We don’t ever come to the cross of Christ to worship his death or to remember the grisly details of that day. We come to the cross — we’re actually drawn to the cross — to see what it looks like for me to die. What is the meaning of my daily dying to myself and dying for Christ? And dying with Christ? What does it look like? How do I do it? And what does it really mean?
People say Jesus died so I don’t have to. No, that’s not right. Jesus died to show us how to.
As holy children of God and disciples of his Christ, we die every day. We participate every day in the eternal dimensions of Jesus’ death.
“I have been crucified with Christ…” ~Galatians 2:20
“I die every day — I mean that, brothers! ~1 Corinthians 15:31
“You died, and your life is now hidden with Christ.” ~Colossians 3:3
Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously wrote, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” We are called to participate in the death of Jesus. We don’t just stand around and ask questions about the death of Christ. We don’t just talk about it and marvel about it. We live it. The death of Jesus shapes everything about the way we live, how we believe and love, why we do what we do.
If we’re going to follow Jesus as his subjects — and we are! — then we’re going to follow him into the pain and darkness of Calvary where he faithfully and fully submitted to our Father’s will and gave his very life for the sake of the world.
Warrior Dash is a 5K obstacle course highlighted by runs through waist-deep muddy water, climbs over cargo nets and 20-foot hay bales, crawls under barbed wire and through dirty ditches, and jumps over junk cars and pits of fire.
There are runs like this all over the place. Some of them are called Mud Runs. Some are called Jail Breaks. This Warrior Dash is held every year in Roanoke, just down the street from the Texas Motor Speedway. I’d never heard of this, or any other organized obstacle event, until last year when Greg Hardman and his daughter, Emily, ran it together with some of her college friends. His stories and his pictures were truly inspiring. I even used their experience to illustrate a sermon here last spring.
And several of us caught the fever.
Valerie and I made plans to start training in October. I was going to start eating right. I was going to start running more. (By more, I mean just start running. Period.) I was going to lose 15-pounds. I was going to lift weights and really be ready for this thing in April.
I’m not ready.
None of those things happened. Valerie and I have run together at the Northridge Middle School track a total of five times since the middle of February. We did two-and-a-half miles last night. We’re going to do three miles this evening.
We’re not ready. But we’re very much looking forward to it. Valerie has always been my little adventurer. She’s excited to be doing something so outrageous with her dad. And this will be something I’ll treasure with her forever.
There are at least a dozen of us from Legacy running the Warrior Dash in the morning: John & Suzanne, Bruce & Cathy, Mike & Lisa, Keith & Beth, Josh (who promises to stay right with me), Jason, Margaret, David and, from what I understand, a whole slew of our younger marrieds.
My goal is to finish in one hour or less. And to not have to be carried out in a stretcher.