christian, this would look absolutely insane, but this is what Christ summons us to.