What is your salvation story? What are the endings and beginnings that mark the transformation that occurred in your life when you put your faith in Jesus Christ?
In his book "Necessary Endings" Henry Cloud asserts that there are endings that are absolutely necessary to experience new beginnings in life, relationships and business. Our faith journey is no exception, as it involves an ending when we come to the end of a self-driven life and emerges with a beginning when we enter into a Christ-driven life.
When I put my faith in Jesus I said, "It is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me!" Unless I die to my passions, desires and will, I cannot really experience the beginning of God's will and power in my life.
This has been a growing realisation as I have pursued a pathway to holiness...
"The first word in the Christian vocabulary is not struggle - but surrender; not one more try - but to yield to the divine will; not one more effort and this time you will make it - but to submit to another. For the gospel of Jesus does not begin with a call for a man to do something to save himself, but to cast himself without reserve upon him who has already promised to be his Saviour." (General Frederick Coutts)
The resurrection and ascension of Jesus is a significant CROSS Road of endings and beginnings where the disciples see the fulfillment of the salvation story for them and the rest of humanity.
1. The death of Jesus was the end of His physical life, yet the beginning of His resurrected life.
"Why do you look for the living among the dead?"
- The resurrection fulfills the promise of the gift of new life.
- To embrace this new beginning, there needs to be an ending - a surrender of life to Christ!
2. The departure of Jesus was the end of His earthly mission, yet the beginning of His Church's mission.
"Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power on high."
- The ascension fulfills the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- To embrace this new beginning, there also needs to be an ending - a submission of life to Holy Spirit!
The CROSS Road at the Ascension was an ending and beginning that saw the birth of the Church which put flesh on Christ's continued mission through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.