As I have both listened to and read through accounts of this Holy Week, I see myself all over the place.
I, too, have praised Jesus like those on Palm Sunday – and then, as real-life and the busy week set in forgot all about it… and sometimes changed my tune in selfishness and frustration.
I, too, have fallen asleep and become desensitized to the sins and temptations of this present world – just like the disciples who couldn’t keep their eyes open long enough to pray with Jesus when He needed it most.
I, too, have become so scared that I have fled hard situations, instead of sticking with Jesus – just like all the disciples fled the night in the Garden.
I, too, have denied Jesus, instead of proclaiming my association with Him – just like Peter did.
I, too, have cried foul when the way God’s plans were looking didn’t match up to what I thought was supposed to happen – just like those who said He wasn’t their King and they wanted Him crucified.
I, too, have cried tears of anguish knowing I have messed up too many times to count – but Jesus looks at me (as He did Peter) and acknowledges my shortcomings but loves me anyway.
I, too, have questioned if Jesus really is who He said He was. I have questioned and tried to figure Him out, instead of trusting His plan – just like the Scribes & Pharisees.
I, too, have seen Jesus’ miracles, yet still lacked faith and doubted that He could do the impossible – just like His followers forgot that Jesus would fulfill His word and rise again.
I, too, nailed Jesus to the cross because of a heart black with sin. I needed a way out. A way to be reconciled with God. I couldn’t do it on my own.
I, too, have felt utter despair and anguish – just like His disciples felt on those days between the Crucifixion and Resurrection – not knowing if there was light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Yet – I, too, have heard Jesus whisper my name right when I felt like giving up and giving in – just like Mary Magdalene heard as she begged the gardener to find her Lord.
You see — I don’t throw stones. I don’t judge. I was as lost as the worst sinner. I am as human as the next person. “It was MY sin that held Him there” to that old, rugged cross. *
And then – those days between the Crucifixion and Resurrection – Jesus conquered sin, death, hell, and the grave.
I, too, have been brought to ABUNDANT life by the conquering of Jesus Christ.
This — the Easter story — is not just a story to me. This is my life. Jesus isn’t just a Savior that is convenient to call on when needed. Jesus is the Ruler of my life. He is my Master. He died so that I could have eternal life! He paid the price for my sins, so that I don’t have to!
That’s why my life looks different. That’s why I choose the Word over the World. That’s why I apologize when I’ve made a mistake. That’s why I endeavor to have a gracious manner and be kind always to others. That’s why I honor my husband. That’s why I care about my demeanor and reputation. That’s why I’m a hard worker and do my best when given a job to do. That’s why I try to present myself pure and holy and genuinely good. That’s why I read the Word and (with God’s help) endeavor to live it out. That’s why I care about people. That’s why. Because I am a Christ follower.
Because — “I am REDEEMED. Bought with a PRICE. Jesus has changed my WHOLE life.” *
And, after Jesus rose from the grave… right before He ascended to Heaven, He said to his disciples (all Christ followers): “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.”
That’s why I’m purposing (now more than ever) not just to LIVE in the power of Easter – the power of the Cross and Resurrection – EVERY day… But to SHARE this story – this POWER – with the world around me more than I ever have before!
Honestly, I don’t share enough. I just live my life and hope it’s a good enough witness. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or overstep my bounds.
But, let’s shoot straight. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. AND – Jesus IS coming back someday. Possibly soon.
May I be true to Jesus’ command — To share this message to friends, to family, and to a WORLD who might believe in “a Jesus” but have yet to accept His life-changing power.
I refuse to get caught up in politics and games and materialistic distractions.
Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
That’s all… and that’s more than enough!
* Quoted: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” (Stuart Townend) – “I Am Redeemed” (Jesse Dixon)
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