This is part of a book blogging project for Scot McKnight‘s book, One.Life. In this blogging project, various contributors will be looking at each chapter of the book as McKnight unfolds his answer to the question, “What is a Christian?” I believe that what McKnight has to say will challenge each of us in different ways on how we view what it means to follow Jesus and how we help children and families understand that. Please interact with what is written here in the comments section below. Also, I encourage you to pick up One.Life and read along with us adding your thoughts and impressions as well.
The review for chapter 14 is submitted by Barbara Graves. Barbara has been in children’s ministry for over 30 years and currently is the children’s pastor at Momentum Church in Woodstock, Georgia. She has been married to her husband, Chris for 27 years and they have 4 grown children. She loves to read and tweet, and drinks way too much coffee. You can also catch Barbara at her blog, Caffeinated Adventure.
Chapter 14: Cross.Life.Resurrection.Life
In this chapter, Scot McKnight looks at the Cross.Life.Resurrection.Life. I love this chapter because it deals with an entirely different perspective on what the Christian life should look like from what most Christians envision. So often, it seems that we reduce what the cross represents to a repeat-after-me prayer, and then we are on our way to living the glorious life of the redeemed. If we could fully grasp the cost of redeeming us from sin, I believe the idea of shuv that McKnight introduces would be more of a reality in our lives. McKnight brings out that the Hebrew word shuv, meaning repent, was more than just saying you’re sorry or feeling bad. Shuv represented a complete change in behavior. McKnight explains:
“Shuv means concrete, real life changes from unjust actions and unpeaceful deeds and unloving behaviors into the Kingdom.Life of acts of justice, deeds shaped by peace,and behaviors that reveal God’s love.”
What a difference this perspective will bring to the family that embraces it!
Here is one of my favorite parts of this chapter:
“The cross, where Jesus bore the pain and sin of others, became both a place of redemptive power and a model for discipleship.”
We are redeemed and then provided with the supreme example of how to live a life that will be the most rewarding life ever: a life lived or, as McKnight calls it, a Cross.Life. Parents that live this Cross.Life and discover the joy in it will raise children who have a completely different mindset about success than their peers. As their peers watch their parents work for new cars, bigger houses or other material gains, Cross.Life children will see their parents find joy in clothing the homeless, encouraging the elderly and sharing whatever they have with whoever needs it. McKnight goes on to say,
“Our sins morph into his, our death morphs into his, and our stories morph into his. And at the very same time, his righteousness morphs into ours,his life morphs into ours and his story morphs into our story.”
How can we read those words and not have our spirits soar? At Calvary we embrace Jesus and He embraces us. Just as we are, He exchanges everything that is wrong with us: all of our brokenness, all of our weaknesses, and all of our defiant sin for a heart that is like His. When we accept that change and embrace it, we find joy and satisfaction in the same life that Jesus lived—a life that helps others.
So many times those of us who have been brought up in church so easily can say, “Jesus died on the cross for my sins.” We say it so fast and so often that we lose the real meaning of those words. We understand that it was totally His decision and His grace that provides us with our salvation, but we have become calloused to the reality of what we say. We don’t take the time to meditate on the price the cross extracts. McKnight challenges us to change.
This is especially true in children’s ministry today. In our efforts to use every possible angle, technique, and medium to bring the Gospel message to our children, it’s easy to get caught up in the lights and bells and whistles. I think it would serve us well on occasion to just stop; stop in our children’s services and meditate deliberately on exactly what Jesus did for us. If we can help our children to learn, at a young age, the joy of serving others for God, we are doing them the best service possible. This will lead to a life of true joy found in this Kingdom.Life.
But McKnight doesn’t leave us at the pain and inspiration of the cross. He reminds us that Jesus has defeated death and lives victoriously:
“The cross is not the final word, the final word is Life the God.Life that raised Jesus from the dead to sit on the throne as the Lion.”
McKnight ends the chapter with the encouragement that if we will pick up our cross daily and follow him, the Lion’s roar will give us the confidence to continue living the Kingdom.Life. “If the Lamb becomes the Lion, so, too, do we.”
You have One.Life. Live it well.
Be sure to check out the rest of this book blogging project:
- March 28 – Chapter 1: One.Life – Doug Olson
- March 29 – Chapter 2: Kingdom.Life – Eli Suddarth
- March 30 – Chapter 3: Imagined.Life – Dan Scott
- March 31 – Chapter 4: Love.Life – Emily Mullens
- April 1 – Chapter 5: Justice.Life – Noel Walker
- April 2 – Chapter 6: Peace.Life – Jesse Smith
- April 3 – Chapter 7: Wisdom.Life – Jared Massey
- April 4 – Chapter 8: Church.Life – Tim Shiels
- April 5 – Chpater 9: Committed.Life – Chris Lema
- April 6 – Chapter 10: Sex.Life – Henry Zonio
- April 7 – Chpater 11: Vocation.Life – Helen Lee
- April 8 – Chapter 12: Eternity.Life – Christiaan VandenHuevel
- April 9 – Chapter 13: God.Is.Love.Life – Henry Zonio
- April 10 – Chapter 14: Cross.Life.Ressurection.Life – Barbara Graves