I Don’t Want a Narcissistic Crucifixion

According to iTunes, I have a lot of music. Over 22 days’ worth, to be exact.

I intentionally chose probably 95% of it; the rest were gifts, and songs that I needed to learn for gigs.

I also have probably 100 podcasts—again, ones that I have chosen.

I really don’t have to listen to the radio anymore. I can exist in my own little “Pod World,” and never have to listen to music I don’t like, or ideas I don’t agree with, any more.

That’s the world we live in—a “targeted marketing” paradise where I can tailor my world around me: my tastes and desires, my whims and wishes.

DVR, Netflix, Facebook, all point to a somewhat disturbing phenomenon:

I am the center of my existence. My needs rule.

Turning to the cross, although this may sound sacrilegious, I want to be crystal clear: Jesus’ death on the cross is not simply about the forgiveness of my individual sins. 

As N. T. Wright puts it, for too long we have made this individual forgiveness the “Sun” in our “Good Friday” universe.

But God’s purposes are much, much bigger.

And the truth is, I need it.

I don’t need a salvation that is “all about me” to join up with my universe that is all about me.

I need a God who is bigger than that; who—and pay close attention here—forgives me along the way to a larger and grander purpose in the world. 

The cross isn’t just about individuals; it’s wrapped up with the entire mission of God from Genesis 2, through Abraham, through Israel, through the Prophets, and ultimately into Revelation.

Stay with individual forgiveness only, and you risk developing a narcissistic spirituality; start with mission and you get the over-arching purpose of God, with forgiveness thrown in…

… What a gift!


3 thoughts on “I Don’t Want a Narcissistic Crucifixion

  1. Well said! This is a great reminder. We all struggle with egocentrism to a certain extent and reminders like this are so important. Thanks!

  2. The biggest question on my heart this evening was, “Why have I kept Jesus so much to myself?” I’m encouraged that God helps walk us past the boundaries of our “personal spirituality”. The times I think, “I should feel more burdened for those who don’t know Jesus,” God steps in and reminds me that I can’t even rely on myself to draw up those “feelings” on my own. The weight of the Gospel is ministered by the Holy Spirit, and only He can implant and reveal a Kingdom vision in my own heart. If we ask Him in humility to come and transform our spirit’s perspective, rest assured He will move mountains to draw us to those who need Him.

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