I saw a portion of an interview with Sylvester Stallone recently. Have you ever watched the original Rocky movie? I love the now famous scene as Rocky stands triumphantly raising his arms at the top of the stairs. Those Philadelphia stairs represent the epitome of Rocky's successful finish to his training. Running up them to the song, Gonna Fly Now. Can't you just see and hear it right now! Arms extended upward as he stood at the top. Looking over the city. Knowing that he was ready. This was a man waiting to be crowned boxing champion!
Contrast that to our Savior's finish. Dragged through the city. Beaten repeatedly. Derided. Nailed. Can you see it and hear it right now?Arms extended outward. Hanging from a cross at the top of Golgotha. Looking over the faces outside Jerusalem. Knowing that He was ready. This was a man/Savior ready to be crowned. "It is finished".
Living in obedience does not always have a pretty finish. Our work is not always tied up in 2 hours of reel with beautiful music playing in the backround. Sometimes it is hard. And dirty. And difficult. Like feeding the children amongst the refuse of years of yesterdays in faraway lands. Or working in the pits of medical facilties to make sure that the forgotten are fed and bathed. Or searching endlessly for a home for a weeping unwed mother whose family has abandoned her.
It doesn't appear so picture perfect. But HE did it. And He calls us to it too. Want to be His followers? Then expect to get a little dirty. It may not be pretty but it is the most beautiful thing you will ever do! And the rewards? They are eternal!
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."