Wednesday, July 10, 2013

See Jesus!

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower
than the angels, now crowned with glory and
honor because he suffered death, that by the
grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
                                             Hebrews 2:9   

     Thirty-five years ago I heard a sermon entitled “See Jesus”. The pastor and his wife had just returned from Rome where they had visited the Sistine Chapel. He invited us to look past him and imagine a canvas painted by his words as he spoke of the glory of God revealed through the work of Michelangelo. He spoke of Jesus as I had never before heard anyone speak. It was obvious to me that he knew Christ well, and through his words that imaginary blank canvas became a living biography of the works of our great God. My closed eyes and open heart saw Jesus. I ached to learn more and see Jesus—really see Him.

     The writer of Hebrews also invites us to see Jesus and warns us to pay attention to the truth we have heard so that we will not drift away. It is often easier to lollygag through life—choosing never to engage in real living. As a child, I can remember my mother calling my attention to an assigned task and telling me, “Do not lollygag!” I preferred to dawdle on my way to the task. She preferred that I paid attention to her instructions to get the job done.

     The writer of Hebrews reminds us that Christ came for a specific purpose; redemption of mankind. He came to save a lost and dying world. He did not dawdle. He fulfilled the Father’s plan which led to His death on the cross. As believers we also have a purpose and that is to build up the church of Christ. In order to do that, we must engage with a lost and dying world. We will never reach others for Christ; they will never see Jesus if we cloister ourselves.

     So today I am allowing myself to revisit that blank canvas and remember the biography of Jesus. The holiness of heaven! The worship of the angels! The street of gold and walls of jasper! The emerald rainbow around the throne of God! Father! Heaven! Home! Jesus left it all! God’s grace placed Jesus on the cross. It should have been me and you.

     But somewhere someone told us about His love and we believed. How can we not share His love with others who have not believed? Today I challenge you to hang that canvas in your mind and look across the eons. See Jesus as He sits by His Father. See Jesus as He leaves the splendors of heaven. See Jesus as He walks among the people healing the sick, the lame, the deaf and raising the dead. See Jesus as He pierces the soul of men and women and changes their lives for eternity. See Jesus today as He heals the alcoholic, the abuser, the thief, the murderer and the remnants of society that “polite” people do not discuss and changes their lives for eternity.

     He wants to use you and me to build up His church. But first, we must really SEE JESUS!

©JP 2013

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