Today and this weekend, so many Christian eyes are looking back on a march. Some are looking back in glad and satisfied reminiscence on having marched in the name of Christ for the rights of groups of people whom they feel have been treated unjustly or unbecomingly whilst in places of weakness like immigrants and refugees and minority groups. Other Chrisitan eyes are red with rage or tired from tears from looking upon the same march from different eyes and different perspectives. Military families who have been sacrificing for years to protect the physical safety and security of our nation feel underappreciated and those who were taunted for walking for the rights of the unborn likely are filled with heaviness and anger.
Not all who walked were beligerant and not all who did not walk are ignorant or calloused to systemic injustices. As Christians, we must step away from caustic caricatures of whomever we perceive to be the enemy camp, even within Christendom. I have sincere, Jesus-loving, Bible-believing friends who marched with their children yesterday to represent their marginlized friends who are truly scared and vulnerable. I also have sincere, Jesus-loving, Bible-believing friends who have marched in the past for the rights of unborn children.
Whatever this weekend stirred within you, if you are a sincere follower of Christ, your mind and memory are to be set on a march. But this march that our eyes and hearts are to be be fixed on did not take place in Washington DC. It took place over 2,000 years ago when the God-Man marched into Jersusalem to celebrate the Passover knowing that He Himself, the spotless Lamb of God, was to become the Passover Lamb sacrificed to free His sin-bound people.
At the center of what credal Christians believe is a sinless, perfectly whole human Christ whose heart bled mercy and compassion for the weak. His heart pounded with righteous anger at those being taken advantage of by commercialism within His Father’s temple. His heart also rages at sin, which is both the inherited portion passed on through humanity and the bed that humanity continues to make for itself.
How did Christ respond to a broken, beligerant world? He marched into Jersualem. Christ kept marching, fully aware that the fickle crowds who were laying their robes at his feet and raising palm branches in homage to him would, in less than a week’s time, scream “Crucify, crucify.” He, who had always and only had a preference for that which was right and good and kind and just and true, would take the Cross of a criminal whom the crowds preferred over Him.
He who had only spoken for the broken and chosen holiness would be both broken and defiled for the very ones who hated Him.
He marched into the most unjust situation in history and was led like a sheep silent before us His sheerers. He entrusted His soul to His faithful Creator, He suffered in the stead of those marched yesterday in His name and those who chose not to march yesterday in His name.
I am not trying to negate or belittle differences within the family of God. I am not asking people to step down from their convictions.
I am simply reminding marchers and non-marchers who love Christ that we have one who marched to the Cross and then out of the grave for both of us. This unthinkable fact must be the bedrock of our interactions with one another. These marches of Jesus must loom large on our minds and hearts.
My heart is heavy. I cried tears yesterday. Tears of confusion. I don’t know how to best love like Jesus. I do not perfectly or even partially know how to love and engage with others in the family of Christ who passionately differ on what marching in the steps of Christ looks like in a broken world. I do not know how to perfectly live in light of my convictions without villanizing those within the body of Christ who do not share my convictions or call me my convictions crimes.
But I do know this much. Christ marched for us, all of us who rely upon Him and look to Him and His Word. I am praying that His march to the cross and His march out of the grave will frame our interactions until the day when we will march with Him in a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells and justice for every tribe and nation and tongue reigns.