I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Galatians 2:20 AMP
On Monday we talked about how Lent is a time of preparing to give our all to the Lord. We looked at how Mary, in desperate humanness and love, anointed the Lord with oil and wiped his feet with her hair. Mary was able to do this because Jesus incarnated with the sole purpose of giving his all to and for us. John the Elder says that we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Christ gave his all so that we would be able to give our all – and get him in return.
Our egos would have us believe that, by giving all of ourselves at the feet of Christ, the “me” we know will disappear. Our egos convince us that this is a painful event and that we should avoid it. Our egos aren’t necessarily wrong, if we’re being honest. Prostrating yourself at the feet of Jesus means death… But not for us. Just for our egos. Somehow they always fail to mention that.
By ego I mean the self-preserving and self-serving “I”. The one who wants to get ahead of other people; our most selfish selves, our fallen selves. And yes, the death of ego is painful. In many ways I think it feels similar to being nailed to a Cross. But we need to remember at whose feet it is we’re dying here: the feet of someone who overcame death.
You see, an amazing thing happens when we anoint God with our all – not just the presentable bits, but the whole, sometimes nasty, shebang, ego included. And that is simply resurrection. When we die at the feet of Christ, we are made alive in him. When we consecrate Christ with ourselves, we in turn are consecrated by his blood into life. This is communion. We are made alive to our true selves, the selves God wanted for us all along.
In Luke 9:23-27 Jesus says,
“Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” (MSG)
This is why Jesus wants us to come to him as we are: because there is no time to lose. We are dying. Every moment that we hold ourselves back from Jesus, we are suffocating, and he wants to breathe air back into our faltering lungs. Our egos worry only for their own deaths; Jesus worries about ours.
For today’s prayer, give this song a listen: