In John chapter 19, at the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion, we read these words:
23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”
So this is what the soldiers did. (John 19:23-24)
As I pondered these verses this morning, I was struck by how easily satisfied these men were. Above them hung the king of the universe, lord of time and all creation, and they were satisfied with a few scraps of worn clothing. What was on offer, if only they had seen it, was eternal life, life to the full, peace beyond all human understanding, a constant companion and friend. And they were happy just to get his undergarments.
Of course, I turn this tragic truth back on myself and ask, What more does Jesus have for me, that I am simply not desiring, or even asking for? What type of abundant life would He give me if only I dared request it? Am I, like these soldiers, too easily satisfied, with my routine religious practices and ethical lifestyle? Is there more? After all, I’m sure Jesus didn’t just die to give me something to do on Sunday mornings, and to move me not to cheat on my taxes.
C.S. Lewis addresses this same question in The Weight of Glory:
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
So here is my prayer, for you and for me:
Lord of life, Lord of all creation, lead us today into the fulness of all you have for us. Let us not be satisfied with mediocrity and religiosity. Grow us into all that you would have us be, that we might transform this world so that it may become, and we may become, all that you always intended. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.