Survey the courage of your Savior: “Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward.” He stepped forward while his attackers hid behind their religious authority, their torches and weapons. He knew “all that would happen to him.” He wasn’t guessing, hoping to keep terror at bay by puffing himself up with violence or wrapping himself in a cloak of secrecy. He was fully aware of what it would mean to drink down the entire contents of the Father’s cup; the bitter taste was already in his mouth.
“Whom do you seek?” he bravely asked them.
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.
“I am he.”
They fell back in terror.
“Whom do you seek?” he asked again.
They answered as before.
“I told you I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go” (John 18:4-8)
What a Savior we have! What a good shepherd! The wolves were circling, and he stepped forward, arms outstretched, keeping his little flock behind him. The wolves would attack; he would bear the attack himself. “Let these men go…I have guarded them,” he had recently prayed, “and not one of them has been lost” (John 17:12) He would continue to guard them in ways amazing and unheard of. He bravely guarded their bodies; he would even more courageously watch over and protect their souls.
I have come to realize it is quite common to talk like the people you spend the most time with. Little phrases and codes become easy dialogue that slip into your every day language. It is pretty simple: the people we do life with, we talk like, the good and the bad.
I have been thinking lately about this language how we slip into it so easily, how our words change so easily by the people we are around the most. And then I think about Jesus, holy and perfect, showing up and doing life with 12 fishermen and many more sinners. I start to wonder what did he think of their language? I’m sure it wasn’t holy, it was nothing like the Father’s, and Jesus being fully God and fully man had the same tendency to slip into similar speech like his peers. But he didn’t, he was surrounded by blasphemy, hatred, anger and selfishness and had every tendency to want to join in, but he resisted. I could only imagine with every unkind, sinful word he longed for heaven, for wholeness, for the perfection he had experienced. Isn’t it crazy, the longing he had for heaven, was surpassed by the love that he had for the sinful people that he was surrounded by? He wanted them. He wanted to redeem them. To redeem us. To love us. To offer us life.
Even when hateful, selfish words come out of our mouths from an outpouring of our sinful hearts. He loves. He remains faithful. He holds true.
celebrating this easter.
You Are What Jesus Thinks of You
A sweet paragraph from a chapter entitled “Loving Yourself” in Samuel Wells’ Be Not Afraid:
“There’s only one place to stand, and that’s face-to-face with Jesus. You are not your wallet; you are not your house; you are not your car; you are not your GPA—you are not even your family. You are what Jesus thinks of you, because Jesus is God, and Jesus is your neighbor. You can never fully know yourself, but you can be fully known: Jesus knows you better than you know yourself. Jesus is hurt by thoughtless things you never knew you’d done, and delighted by unconscious gestures you never realized you’d made. He understands the fear that makes you cruel and the joy that makes you generous. He rejoices in the very thrill of your existence, is tender and close to you when you are curved in on yourself, is overjoyed in the very moment of your repentance, is exultant as you spread your wings to fly in his Spirit. Jesus is the heart within your heart. And he adores you” (191).
“by affliction He teaches us many precious lessons, which otherwise we would never learn. by affliction he shoes us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from this world, and makes us long for heaven”
“and if we know that this is not the only world, the only body, the only life you are ever going to have—that you will someday have a perfect life, a real, concrete life—who cares what people do to you? you’re free from ultimate anxieties in this life, so you can be brave and take risks. you can face the worst thing…with joy, and with hope. the resurrection means we can look forward with hope to the day our suffering will be gone. but it even means that we can look forward with hope to the day our suffering will be glorious.”
—tim keller, king’s cross
"He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it."
Charles H. Spurgeon
the gospel is this: we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the the same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.
need it. every day.