A few weeks ago, Keith Giles, a wonderful saint who writes books and blogs about Jesus and His Kingdom at subversive1, among other places, featured an excerpt from The Path of Freedom as a guest post at his place. I’d love for you to go read it there, and check out Keith’s heart for the Lord. Be blessed.
The Path of Jesus led Him up a hill with a Cross on His back. Ultimately, He would be nailed to this Cross, and breathe His last upon it.
Those who seek to come after Him will assuredly encounter the same.
“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps”
Most Christians are only familiar with one side of the Cross, that being of the side of Christ bearing the weight of the world’s sins, ultimately to death, for our atonement and Salvation. Thank God for this finished work that makes us one with Him.
But Christ was not only on the Cross, suffering for us; He was on the Cross as an example for us. The first side of the Cross is for the sinner; the second side for the follower, the disciple. The Gate was for the sinner; The Path is for the follower.
Jesus said the way to The Path, The Gate, was narrow. He is the only Way. But as The Gate is narrow, so too is The Path, and few find it.
But Jesus said that Life was at the end of The Path, not at the beginning, just inside The Gate. Again, He was speaking of something much richer than an ending destination of Heaven versus Hell. He was speaking of an Eternal reality of Divine Abundance in Life in the Kingdom now.
This is a process. This Life, while promised at the end of The Path, is realized little by little along the Way – as He is increased, and we are decreased. This is the Law of Life. He will become more; we will become less. Life and Freedom are manifested in the process.
Jesus is both Substitute and Example; both Savior and Lord; both Author and Perfecter; both the Narrow Gate and the Difficult Path.
If there is any doubt as to the reason for a lack of Freedom in our lives as Christians, we need only examine our ultimate posture towards the Cross. Is the Cross something that Jesus saved us from, or something that Jesus saved us for? The fruit, or the lack thereof, will bear witness either way. The fruit of Freedom cannot be ripe and abundant without the full, two-sided work of the Cross.
So we may ask: Can we enter the Gate but not walk the Path? Can we be saved and go to heaven and not follow? Can Jesus be Savior and not Lord? I believe, as I’ve said, that these can, by His Grace. But this forfeits so much, and is most assuredly not Freedom. So my question to the question is then:
How free do we want to be?