Posts Tagged ‘Jesus as God’

There are many things in life that I have a hard time understanding.  The scale of the universe…time into eternity…what my wife is thinking.  (OK, actually I know what my wife is thinking a fair amount of the time, such as “what was he thinking?”, but most other times I am clueless.)  Of all the deep thoughts that fit into the category of head-scratching realities, the fact that Jesus died for me and for you is at the top of the list.  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8 NIV.  This is truly mind-boggling.  But the wonder of it does not diminish the simple fact – it is true.


I heard a story a few years back that gave me a new perspective on this.  It seems a little girl, 7 years old, was dying of a rare blood disorder.  The doctors had done what they could with medicine, but the prognosis was grim.  In a final effort to save the little girl’s life they offered a new treatment option that had shown promise.  If they found a perfect blood match they could perform a special blood transfusion and potentially cure the little girl.

The parents said yes and the search of databases begin.  The parents plus aunts, uncles, and all extended family members were tested but no match was found.  When the results returned the father looked at his wife and asked, “What about Billy?”  The mother, heart-broken, dropped her head, hoping not to have this question posed.  With a deep sigh, she said, “we can ask him.”

The results of the test showed a perfect match.  The news was bittersweet to the parents as they knew what they were asking of Billy would mean some pain and discomfort for their little boy, but it was their final option.  They called their 5-year old son into the room with the doctor and asked him.

“Billy, Annie is very sick.  The doctors have said she won’t live much longer without special help.  You see her blood is where the sickness is and she needs new blood.”

Billy listened wide-eyed, tears forming and flowing as he thought about his big sister not being there anymore.

“But Billy,” said the Dad, “There is hope.  You see there is a person who was a perfect match to Annie.  A person who can give her blood that can make her sickness go away.”

Hope leapt into Billy’s eyes.  “Really, Daddy?  That makes me happy.  But Daddy, why do you and Mommy still look so sad?”

“Honey, you are the perfect match and it would mean you would have to undergo a procedure to give your blood to Annie,” the Mother said choking back tears.  “But it means your sister will be able to live.”

At this Billy became quiet, his little brow furrowed.  Shortly he asked one question.  “You mean if I give my blood, Annie can live and play, and make you smile Mommy.”

“That’s right honey.  You’re the only one who can do it.”

A troubled look crossed Billy’s face for a moment, but then he brightened as if a pleasing thought crossed his mind.  “OK Momma.  If it will make you happy.  I will do it.”

The medical personnel quickly began making the arrangements.  Billy was given a few minutes alone with his parents.  His Dad knelt down and gave him a big hug and told him what a brave young man he was.  Billy’s smile was sad, but it was evident he wanted to be brave and please his Daddy.  Momma held his hand and looked him in the eye and said, “Billy, this is the most loving thing you can ever do for your sister.  I am so thankful for you, son.”  While a tear ran down her face, she was also giving Billy a smile.  Billy leaned into his Momma’s hug.

“That’s a happy tear, right Momma?  Like you told me last year when Aunt Sally got married.  I wondered why you were crying and smiling and laughing all at the same time, but you said they were happy tears.”

“That’s right dear.  That’s a happy tear, because my little boy is going to help save my little girl’s life.”

Soon the nurse came and took Billy away to prep him.  He cried a little as he looked back at Momma and Daddy, but he tried to smile so they could be happy tears.

In the transfusion lab, Annie, pale and listless, was wheeled in and connected to the blood transfer machine.  Two nurses bustled about checking vitals on machine and patient, making sure the procedure had the highest possible chance for success.

A little later Billy was wheeled in, his clothes replaced with a hospital gown, a pic line already inserted in his arm ready to begin the blood draw.  Because he was so young, a parent, Momma, was allowed in the room.  Billy’s face was tense, something significantly out of place on one so young.  When he saw Momma he relaxed a little.  Then he saw his sister Annie lying on the gurney on the other side of the machines.  His look became determined.  “This is going to help Annie, right Momma?”

“Yes dear, Annie is going to be able to recover because of what you are doing.”

“Then I’m happy Momma.  I’m glad this will help Sissy.”

A few minutes later a nurse bent down to let them know the procedure was about to start.  Billy bravely squeezed Momma’s hand a little tighter.

“OK” he said as he looked into Momma’s eyes.  The machine was switched on, and a quiet whirring began.  Within just a few minutes Annie’s color began to change as her blood was removed, cleansed and then mixed with Billy’s healthy blood.  Billy broke his gaze from Momma just long enough to look at Annie and to see the change.  He turned back to Momma.

A tear was now running down his cheek.  “How much longer Momma?”

