Everybody loves Jesus—or at least the idea of what they’ve made Him. Most admire the historical Jesus rendered in kindness and compassion. And everyone loves to quote that the truth shall set you free.
I’ve known Jesus—from birth. In my house, church wasn’t optional. Even on rare occasions when we went on vacation, Mama would pack our Sunday clothes and church shoes to make sure we found ourselves on Sunday mornings in a congregation somewhere.
So even at a young age, I knew more Scripture than most and memorized plenty of Bible stories. But for me, Jesus was more of a principle. And just as flimsy as the flannel graph version from Sunday school.
I knew He lived again—I’d never missed an Easter. I’d seen the stone rolled away. But for me, that was the end of the story until He came back in the clouds. There, the story just paused where everyday living meant Bible study reminders of looking up for the day He’d take us home.
This is exactly how I lived until my life was over. As an adult who knew all about sin and its separation and how Jesus was the Answer to even our most impossible needs, I found myself in the middle of a life without reality.
There were no answers.
Nothing made sense. Everything I believed about myself was distorted. My strengths were now my weaknesses. And the historical Jesus I’d learned about, though loving and compassionate as He was, couldn’t pull me from the pit I’d created.
I wish I could insert a streak of lightning or a miraculous vision about now. But neither happened. And though a jolt in the atmosphere would’ve been welcomed, my struggles continued in the quiet for longer than I’d like to admit.
I’ve heard it called the Romans Road, so I guess that’s fitting for me, because for days that turned to weeks I camped there, right at the end of the 8th chapter, determined to find something.
Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
[Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39b
Somewhere in the middle of Romans on a quiet morning I grabbed hold of God’s reality. For the first time, the words moved.
The historical Jesus could never reach far enough to pierce my inward places. But this time, I met the living Jesus who exposed the hidden parts to uncover the truth in the words I’d read forever.
Jesus is life.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us so that we could live. His mission wasn’t a show and tell of how to behave and get along with others. He came to testify to the Truth so that we could be freed from the bondage within ourselves.
Jesus is our greatest example for how we should live and how to treat others. Jesus does perform miracles and He does heal our diseases. But He is bound within our distorted views of who He is.
We must remain still long enough to get acquainted.