Since Easter I have been thinking about this question, “Jesus is alive. So what?”
Seriously, what difference does it make that Jesus is alive? While I believe that it DOES make a difference I’ve been searching for a real bottom line answer to this question, and this morning I may have found it.
Reading in the Bible I encountered these words:
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. 13 Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.
14 That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. (Hebrews 4:12-16 NLT)
The fact that I have to stand in front of God is intimidating. The fact that He knows EVERYTHING about me is terrifying!
The fact that I am “naked and exposed before His eyes” is a sobering thought. The truth is that I can fool you into thinking that I’m something or someone that I’m not. I can play the religious game and lead you to believe that I’m a “godly man” while all the while, underneath the facade, I am lusting, cheating on my taxes, lying about how I spend my time, etc. I can wear a mask that fools you… but I can NEVER fool God… I am naked and exposed before Him… and so are you!
Because I know myself, I’m not so happy about having to stand “naked and exposed” in front of God! I can immediately think of a lot of things that would make me stutter and sweat when He asks me to explain: anger, impatience, lust, misplaced priorities, etc. I really need someone to step up beside me and HELP me!
And that’s where Jesus comes to the rescue!
He steps alongside of a stammering, nervous me and takes over as my Priest… the one who presents me to God!
St. Paul writes:
We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. 23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. 25 For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. (Romans 3:23-25)
When I’m stuttering and trying to explain why I’ve screwed up so many times, Jesus steps up and says, “I took the hit for his sins… all of them, and he believes in me. He’s okay now.”
And that’s why the Bible says, “Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him”. As long as I’m clinging to and trusting Him I am acceptable to God! So you can bet your life that’s what I’m doing!
Back to the original question, why is the fact that Jesus is alive so important to me? Because He stands beside me when I’m naked and exposed before God and He presents me as one worthy of love and acceptance… because I have believed in Him.
And you know what that means? The verses I read this morning say that, because I am clinging to and trusting in Jesus, I can “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.”
Now that’s a BIG deal!
Thank you Jesus for stepping up for me when I’m naked in front of God.