Choose Life

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

[Moses said,] “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”

Once we know the story of Jesus, the choice Moses places before us may just have a different outcome. Moses wants the people to choose life. Yet once we understand the meaning of the cross, Jesus asks us to choose death, to embrace the cross, to be willing to give our life away in order to possess much more than the land that the Lord swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When we choose the cross, we come to possess not an earthly kingdom, but the Kingdom of God. Choose life? No, today we, as people of the cross, are invited to choose death, and in choosing death, in choosing the cross, we are in fact choosing the life of Christ, a life that even death cannot destroy.

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