Two things I know: Santa wears a big red hat and Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Although the one does not necessarily relate to the other in any way shape or form, both of these things to me are so blatantly obvious, this and that they share the same holiday. Not only are these two so obvious to me, but it seems that these two things represent truth. The only question then that one has to ask is what kind of truth these represent? Are they relative truths? Are they universal truths? Do they even matter?
Santa, I am sure most would suggest is a relative truth. Though he is a fictitious character, he represents an idea that many have internalized years. The idea that he projects is that if you are good, you get plenty of good things that you want. On the flip side if you are bad, you get plenty of bad things i.e. coal that you do not want. Although most people, or at least adult, sane people, understand that he is not real, many live their lives according to this Santa-ology. The reason that I suggest that this is a relative truth is because some people recognize that good does not always equal good; sometimes it equals bad. Sometimes good natured, upright persons do not get the things that are honorable, that are praiseworthy- they do not get the things that they diligently seek after. Instead, it seems like that which is sought after by persons who really deserve goes to those who in all honestly should be receiving bags of coal.
Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Contrary to what some would suggest, this is universal truth. This truth does not depend on one’s circumstances, it does not depend on one’s view and it does not even depend on one’s culture as this truth persists regardless if anyone believes it or not. Jesus came into the world to save us from ourselves, to save us from being swept away by our self-destructive ideologies so that we may know him. Contrary to Santa-ology, he does not teach that those who are good get what they want; instead he teaches the way of the cross. The way of the cross is death- a constant, deliberative death. This is a death that is not so much physical as it is spiritual, mental, and emotional and for this reason, even more painful. He admonishes us to die daily so that He can live through us. We decrease so that he can increase. We humble ourselves so that he can receive the glory. We become broken before Him so that He can put us back together according to His design.
The way of the cross brings inherent suffering- it is unavoidable! I cannot think of one single person in the entirety of the Biblical text that chose the way of the cross and did not experience extreme trials. In my opinion, a lot of those trials are brought on by ourselves and our need to have things done our way. Although our spirits are willing to undergo the process of reconstruction that the cross brings, when our flesh meets those wooden planks it often wants to go run and hide. Maybe I am wrong, but I speak as a person who has ran time and time again from the nails. I do not want to die, simply put, I just do not! But if this is the only way that Christ can truly live through me, I must surrender.
The good thing about this kind of death is that after crucifixion there is life again. Jesus was the supreme example of that as after he died, he resurrected to life anew and not just any kind of life- it was better than the life He had before because resurrection power flowed through his veins. For this reason I can assuredly say that God does not call us to die just for dying’s sake- he calls us to this process so that we may live better lives for His glory. I would reckon that we can do very little for God without resurrection power- but in order to have it we must be determined to first know Christ in His suffering, in His dying.
This is the hope that I hang on to, this is the truth that I that I live my life by. I do not want to take my chances on the ideology that preaches if I do all of the right things, I will get the right results. God and life itself has shown me that this kind of thinking is greatly erred. I would rather take my chances, no matter how painful, on the hope of resurrection! Throughout these months, God has surely taken me through a daily process of dying as he has torn all of the pleasantries of this world from my hands. I look all around me and see how many others are prospering and sometimes I ask myself, what am I doing wrong that I am not getting their results. Where is the dream job? Where are the finances? Where is the man? I am not suggesting in any way that these things will come to me when resurrection takes place, although I sure do hope they do! I am suggesting, however, that God will restore every single thing that life has snatched away from me and I am suggesting that all of the things that I am enduring now will make since. Until that day, my flesh meets the planks of that wooden cross and I submit to the Father.