Why Surrendering Can Be Just As Important As Rising Up

“Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he said this, he breathed his last breath.” – Luke 23:46. When we think about revolution, we often think about the act of rising up. But what about the action of surrendering?

Why Surrendering Can Be Just As Important As Rising Up
Via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus’ last words were a surrender. While he didn’t know what was on the other side of death, he had faith God was with him even in suffering. 

But Jesus could have given in to doubt.

The founder of Black Theology, James Cone, reflects on the power that comes when we surrender to God amid doubt and suffering. 

Cone says, “Suffering naturally gives rise to doubt. How can one believe in God in the face of such horrendous suffering as slavery, segregation, and the lynching tree? Under these circumstances, doubt is not a denial but an integral part of faith. It keeps faith from being sure of itself. But doubt does not have the final word. The final word is faith giving rise to hope.”

Jesus’ faith was greater than his doubt or his suffering when he surrendered to crucifixion. By praying in his time of doubt and ultimately not fighting his crucifixion, Jesus surrendered to God. The act of dying, the ultimate surrender, gave Jesus the power to rise up. 

When we think about building liberated futures often we center ideas of revolution — rising up — as how we will take down anti-Black systems. But it’s also worth asking, what are we willing to surrender to achieve liberation as well?

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