With Good Friday less than 24 hours away, I started reading the 26th chapter of Matthew and its account of that fateful day. In verse 58, three words hit me square between the eyes – “…at a distance…”
As athletes, being “…at a distance…” whether mentally, physically or a combination of both will keep us from being sold out and fully engaged “in the game.” Not only does it have an affect on our play, but on those around us.
The same is true in our walk with Christ.
The first part of verse 58 states, “But Peter followed him at a distance…” How often do we do the same? Christ has called us to “…take up our cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). Now we can follow him “..at a distance…” but to truly follow, we must make the choice to be beside Him.
That cross isn’t going to carry itself. It cannot be carried from “a distance.” A batter cannot step into the batter’s box and expect to hit when the bat is still in the dugout.
Just as Jesus carried his cross upon his brutally beaten body, we (and I am speaking to me before anyone else) have to go pick up the cross first. It cannot be done from a distance.
The second part of the verse said that Peter (it’s tough to be used as an example like this for thousands of years, but he made a great comeback!) “sat down with the guards to see the outcome.”
We are just like Peter…sitting down with the “world” to watch “the outcome.” We are believers but won’t proclaim it. We choose not to serve. We will not take the battle to the enemy in diligent prayer, in our own “War Room.”
We stay on the sidelines.
Thankfully, Jesus chose to meet the cross like two prize fighters do – nose to nose. He did not stay in his corner. He walked to the middle of the ring and courageously confronted the opponent – and won.
We can experience that too, but not “…at a distance.”