John 11:1-27; 2 Chronicles 10-11; Psalm 75
Life was getting tense for Jesus and His disciples. They knew that if they went to Jerusalem they could be heading for death. Then word came that a friend was sick and Jesus got ready to lead the group to see Him. They reminded Jesus of the death threats, but Jesus wouldn’t be deterred. He was resolved to go, as we discover later, to bring Lazarus back from the dead. Knowing what would happen it appears that Thomas reacted first: “Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with Him.’” (John 11:16) The norm for the Christian life is danger. As the Church has evolved throughout the last two millennia every time the church became corrupt and top heavy, those truly committed to Jesus tried to stay true to the faith. They were persecuted by the corrupt leaders who would have claimed they were doing it in the name of Jesus. Throughout history non-believers and those who adhered to other belief systems have sought out followers of Jesus to persecute and kill them. The freedom we have in the United States is not the norm. The norm for the confession of faith should include this thought of Thomas: “Let me follow Christ so that I may die with Him.” Whatever freedoms we may have today, or not have, our commitment to Christ needs to include a willingness to die for Him. When we are committed to die with Him, maybe then we’ll fully understand what it means to live with Him and for Him each day.
Lord God, it’s so easy to follow You where I live. I don’t even need to change very much. Teach me the truth about following You, though. Give me a willingness to die for You. Let that spirit then flow through my life and make me one who is better able to live for You.