I know that if you’re alive today, everybody has so many distractions and they can be so overwhelming that it’s hard to focus on any one thing for any length of time; especially your relationship with Jesus. It’s easy to loose track of the condition of our walk. It’s like:
– Kids ready for school? (Check!)
– Doctors appointment? (Pfth….)
– Kids Sports practice? (Check!)
– Laundry? (later.)
– Supper? (Mom! What are we having for supper? Can I have the frozen pizza?)
– Jesus? (I went to church last Sunday. Still saved.)
I’m good to go. Where’s my phone?
Nobody ever intentionally puts Jesus on the checklist, It just happens. (FYI, It’s doesn’t matter what age we are , we just have a different checklist.) So you better get used to asking yourself WHERE’S JESUS? Because it’s a life long process.
Please accept my paraphrase of the Gospels, to construct a story format summary of the Easter morning story.
Early on Sunday morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of James were bring the burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. When they came to the tomb they found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. They entered the tomb and saw that Jesus was not there. Mary ran and found Simon Peter and John, and told them, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Peter and John started running for the tomb. When John got to the tomb he looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there. Then Simon Peter and John went inside the tomb and seeing the linen wrappings lying in the tomb; they then believed, for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!”
(which is Hebrew for “great teacher”, also “my beloved master”).
This morning I hope that the Holy Spirit will illuminate some truths of the heart, about the call, and the response, we find in the text of the gospels regarding the resurrection of Christ Jesus.
I am convinced that the critical difference between having having a Christian life and having a living, loving daily relationship with Jesus, is directly connected to degree we have had a real and personal encounter with the living Son of God.
I really don’t want to get into the “religion, versus relationship” argument regarding anyone’s state of salvation, or even question anyone’s sincerity towards their conviction to Christ Jesus. The difference I hope the Holy Spirit will illuminate to each of us this morning is very subtle, but it makes all the difference in the world!
As we can see from these versus, even though someone has spent substantial time with Jesus, sometimes we still don’t recognize Him in our lives. We are too focused on our own religious agenda (Reading the Bible, Praying, helping out at the church, and even our Sunday offering.) to see Him standing right in front of us. Unfortunately,,, lots of people go through their entire religious, even Christian lives without ever hearing Jesus call us personally by our name.
(If I really want to go to the heart of things,,, Sometimes people’s faith is based on Christ, Pre-Resurrection…)
– Jesus was born the Son of God, (Therefore he is a unique person worthy of being followed.)
– Jesus was a great teacher, (Therefore Jesus teachings are good guidance for a good life.)
– Jesus was a great man, (Therefore Jesus is a great roll model for my life.)
– Jesus is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. (Therefore I am saved.)
So many of us settle for: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And this IS biblical,,, Unfortunately this results in the response; “I’m Saved.” This response has the Christian working for and waiting their entire lives for the moment they hear Jesus speak their name. They are waiting for the fullness of the Christ life to happen in an event that will occur in heaven after they die!
BUT! There IS SO MUCH MORE available to us. There is a deeper LIFE. There is a “Spirit Filled”, “Joy Unspeakable”, “Peace that passes all understanding” personal call, when you hear His voice call you by name! HERE AND NOW! And this real encounter with Him elicits a different personal response; “I’m Yours.” This response has the Christian walking in the fullness of the Christ life everyday of our lives. This IS biblical too! Jesus says: “For the Kingdom of God is within you.”
Let me make this simple analogy: If I were to be asked how I like being married, consider these two answers:
(1.) “I like sharing my life with someone, coming home and sharing my day, having someone that knows me and wants to be with me and grow old with me.” (This all sounds very good.)
(2.) “I like being married to Simone.” The second answer would make all the difference to Simone.
Just like I believe the second scenario of the call and our response to Christ, (“I’m yours”) makes all the difference to Jesus.
“I’m Saved” is a very one sided response to Jesus’s call; the focus is on our-self.
“I’m yours.” is a very one sided response too, but the focus is on Jesus.
This morning, I want to encourage each of us to take this resurrection day to examine the real condition of our heart; Can there be more to my walk? (Not more work, more ministry, more religious activity…) I’ve already established that we’ve all got too many things on our plate; to many distractions from Jesus.
Are the Christian works of our life an easy, “I’m Saved” response?
Or do we dare put ourselves on the line and say to Jesus,,, “I’m yours.”?
Have we ever heard the voice of Jesus call us personally by our name? If so, how long ago has it been? Are we still walking in this real and personal call? AND even more,,, Does our life truly match up to the response; “I’m yours”?
I pray this morning that the Holy Spirit will open our eyes that we can see Jesus as Mary saw Jesus when He spoke her name. Open our ears that we can hear His call, that we would turn to Him and answer the call with, “My Beloved Master, I’m yours”.
This Easter,,, Find some time to tell Jesus, “I’m Yours”.