Have you ever pondered the power of the question? Since I asked, perhaps you just did.
The question is a small but mighty grammatical tool that beckons a response anywhere from the simplest layer of thought to the most profound depths of the soul. Questions daily take aim at our listening ears and if you have children, you can multiply the number of inquiries exponentially! Yet, there are a scarce number in the sea of questions that so intimately pierce our souls, we must take pause and search the depths and heights of our own expanse of experience and understanding.
During His time on earth, Jesus understood and exercised the power of the question. Along with other rabbis of His time, Jesus utilized the question as a powerful teaching tool for ministry in the gradual unfolding of His true identity. In Luke 2, as early as twelve years old, His parents discovered Him in the temple “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.” Rabbi Jesus was learning the power of the question.
As His official ministry evolved, Jesus set forth many profound, soul-searching questions to both believer and non-believer, both Jew and Gentile. Questions like, “Who do you say that I am?” and “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”. In Luke 5, Jesus even asked a question about a question, “When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts?””
A few days ago, after answering one of the most tiresome yet daily wife/mom questions, “What’s for dinner?”, I retreated to my bedroom to rest and read a devotion. The next question I encountered was perhaps one of the most profound I’ve ever been asked from God’s Best For My Life by Lloyd John Ogilvie. On March 21st Ogilvie asks, “What difference does it make to you that Christ was crucified?”
What difference does it make to you?
In other words, how would you put into words what the cross means to you?
It is a question that so intimately yet powerfully pierces our souls, we must take pause and search the depths and heights of our own expanse of experience and understanding of Christ. Furthermore, it is a question that beckons an answer from beyond just knowing about Jesus, but from experiencing Him.
Jesus is not merely learned. Jesus is experienced. Those who heard Him in the temple that day in Luke 2 experienced a young Jesus and “were amazed at his understanding and his answers”. Jesus is not only amazing, He amazes.
So allow me to ask you today. . .
What difference does it make to you that Christ was crucified?
Can you and I rest on this question for the next week? Can we ponder as we dig into our experiences with Christ and stretch into our mind’s understanding of Him. Can we reflect on the difference?
I pray we can. I pray we will. I pray He reveals the difference to us both past, present and future. Spiritual formation, literally Christ formed and experienced within, is a lifelong journey with an eternal destination. So let’s be on our way to the cross and the experiential Christ.
During Lent, as we sacrifice and empty, let us experience His fullness. And savor the most intimate questions.