“Not much longer,” she said as she too had turned to notice the change in Annie.  Hope was growing in Momma and Billy could see it.

“Will it hurt Momma?”

“I’m sorry dear, does the pic line hurt.”

“No Momma.  I mean when all my blood is gone and I’m dead.  Will it hurt?”

Momma gasped.  Billy had misunderstood.  He didn’t realize he was only giving a little of his blood to mix with his Sissy’s blood.  He thought he was giving it all…


‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Romans 5:6-8

Jesus held no illusions when He came to earth.  He came on a rescue mission.  There were no other options.  It was His blood that was going to save the day.

But unlike Billy, Jesus was shedding all His blood for ALL mankind.  Every person who has ever lived, was alive then, or was to live in the future were being given an antidote to the terminal illness of sin.

He was also different from Billy, He didn’t just think He was going to die, He knew He was going to die.  He knew not only pain and suffering were in His path, but humiliation and, sadly, rejection.  Yet He bravely faced it.

‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!’  Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus was God, who became a man, who walked this earth for 30+ years, and at the culmination of His earthly life, He paid the penalty for sin for everyone – for you and for me.  And then He put an exclamation mark on this selfless act by rising from the dead three days later and ascending into heaven.  He sits there today at the right hand of God the Father.  But He isn’t grim-faced.  No, He has a warm and inviting smile and His arms are outstretched toward us, beckoning with His nail-pierced hands.

“Come to me.  Come home.  Lay down your striving and join me.  We have much to talk about.  And in the time you have left on earth there are things to do, things that only you and I can do.  Come home to me and let’s talk.  I love you and I desire to live with you and to put my Holy Spirit inside you to help you from now on.”

Say yes to Jesus, my friend.  You will never be the same.

Blessings upon you.


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Throughout our stay in Hawaii we heard “Aloha!” both in greeting and as a goodbye.  Every tour guide we met referred to the importance of the word in conveying the Hawaiian sense of love, affection, peace, compassion, and mercy.  It was always said with a smile and, in many cases, with a hug or a kiss on the cheek.

We attended a Luau one night and the Chief spoke of the ancient roots of the word in the Polynesian language.  It seems the word is the combination of “Alo” which means to meet or stand face to face and the word “Ha” which carries the sense of breath or life or spirit.  So it has a sense of being in close connection with another and sharing the same breath or sharing life together.

As I heard this description my mind went to Jesus’ first appearance to His disciples after His resurrection.  It’s recorded in the 20th chapter of the book of John.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” ‘  John 20:19-22

Jesus is unique among all religious leaders.  In fact, Jesus would scoff at being called a religious leader.  Jesus spoke very plainly and clearly about Who He was.  He said He was God’s Son.  He said there was only one way to enter into a face to face relationship with God and that was through Him.  His disciples didn’t understand what He meant when He first told them, but with His resurrection, the truth began to become clear.  Jesus was God’s solution to man’s problem.  God is Holy and Perfect.  Sin cannot stand in God’s presence, yet His love desires to be joined with His children.  Therefore imperfect people cannot stand in God’s presence, but Jesus intervened on our behalf and in our place.  That’s what the cross was.  Jesus accepting the punishment for sin, for our sin, in our place so that we could be able to enter into a relationship with God.

I mentioned that Jesus was unique.  Others have made mighty proclamations.  But no others have been able to demonstrate their deity because they were mere men or women.  Only Jesus conquered death.  Only Jesus rose from the grave to be witnessed by hundreds after a very public and very real death.  Jesus proved Who He was by His resurrection. That proof is also supported by the transformed lives of thousands into millions who have experienced a personal relationship with the living Lord.  I am one of them.

Jesus may not be Hawaiian, but I believe He is probably okay with the definition of Aloha that the chief gave at our Luau.  I know He is calling people to come meet with Him face to face, to put their trust in Him, to turn from a life of trusting anything and everything else and to turn to Him.  Jesus is waiting.  He wants to breath His Spirit into His children.  Let today be the day you lean into Jesus and say “Yes”… you put your trust in Him and say “I’m Yours”… you step off the throne of your life and say, “My Lord and my God.”  If you speak Hawaiian, you just might hear Him say, “Aloha, my child.  I’ve been waiting for this moment since the day I first thought of you.  Receive My Spirit and enter my rest.”

Be blessed my friends and pass it on!

Note: These pictures are from our first full day in Oahu when we took the Ultimate Circle Tour of Oahu with our guide, Levent, and a van full of new friends like Sandra, Johnny, Fred, and Gail.  (Sorry we got separated at the end of the day like we did.  Hope you had a great wrap-up to your trip.)

Please feel free to view an download any pics that you like.  More to follow in the coming days.

