These paragraphs about the reversal of the Christian’s values stood out to me as I read tonight from Timothy Keller’s book King’s Cross.
“When you see Jesus caring for the poor, forgiving his enemies without bitterness, sacrificing his life for others, living a perfectly loving and perfectly sinless life, you say, ‘I can’t do that.’ You’re right–you can’t. Jesus Christ as only an example will crush you; you will never be able to live up to it. But Jesus Christ as the Lamb will save you.
On the cross, Jesus is getting what we deserve so we can get what he deserves. When you see that this great reversal is for you, when you see that he gave up all his cosmic wealth and came into our poverty so that you could be spiritually rich, it changes you.
Say there’s a person living completely in the values of the kingdom of this world and another person who is learning to belong to the kingdom of God, and each of them has a great job. Both suddenly learn they’re about to lose their jobs, and they know they’ll likely never recover that socioeconomic status. In the kingdom of this world, this feels like the end of your life. The kingdom of this world teaches you to base your identity on status, money, and power. Without them your identity is gutted. If you play by the rules of the kingdom of this world, you might do anything to keep your job. Maybe even lie or cheat or stab others in the back. But if you’re starting to get rooted in the kingdom of God, you know losing your job is not going to be easy or pleasant, but you have learned that when weakness and suffering, poverty and rejection are near, the kingdom of God is near. It’s the time when you come ot grips with your real treasure, your real identity.
Christians are free to take or leave money, power, recognition, and status. How? These things at the top of the kingdom of this world don’t have to control them the same way anymore. When you understand what Jesus has done for you, it frees you. When you realize that you are made righteous by his grace and not by your achievement, and that you are loved in Jesus Christ, it changes the way you look at power, money, and status; they don’t control you anymore.”
~quoted from King’s Cross by Timothy Keller, pp. 191-192