Thursday, 21 March 2013

Seeing the real Jesus

Why do I love Easter so much?  Because Easter makes everything right.  And Easter gives us real hope.  We live in a world where so much of what we see doesn't make sense--where inhumanity seems to rule much of the day on the news, where corruption and self-serving seems to be the order of the day.  But Easter changes all that.  Easter is the key to a life of peace and joy.

Easter brings this peace and joy into our lives when we see the real Jesus for who He is.  He is the Divine One who came from heaven to save a lost and sinful world from death and eternal punishment.  Jesus' sinless life and perfect death made it possible for our sins to be forgiven.  His resurrection gives everyone a chance at a "new life" both right now and for all eternity.  I love this hope--the hope that, "If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." (II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)  No matter what we've done or how much of a mess we've made things, God can make all things new again!  The world has so many caricatures and notions of Jesus that aren't accurate.  He's either seen as just a good man or a distant religious figure from the past--someone who doesn't really make a difference in our lives today.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  The reality is, for all our wealth and technological advances, people aren't any more satisfied in life than they were one hundred years ago.  It seems that so many people are like a computer left in "search mode", constantly winding with activity (and perhaps even unaware that they are in fact, "searching") but never finding what they are looking for.  Satan is so good at distracting us too.  "Look here!"  "No, look over there; or there!"  The reason?  He desperately doesn't want us to discover the true meaning of life which is knowing God.  Not until we look to the One who is the answer to all of life's most pressing needs and questions: Jesus Christ, will we ever find the answer we need.

When we take our eyes off Jesus, disappointment is the natural result.  Sadly, many people, even Christians are crippled by this.  They are so bitterly disappointed in what has happened to them or what someone else has done to them (or not done for them) that they are emotionally and spiritually disabled--unable to really experience joy and peace in life.  The failure is usually in trying to set our own course rather than follow Christ's path.  Trying to set our own course can never really satisfy because we are missing the one element that matters: God's presence and approval.  And so many people settle for a distracted, busy life.  But after all the distractions of life play themselves out (entertainment, career/schooling, pursuing wealth, raising a family) the core issue remains: our relationship with God is broken because of sin.  We need a Saviour.

Seeing the real Jesus helps us to see this truth.  Seeing Him helps us to see beyond temporal things to the eternal issues that are of first importance.  Am I going to spend eternity in heaven with Him, or will I suffer eternity in hell separated from Him because of my sin?  And if I am going to spend eternity with Him, am I living for Him now, or am I living for myself?  Easter is the best time of year to consider these questions.  Our society is so short-sighted in this regard.  Life can keep us so busy with other things that we are constantly running just to catch up with our feet--so much so that we don't have time to consider the biggest questions of life.  The the reality of the Easter message is that there is real hope for purpose in life.  This is found only in Christ.

I want to leave you with this question: are you alive in Him?  Is Jesus is working in your life right now; is He making His presence known?  If not, I encourage you to stop all the busyness and just fix your eyes upon Him.  Believe in His work on the cross to forgive you of your sin and trust His resurrection power for newness of life.   Make this the Easter that you see Him with spiritual eyes for the first time!  And Christian: are you living as if He is alive in you?  As the Word says, "In Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28 NKJV)  Focus on Jesus this Easter.  See Him for who He really is.