The Longing

I’m sure that there are many who cannot understand the longing that so many Christians have for the return of Jesus. I’m sure there are many who wonder how it is that we believe in that which we cannot see and I’m also sure that many scratch their heads at the discussions that go on between us, that fill our hearts and minds.

How is it possible that people can read a collection of 66 books, many of which were written thousands of years ago and come to believe in the story that they collectively tell? I know that for every truth that this book of books reveals, there is an argument against it. I know that for every reality this book of books reveals, there are those who deny that reality exists.

But somewhere in my past, many years ago, I sat on a doorstep and asked God, if He was real, to reveal Himself to me, and He did. I had no idea how He would do it. I had no preconceived concept of Who He was. I just knew instinctively that it was possible, by what I had already seen, and I knew that I was lost, so I asked.

And then Jesus was introduced to me, on pages of that book of books, and slowly, very slowly, I began to comprehend Who He was and some of which He spoke about. I had no idea where I was going, no vision of what laid ahead. The journey has been long and I have taken many detours but through it all, I have come to where I am now.

How is it that you can love someone who you have never seen? How is it that His words touch your heart like nothing else can? How is it that someone as insignificant as me can actually be turned inside out and know beyond all doubt that the Creator of all that we see, all that we hear and all that we touch, can and does love us? 

I can tell you why.

Because Jesus, the Son of the living God, introduces us to Him and while He does this, He introduces us to Himself also and the realities that He speaks of, are proven, time and time again to be true, against all odds, against all reasoning, against all reckoning of what we deserve.

Those 66 books speak of God revealing Himself to His creation. Those 66 books speak of His nature, His thoughts and His ways being different from who and how me are. Yet they display a spiritual reality that dwells deep within us that goes beyond the physical and a love and desire emulating from God to restore what was intended and what can indeed be again. And the path to this realization is through the coming of a Messiah, who will be like us but different because the Messiah will be God in the flesh, so that we who live in the flesh, can comprehend the reality of the spirit, His Spirit, that desires to have us know Him, as He is, so that we may be one in Him.

And then, that Messiah, arrives, in the place and at the time God says He will arrive. This Messiah is Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed One. Jesus is different, very different, not that He is not human but different in all that He says, all that He does and all that demonstrates. Jesus speaks of the truth that has preceded His arrival, He speaks of His Father, He speaks of the Father’s love. And most importantly, Jesus shows us that He and He alone is the means by which the Father has decided to reconcile all who yearn to know Him, back to Himself. 

The words that Jesus spoke, Jesus tells us, are not His own words, but the words of the Father, The things that Jesus does, Jesus tells us, are not of Himself, but once again, come from the Father. The healings, the miracles, the teachings, all come from the Father. Much of what Jesus tells us goes against how we humans normally react, it goes against the grain, it compels us to trust in Him rather than our own devices. Through the miracles and the teachings, we are exposed to a reality that we cannot see. God is a spirit, Jesus was sent by His Father, in the flesh, so that we might comprehend, so that we might hear and so that we might see, that which we do not see or hear.

This unfolding story that is revealed in these 66 books really starts with a small group of insignificant people, a tribe if you will, who are descendents of those who had gone before them, a fulfillment of a promise by God to Abraham, who followed God before them, by faith. You’ll need to read the story. But God takes that small tribe, those descendents and calls them Israel, His first born. It’s a long and difficult journey with many facets of God revealing Himself, to humanity, that is determined to make it on their own. The long and short of this long story, is that we come to the realization that without faith it is impossible to be like our Creator, that we can’t, in and of ourselves, bring this about. 

The Holiness of God is something that most of us just don’t comprehend. We can’t grasp what we aren’t. We can’t see what we are not. But Jesus knows and He shows us, He lives that reality, in front of us, in the flesh. As I said previously, you’ll need to actually read the account that has been given.

And then, before it happens, Jesus tells us, as it has been explained before, earlier in some of those 66 books, that He will be crucified for us and die and rise again from the dead. And then it happens, and He is crucified and He does die and He does rise again from the dead. The New Testament, the “Good News” speaks of that reality. It is, in fact, the reason for the reality of the Christian Church, the body of His believers that we see in our recorded history, even to this very day.

I know, I am aware that the history of the Christian Church is not unlike the history of Israel. There are many divisions and the traits of humanity intermingled with the truths that God has revealed of Himself. People aren’t perfect, God is, and it shows. Look to Jesus, He doesn’t change.

But Jesus, Jesus is that rock that never changes, He who speaks of God’s love and caring and His desire to have us with Him now and forever. You can meet Him in the pages of those 66 books, He is there, right from the first page to the very last. Reading is relatively easy, coming to know and experience Jesus is much harder but not because God makes it that way, but because we do. Somethings are slow to change.

This Jesus, who rose from the dead and was seen by the Apostles and many others, multiple times during a period of 40 days, before He ascended back into heaven, before their very own eyes, said that it was necessary that He return to the Father but that He would not leave us orphans, that those of us who believed in Him would receive the gift of His Holy Spirit and our new life in Him would begin. That reality is true but it is not always easy to explain. God’s Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus, He guides us, teaches us, strengthens us, as we yield to Him. God seldom pulls, He leads and we learn to follow. When Jesus says “take my yoke upon you” He actually meant it.

A walk with Jesus, in this world, is daily, hourly, even minute by minute. And it is there, where you meet Jesus, as He eternally is. If you haven’t begun to do that, if you haven’t come to that place, you won’t know Him and that in reality is what it is all about. 

I have heard someone say that the longest journey is from our head to our heart. Coming to know the reality of God through Jesus, is that journey. Because when all is said and done, God wants to live in our hearts and wants us to live in His heart. His Spirit in our spirit, our spirit in His Spirit.

So I can understand why you can’t see what I see and I can understand what you don’t hear. I’ve been there and I am where I am now and I can tell you, my only regret is that I did not make my journey from my head to my heart, much sooner than I did. 

God is real.
Israel is real.
Jesus is real.
Redemption through faith in the shed blood of Jesus the Christ is real.

So yes, we do long to see Jesus return, and He will return, maybe not in my days, but you can bank on it. It’s the love of Jesus, that emulates from the Father, that slays our hearts. And once you’ve tasted that love, well, there’s no turning back.  

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

10 comments

  1. Amen! Come LORD Jesus!
    That was astounding, Bruce – such spirit-filled words. I could feel His presence as I was reading. Thank you. 🙌

    Like

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