Have you ever been out at sea with no land in sight for as far as you can see in all directions? I have. Have you every been out at sea in a storm when the waves are over forty feet tall? I have. Have you ever seen the ocean like a sheet of glass with not even a ripple for as far as you can see? I have. Have you ever been out at sea in the night and gazed up at all the stars that you can’t normally see and marvel at the wonder of the universe? I have.
It’s a humbling experience. It helps puts things into perspective and one cannot help but wonder why it is that we have been given this gift of life. And even more so, why oh why does the Creator of all that we see, know and care about us. And yet, the truth of the matter is that He does.
In Matthew 10:30 Jesus tells us that even the hairs on our heads are numbered. Ever word that we speak and every thought that we think are heard. Our prayers are heard and the cries of our hearts are known by our Creator. And then when I ponder this earth that we live on and how against all odds, life with all of its varied species exists, including our own human race, it boggles my mind, even with all of the evil that does exists.
We take so many things for granted. The earth with all of the beauty that God has created, the flowers, all the different varieties of fruit, the birds, the trees, the sky, the air we breath, the variety of foods that are available to sustain our bodies. Our ability to see, hear, touch and smell what is around us. And then there is love. That non-physical emotional attachment or feeling than can consume our whole being, sometimes for good and sometimes for not so good.
When I read the Bible and God’s revelation unfolds, where our connection with Him is broken and how He doesn’t will to leave us there, He paints a picture that just about anyone can understand, that gives us glimmers of Him and insights into ourselves and lays out a promise of a coming Messiah, a Savior, God actually coming to dwell among us and show us of Himself. And then, in Jesus, it actually happens.
There’s never been anyone like Jesus. The words He spoke, the things He did, and especially what He accomplished for us. It’s hard to comprehend how God could care and love us so much that He would go through what He went through to get us to see. And yet He did. Jesus walked on this earth, He breathed the air that we breath, He knows our weaknesses and He knows our limitations. He understands because He became one of us. It’s hard not to see the beauty of that.
Yet Jesus was different. He perfectly followed the will of His Father, everything that He did, all of the words that He spoke came from the Father. And like all things that God does, at the right time and in the right place, when all of the moving parts where ready, Jesus began His ministry knowing full well where it all would lead. If any of you have had cancer, like I have had, in the past, the foreknowledge of what is likely to unfold, takes on a whole new life of its own. It affects just about everything, and it filters out very quickly, what is important and what is not important. It clarifies like few other things can.
Yet Jesus steadfastly walked towards his goal, never ever letting anything interfere with His Father’s intent. He came to save us, to do for us what we in ourselves could never do, perfectly follow the will and goodness of the Father, at the expense of His own pain and suffering, so that we, you and I, could be at one with the Father again.
Jesus died on the cross for you and for me. He had to, there was no other way. We simply can’t do it ourselves, no matter how good we may think we are, no matter how noble and loving we think we may be, the love that we have doesn’t compare with the love that emulates from the Father, not even close. It’s a totally different ballgame, we’re not even on the same playing field. God is about mercy, forgiveness, true honesty, justice, truth and an even playing field, where there are no special passes for you or for me. God is not a respecter of persons, He knows us much better than we know ourselves, and there’s a reason for that, He created us.
We take so much for granted, we assume so many things without ever coming close to reality. We live on a planet that may well be unique within this universe, that itself came into being out of nothing. We get what we need to sustain these bodies from a ball of fire in our solar system, which is tucked away in a special place, in one of billions of galaxies. One solitary planet different from all known others. The ground that we walk on wasn’t always there, the soil that we take for granted didn’t always exist, the plant life and animals that we naturally recognize have only been here for a short short time frame, when we take a look at the creation time span of just our own planet. Special circumstances produced what we see all around us and yet most of us don’t even recognize what it is that we see.
Not only did God give us life but He also gave us everything that we need to live and thrive in this environment, which is in reality, only a foretaste of what is available.
1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV says “However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him—”
Jesus knew this when He came to be with us. Jesus knew the heart and intent of His Father, that love that emulates towards us, His creation.
John 3:16 NIV “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
But not only did Jesus come to die for us so that our sins could be forgiven, He also came to show us that the promise of eternal life is not just wishful thinking.
Jesus rose from the dead. He died and was buried and rose again on the third day, just like He said He would. The Apostles and many of His followers saw Him, spoke with Him, touched Him, ate with Him. It’s what turned the Apostles around 180 degrees, it’s what brought about Christianity.
And in essence, the whole story, the whole revelation, is all about God’s love for us, His creation. Available to be accepted or available to be declined. And all of it focuses on Jesus.
John 14:6 NIV “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Why is God’s love for us expressed through His Son? Because that is the way that God the Father knew it could only be. And there is a reason for that. We cannot, in ourselves, left to our own devices, become like God truly is, and God knows that, so He sent us His Son, to do for us, what we in and of ourselves cannot do. And so it is.
So when you reject Jesus, you reject the wilful expressed demonstration of God’s love.
And sincerely, you don’t want to do that. If you haven’t already, you do need to truly look, you do need to truly listen.
And today, on this Sunday, I ask you to share with me, in this beautiful example of spontaneous worship that is a reality, when that door to our Lord has been opened:
Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!