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John the Apostle is refered to several times as the “disciple Jesus loved”. John was probably a relatively young teenager during Jesus’ ministry and the fondness that Jesus showed him was one of the reasons the nickname stuck. I’ve noticed a family in the scripture who may earn a similar moniker – the siblings Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. They are mentioned several times as hosts for Jesus and they play a prominent role in one of Jesus’ most amazing demonstrations of His deity and God’s power. Nearing the end of His time on earth Jesus raises His good friend Lazarus after He has been dead for four days. Let’s take a look at this family a little closer.

We first read of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:35 when Jesus stops by and teaches in their home.  Martha, the frantic hostess, is busy bustling around making all manner of preparations for the gathered crowd while sister Mary sits at Jesus’s feet soaking up His teaching.  Martha is gently rebuked as she requests Jesus to tell her sister to join her in the preparations for the men.  Instead Jesus tells Martha to relax and that Mary has chosen the most important thing… sitting at Jesus feet and hearing the words of life that He is sharing. 

The second time we meet this family is in John 11 when the brother Lazarus dies.  The beginning of this particular story always intrigues me.  Jesus is informed that Lazarus is ill and near to death and yet He waits 2 more days before leaving.  As many of the persons around Him knew, Jesus had healed so many sick persons that undoubtedly He could heal a sick Lazarus.  Yet Jesus waited.  Now if it was anyone but Jesus I would be tempted to say He hesitated  trying to figure out what to do.  But Jesus didn’t hesitate.  He is always right on time.  He is never late nor is He ever too early.  By waiting Jesus arrives after Lazarus has been dead for 4 days.  In this story we see how deeply Jesus is moved by the emotions He has for this family.  His love for them shows as He weeps with Martha and Mary over their loss even though He knows He will soon raise Lazarus and restore him to his family.  Hopefully I will get a chance to unpack this story more at a later date since it is so rich and full of messages for us.  Today I have something else to share.

The last time we see this family distinctly is in John 12.  It is only 6 days before Jesus’ crucifixion although no one but Jesus is aware of His imminent passion.  Jesus is in the home with the family again in Bethany which is 2 miles from Jerusalem.  While He is reclining at the table Mary takes a very expensive jar of nard, a perfume with which she anoints Jesus’ feet.  She then wipes His feet with her hair.  This creates  a stir.  Some are indignant because the value of the nard could be used to feed the poor.  I am sure others are simply shocked by the unadulterated display of love and submission Mary made.  At the very least I would say the situation is awkward and uncomfortable for the majority.  Yet Jesus again steps in to Mary’s defense.  He sees the deeper meaning in what she is doing.  Without realizing why, Mary has responded to the prompting within and has anointed Jesus for burial.

While these are three specific times we see Jesus with this family, I am sure there are plenty of other times they shared time together.  The closeness we see between the Lord and Lazarus, Mary, and Martha is a picture of what the Lord desires for every family.  The Lord loves them as unique people and He relates to them right where they are.  The only rebuke He gives this family is the gently given rebuke to Martha when she asks the Lord to scold Mary for not helping her.  (Boy does that one hit me square between the eyes.)   Jesus’ love for each one is clear in the emotions He demonstrates and the time He spends with them.

It is my firm belief that Jesus’ plan of redemption flows through the family.  Even before the Church, God values family.  When He transforms a life through His love and the power of His Holy Spirit, the first people God will touch is our family.  If there are broken and damaged relationships then God, who has called us to be ministers of reconciliation, will guide us to share His love in tangible ways to heal those relationships.  If there are estranged members of the family then God will put in us the desire to pray and seek out those that are lost.  Where there is stress and worry, the Lord will ask us to minister His peace.  Where there is doubt we are to consistently trust and allow Him to build faith within us that is visible to our family. 

A quick word of warning from my experience and that of others.  There are plenty of wrong ways to go about convincing others of truth.  Jesus never bullied people.  A living faith is not based upon a forced conversion.  The Holy Spirit is a gentlemen and He does not force people against their will.  However the Holy Spirit is God and He knows us intimately.  Because He loves us and desires us to live in relationship with Him, He is able to bring us to the point of decision using our intellect, our emotions, or the  combination of all we are.  As believing family members reaching out within our family we must simply seek to work in concert with the Holy Spirit to reach them.  It is God’s desire that they know Him even more than we desire it.  Our prayer and our obedience are primary tools God will use.  The plan and timing are His though. 

We’ve looked at a family in the bible that Jesus clearly loved.  He was engaged with them individually and as a family.  They are an example to us of how He wants to relate to us as well… as individuals and as an entire family committed to Him.

Walk in the power of His resurrection life and be a blessing today!

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