Debbie Salter Goodwin
The After Easter Journey
Why did we take this journey to the cross?
For me it was for the honesty that the cross demands. Have you noticed how no one lied from the cross? Whatever was in the deepest part of their souls came out, curse or cry.
On this journey to the cross, I’ve been to the wilderness where I sifted through the voices in my head that accuse and push to make me feel not enough. I stayed until I could hear the One True Voice that reminded me of my identity in Christ.
I have faced the truth that I was there when they crucified Jesus. I cannot glibly point my finger at the injustices of that cruel day and find absolution. “My sin, not in part but the whole” put him there.
I have reviewed my betrayals, my doubts, my arrogance, my why’s, my rationalization over repentance, my comfort over confession. It has been a brutal journey, but I have found new Ebenezers* to raise as I have left what I do not need for abundant life.
I stood at the cross lighter than when I began these forty days.
But what’s next? Do we just go back to what we were doing? Do we take back into our life what we lived without for forty days and celebrate its re-entry like a prodigal son returned?
“No!” I shout to myself. I didn’t take these forty days to go back to where I was before them. I must apply every revelation and every confession, not out of guilt or duty; but with great relief and victory. Now is the work of application. What’s next is living with resurrection power and priorities. What’s next is the hard work of living abundantly!
So here are the questions I’m asking myself. It’s my Resurrection Call to Action. It is impossible to live forward successfully without assimilating what I have learned. I can’t un-think them, but I can ignore them. I don’t want to. It will be another slow journey, not a quick Yes/No pop quiz.
They may not be your questions, but I hope they will prompt you to write your own. Maybe we should connect here again, before Pentecost** to see how we’re doing. Until then, I’m going to keep this list of questions before me, review them slowly, and ask God to hold me accountable to them.
What attitudes did my journey to the cross uncover that I need to leave at the cross?
Where have my goals and dreams become roadblocks to receiving God’s goals and dreams?
What addiction or excess did I discover in my fasting? How will I protect myself from returning to a dependency on it?
Can I trust God with my questions even when His answers are not as immediate as I want? How will I grow that trust?
What demonstrates that I have said “yes” to God as He has said “yes” to me?
Where did God uncover self-righteous anger or irritation? What am I doing about it?
What new understanding, attitude, or character trait is God creating in me?
How do I live my Palm Sunday praise Monday through Saturday?
Where am I taking my place to serve alongside Jesus?
What did I find when I took a new journey to an empty tomb?
After you list your questions, pray this prayer with me:
*Ebenezer, you may remember, is the word that means “my place of help.”
See 1 Samuel 7:12
** Pentecost literally means “fiftieth day.” Originally it marked a festival 50 days after Passover. For Christians it commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit, the fiftieth day after the resurrection. This year it is June 9.