“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. ‘The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared’ (Luther).”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
There are lessons to be found everywhere … memories of bitter before the sweet, questioning why there had to be a crown of thorns worn by Jesus, and how happy it is to love yet also the pain that comes with it.
The stem of a rose is covered with thorns; sharp and painful when you accidentally brush against it, yet the flower on top is beautiful and kissed by the sun so the delicate folding petals are allowed to bloom. The quote above made me think how I, as a believer, am supposed to be. Bearing the cost, sharing the disgrace and shame born by my Lover, and yet the beauty of His love shining ever brightly all the time. It gives me such pleasure and desire to be that Bride.
As Paul the Apostle said, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith. Romans 1:16-17
Behold me, I am Your little handmaiden bearing the cost.