Ina Steyn started week five: ‘The Cross, Resurrection and Ascension’ with a question being posed to us. “Who is Jesus to you?” We discussed it a little and Jon, a DTS trainee, said, “It’s his strength, not our strength,” that helps us carry on. We talked about what Jesus did for us on the cross and how he washed us clean from all our sins. Ina asked if we knew what that entailed; if we were willing to look at Jesus’ pain. She reminded us how we all know the story of Jesus’ crucifixion so well, yet we know nothing about it at the same time.
“He was the Son of Man and he played in the dust. But he was also the Son of God, and he played in the stars.”
Ina used a lot of pictures in her teaching. She drew a blue stick figure on the board, representing the flesh, the natural, Adam, the old man. Then she drew a little balloon of purple inside of us representing the Holy Spirit, Christ-in-me. She said “we can polish the blue, (by abstaining from drink or not sleeping with one another, ‘good actions’ etc) but that does not mean that Christ is growing in us.” It is important to stop our selfish ways, but we can’t stop there. If we empty ourselves of the ‘blue’ things of this world, and stop there, we will be just that – empty. We must continue on and fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit.
“I learned how the Holy Spirit works inside of us, how it grows like a balloon. I liked that analogy a lot,” Elise, a trainee, said “because we’re all still dealing with a lot of blue (flesh) as Christians but there’s still purple (the Holy Spirit) growing inside of us.” The instant you give your life to the Lord, you don’t automatically become a better person. God is patient and faithful but we still have to work to grow the ‘purple’ inside of us. We ended the week with a panel made up of trainees and staff to help us process what we had learned this week. It was a good way to have an organised class discussion, without it being too chaotic.
I learned a few new things this week. One being that redemption, in the old days, meant to purchase a slave. We, being human beings, are slaves to sin but Jesus paid the price for us. He gave it all so we could be set free. Another awesome thing I learned this week was when we were talking about the crucifixion. Jesus was on the cross and cried “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” That part I knew. What I received this week that blew my mind was that Jesus wasn’t just crying out to his Heavenly Father, he was actually quoting Psalm 22; a psalm of hope, a prophetic word for Jesus- a saviour to come. When Jesus spoke these words, all the Jews were familiar with this psalm. They knew he was praying about hope not despair.
At the beginning of class Monday, Ina asked us the question “who is Jesus to you?” She also ended the week with this question; this is what I scribbled in my notebook:
For me, Jesus is my friend. He is my hand to hold. He is my father. He is a lion, my source of strength. He is a lamb, my place of peace. Jesus is my pursuer, he wants all of my heart. Jesus is my family, he provides for me and supports me and calls me home. Jesus feels like a breath you’ve been holding, finally exhaled. Jesus feels like a hug from your mom after a long week. Jesus is one of those friends who despite physical distance and time passed, you can pick things right back up where you left off last. Jesus is a role model. He is mighty. He is humble. He is a friend. He is my friend.