Saturday, March 30, 2013

Do You Really Want to See Jesus?

Most of the time, if we admit it, we are quite content with life--when it moves according to our routines and preferences. We settle in: coffee and a shower, personal time and a place to realign before leaving home, anticipated schedules and people and movement throughout the day. We're people. Routine gives us a sense of security and control.

But then God shakes our world. He has always been there, but in this moment we have the opportunity to see Him; to become aware.  Aware of His presence.  Aware of the need to be aware of His presence.  And we are faced with a choice: to bow the knee or refuse, to forgive or bear a grudge, to listen or harden the heart.  Not to obey is to disobey. Not to love is to hate.  Not to forgive is to grow bitter.

Mary, who loved Jesus, who poured out her offering with tears at His feet, thought all was lost.  And she became more aware, in an even deeper way than before, of her need.  She had desperately needed forgiveness and it was granted. Her belief and worship opened the Door from darkness to light. But now, now that she was forgiven, she needed Him, needed Jesus, daily. She longed for Him, looked for Him, sought Him.

"Why do you seek the living among the dead?"

And why, do we, the forgiven, seek Jesus among the dead? Among the busyness of ministry, the baubles of society, the adrenaline of sports and power and fame? 

"He is not here, He is risen as He said.  Come see the place where He lay."

Have we looked at the empty place?  Have we gazed on the stained, bloodied linen; our sin dried out, soaked up, left behind, folded up, laid aside, our debt paid in full? Have we seen the resurrected Christ, living victoriously, gloriously, the standard of faith waving on the breeze as He rides before us?

We have a choice. We can follow in step, our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith or we can sit in the darkened tomb and wrap ourselves in the sin He cast aside. To take on ourselves that which He has left behind is no faith at all.  "For let not that man (the one who doubts) suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-7).

If we truly want to see Jesus, we must leave the tomb. We must leave behind the desire to wallow in our sin, our past, our failure, and follow Christ.

To see Jesus is to turn from sin and seek Him; prayerfully, desperately read His Word. Ask questions, bow at His feet, pour out our hearts, confess our sin and wait upon Him. As He speaks we will suddenly find that life is not about us, that people do not deserve the credit we give them for the good or the bad, but that He is. He is the Creator, the Sustainer; He is before all things and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16-17).

Do you really want to see Jesus? If you look for Him, you will find Him. If you know Him, you will share Him; for we cannot know Him and keep silent.

"'He is not dead, for He has risen just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.  Go quickly and tell His disciples...'  And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy.
"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen" (Matthew 28:6,8,18-20).

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