Made with Strength Series: What I learned about Jesus this Easter

Monday, 28 March 2016

"He can identify with your weaknesses.
He can identify with your temptations."

John Pipers words echoed in my heart as if they were the only ones spoken the entire 40 minute message.

Today they landed their mark.

Tears fell.
My heart ached and felt comforted all at the same time.

I learned something new about my Jesus this Easter. And it has changed everything.

Before, Jesus's perfection hindered me from understanding the truth. The truth that He GETS me. And He's more like me than I ever thought possible.

When I'm talked about behind my back,
When I'm left out or excluded,
When I'm rejected or denied,
When I'm called names,
When I'm unfriended, unfollowed, or slandered,
When I'm belittled,
When I'm misunderstood,
When I'm hurt,
When I'm ignored,
When I'm afraid,
When I'm alone,
When I'm mocked or shunned,
When I lose support,
When I'm discouraged or shamed,
When I'm deceived,
When I'm lied about or lied to,
When I'm used as the punch line for a joke,
When I'm broken, beat, left out, rejected, afraid, alone, hurt, betrayed....

He was too.

Do I really get that though?!
Do I get that Jesus was talked about behind his back?
Do I get that Jesus was left out and excluded?
Do I get that crowds called him names?
Do I get that even his BEST FRIEND, Peter, unfriended him publicly when it mattered most, not once but 3 times?
Do I get that He was belittled when He told His true Identity to the masses?
Do I get that He was misunderstood? ALL.THE.TIME?
Am I getting this?

Do I get that He was hurt? Literally striped, flogged, beaten and hung on a cross to die?
Do I get that He was ignored when He warned his disciples of what would happen to him?
Do I get that He was afraid, pouring/sweating blood over the pain of what tomorrow might bring when He BEGGED God, the Father, to let the cup pass from Him?
Do I get that He was alone?? He was left by his dearest friend, his most loyal crowds to take the shame, punishment and abuse by himself?
Do I get that He lost support? One of his own rejected him.
Do I get that He was mocked and shamed because of the truth?
Do I get that He lost ALL the support from the peoples he had spent his days healing, feeding, teaching?
Do I get that He was deceived by Judas, Satan and the Pharisees who were constantly trying to get him to mess up, trip up, fall down or make a fool of himself?
Do I get that He was lied to and about?
Do I get that His name was used as a punch line to jokes? His clothes were even gambled over?
Do I get that HE was broken, HE was beat, HE was left out, HE was rejected, HE was afraid, alone, hurt, rejected.

Do I get that??

I didn't. Until today.
I knew it, but I didn't get it.

In my pain, in my hurt, in my loneliness, when I swear I can't bear it any longer... When I want to yell or scream out in frustration over people and the ways I'm constantly let down... When I just don't want to anymore...

I can call on His Name.

Not because He was perfect.
But because He was human. Just like me.
He's like me. He's like you.
He felt the emotions I feel.
He's been through what I'm going through.
That's mind blowing to me!
I just wrote Him off as a perfect being somewhat disconnected to my existence with sin.
But that's not true!!

He's been tempted to lash out in anger, to take action for justice, to fight to win and hurt those who've hurt Him.
Just like me.

But He didn't.
He chose the opposite.
He chose kindness.
He chose love.
He chose grace.
He chose mercy.
He chose forgiveness.
He chose death.
Then, He brought life.

And He changed everything.

I don't have to fight fire with fire.
I don't have to battle for my name to be clean, or my words to be influential.
I don't have to win others over, or live for their approval.
I don't have to be discouraged by their attitudes, behavior, or disappointments.
I don't have to be who they want me to be.
I don't have to win.
I don't have to let loneliness in or anger burn.

He overcame.
Now I can too.
Same is true for you.

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