Ansell: Jesus died for us so we can live for him
I’m writing this early on Monday morning after Easter Sunday and I’m wondering what kind of long-term impact Resurrection Day had on the average church attender yesterday.
Last week, on Holy Week it seemed like everybody on social media was a Christian. We don’t have to guess who is and who isn’t a Christian all we have to do is look up and see who is carrying a cross and following Jesus (Matthew 16:24).
I used a visual aid yesterday, I found a wooden cross about 8 feet long and 6 feet across in a storage room at the church building. I shared what Jesus said, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”
If we had a big ol’ cross like that at our back doors and if we picked it up every day as we went to work, went to the store and went to school I think we would live a different life. You can’t carry the cross and follow Jesus without knowing it and constantly being reminded of what you are doing.
As I gave thought to this idea I thought I couldn’t play tennis or run or play golf or fly fish. It’s not that those things are bad but maybe the cross would keep us focused on what our lives are really supposed to be about. In other words if you can’t do it while carrying the cross then you can’t do it. You can’t follow Jesus and go dancing at the local honky tonk (sorry, but it would be pretty hard to boogie with that cross on your shoulder).
In my Bible, in John 3:16 I have my name written over the word “world.” It says, “For God so loved little Kenny Ansell, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” My point is Jesus came for me, Jesus died for me so that I can live for Him. Jesus is the most serious person I know and I want to be like Him. He was serious about dying for me so I want to be just as serious about living for Him.
We did something different this year. We bought the 22-year-old that used to live at our house (Klaire, our baby girl) an Easter basket. It really wasn’t a basket, it was a box we mailed to Houston with an Easter card, some Stumptown Coffee (really great coffee she can’t afford to buy), a candle and a T-shirt that said, “Vacation, Vacation, Vacation" (she works a full time job at HBU, teaches dance to little girls in the inner city and is getting her MBA so she is going to need a vacation).
I also bought myself a T-shirt that says, “Make Today Matter.” The life, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ mattered and it still matters the day after Easter therefore I want my life to matter. Does that make sense?
He told me to tell you that.