By Kevin Mannoia
I want to know Christ! Really? Are you sure? Do you realize what you are saying?
At first blush that may simply mean knowing about Christ and the “Christ event.” Who he was, what he did, his impact on history. Probing more deeply, however, it means following Christ. In other words, conforming your behavior to be consistent with the expectations Christ has. Doing what he taught; living in a way that he lived. Imitating Christ. That is well and good, but it’s still not truly KNOWING Christ.
There is a calling that is upon every one of us to KNOW Christ at such a deep and formative level that we experience what Christ experienced; we feel what he felt. We identify so much with Christ that when things happen that offend him, we feel the knot in the stomach that signals our experiencing what he would. Deep knowing brings deep union. Not only the hope of new life and resurrected living now, but also the pain of suffering. Knowing Christ means we even suffer with his sufferings – rejection, humiliation, pain, brokenness.
This identification with Christ is so profound as to take us all the way to the cross – even to be like him in his death. The most significant feature of this identifying with Christ even to death is the full and complete surrender – “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit!” This is a deep union; a mystical oneness; an identification with the power of hope and the pain of death and surrender.
So, do you still want to KNOW Christ? I hope so. There is no other path to fullness and wholeness than this!