Jesus Identifies with Us
Most of the religions of the world involve our search for God. That search may be seen as a journey within, or a journey into the expanse of the cosmos, or some other imagery, but the common thread is that God, however envisioned, is separate and must be sought out, while we hope that we may be found worthy to be in the presence of God.
Christian faith is not about our search for God, but rather about God’s search for us! Essential to the Judeo-Christian understanding of God is that He does not sit apart from us waiting for us to become worthy to seek Him, or wise enough to find Him. God comes to us even in our unworthiness and foolishness to find us and redeem us. This comes first in the very nature of creation (see Romans 1:20), but further in the law and the prophets.
For Christians, this finds its most complete revelation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Each time I think about this, I am stunned. Not only does Jesus come to us, take on all that goes with being human, suffers immeasurably at our hands, and redeems us, but He still actually identifies with us!
The lesson from Acts for Sunday tells of the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus road. After Saul (later renamed Paul) is knocked off his feet by a light from heaven, the Lord speaks to him saying “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Persecuting ME! Jesus continues this identification with us, saying “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Click here for the complete passage.) Not my followers, not your fellow Jews. But Saul’s persecution of Jesus followers is persecution of Jesus Himself!
He is not ashamed of you, or distant from you!
How might you identify more completely with Jesus in your life?
This column appeared in the May 5, 2019 issue of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
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