Lent Devotion Day 47

Source: Ken Costa

Luke 24:44-49 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah[a] is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses[b] of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

At the cross, the decisive event in human history has taken place. It is the pivotal point of the greatest reversal ever known: the place where sin, death, and the powers of this world were defeated, once and for all. There is nothing more central to the Christian life than this. But we can’t stop here. The cross of Jesus doesn’t only eliminate the problems of sin and death, nor does it only answer humanity’s longing for God; it also marks the prophetic fulfilment of the countdown to a brand new community. This is a community that truly knows the power of joy. Not the downcast, grim, killjoy Christian of popular thought; it is the opposite. This is a community empowered like no other then or since to change the world in which we live by being changed ourselves.
All Christians now have a mandate to fulfil and the power to achieve it. And to miss this would be to form an anaemic picture of what was achieved at the cross. Through the cross we enter day one of a new era in history. The inauguration of a new dawn is followed and fulfilled by the resurrection and the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost. Taken together, these three events—the cross, the resurrection, and the giving of the Holy Spirit—initiate and empower our agenda for change in the world.
The prophecy of the Old Testament has been fulfilled and its fulfilment leads to our fulfilment as purposeful human beings, released into the world by God.
We are to be in the world, changing it to be more aligned with the message of the good news of Jesus. But we are not of it. For the cross to be a victory, its power must give us the strength to face the demands and pressures of life’s battles and to understand at a deeper level the nature of those battles. The threefold cross, resurrection, and giving of the Spirit is the engine we need to be released into fulfilled lives of sacrifice, service, love, and purpose—to be agents of change in the world. But first, perhaps this is the moment to ask God to come and bring about the change in you that will enable you to be the change you pray for.
The cross stands above it all. Lord, today, I want to be reoriented. I stand, with all who follow you, at the foot of the towering cross, and I allow its power to reach wide and deep into every corner of my life that I might be oriented away from the self and reach out with power, purpose, love, and grace wherever you may call me, amen.