Jesus Christ – the one with blazing eyes of fire, the one with many crowns, the one whose robe is dipped in blood and whose title is Word of God and “Faithful and True” is the only One we crown.
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Jesus was not crucified for being nice. He was crucified for being bold and confrontational. Don’t misunderstand. He was the kindest person who ever lived, but he wasn’t a sap. He knew when kindness and empathy were called for, but he also knew when it was time to get in someone’s face and tell them the truth. God has not called us to be nice. He has called us to be good. Nice people never confront evil and error; good people do.
We name the name of the One who… makes fear and anxiety themselves tremble with fear and puts them to flight. We name the One who overcame fear and led it captive in the victory procession, who nailed it to the cross and committed it to oblivion; we name the One who is the shout of victory of humankind redeemed from the fear of death—Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Living One.
One of the things I’ve learned following Jesus is how much He enjoyed being with people. Except for time with His Father, there seemed to be nothing He loved more. He didn’t just love the idea of being with people either, He actually loved being with them. A lot of people in the world stop being available at some point. It’s subtle, because it happens a little at a time and it’s not malicious or anything—it happens though. But Jesus wasn’t that way. He seemed to have more time for people as time went on, not less. That’s one of the things which makes love so powerful; it leaves us a way to find it.
Long looking with admiration produces change. From your heroes you pick up mannerisms and phrases and tones of voice and facial expressions and habits and demeanors and convictions and beliefs. The more admirable the hero is and the more intense your admiration is, the more profound will be your transformation. In the case of Jesus, he is infinitely admirable, and our admiration rises to the most absolute worship. Therefore, when we behold him as we should, the change is profound.
It’s been said that you can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Well, Jesus walked way more than a mile; He walked thirty-three years in human skin. He knows how hard life can be in a broken, sinful world. He knows how difficult it is to be part of that world and still remain connected to the Father.
But there’s something even more startling to realize. Not only did Jesus walk on earth and face the same struggles you face, but Jesus wants to walk with you. It’s why He created you, so you can know Him and make Him known.
We judge trees by their fruit, and so we judge Jesus, and then we can find out what kind of a heart He had. We find in Him love; therefore Jesus had a loving heart. He bore the luscious fruit of perfect love. There was no hatred with His love, no venom, no spite, no selfishness; He loved His enemies and prayed for His murderers. It was not a fickle love, turning about every new moon, but a changeless, eternal love. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3.)
We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds but a promise to our hearts that the world we all want is coming.
I know that His love is better than life! Is this true for you? Jesus changed my life in a single moment, an encounter, His love came rushing in. He took my brokenness and made something beautiful. He can do the same for you, all you have to do is ask Him.