He's Real!

 "When they arrived they were greeted with the report, 'The Lord is really risen! He appeared to Peter!' " Luke 24:34...."The resurrection of Jesus Christ makes marks out of wounds." Beth Moore

 

Anyone who has truly been a follower of Christ has likely heard the statement that their "religion" or faith is just a crutch. That same person, if they truly know Him as their life source, will echo the words of the old song, "He's real, He's real, I know He's real." Why? Because as Moore also stated, no imaginary friend could have done, and continues to do in her life, what He had done for her. For her, for me, and I hope for you, no crutch could be so real, or do so much. This cannot be better seen than in the way He can turn tragedy and chaos into victory and peace. How beauty can come out of the ashes, and mourning turned into dancing. Pain and sorrow are real, but if we can trust and believe in the midst of it, we will discover that He is more real. In the midst of the greatest "realities" and sorrows of life, He is the greatest reality. Only those who have walked with Him through hell, darkness and death can know that He is the real joy, peace, and life that cannot be extinguished in any of those places, and indeed, triumphs over all of them.

Paul made the statement that he bore upon his body, "the brand-marks of Christ." This did more than mark him as belonging to Jesus. They were marks that went into the very core of his being, telling him, and all those around him, that the power and wonder of Christ were a reality. To him, and to all who would like him, trust and believe. 

 

You likely know the story of how, when Jesus appeared to the disciples the first time after His resurrection, Thomas, who was absent, doubted the report. He said that he would have to see and touch the wounds of Christ in order to believe. Teaching on this, Moore said that when He did again appear, He invited Thomas to do just that. When he did, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God." Those marks were the proof to Thomas of the reality of the resurrection. That's what Moore meant when she said that the power of His resurrection can turn every wound in life, no matter how deep and devastating, into a mark that proves in that life the power of His Life. That Christ came into a life, hopelessly lost, wounded, and dead, and by His Life touching theirs, brought healing, wholeness, and oneness with Him. This is the proof of the reality of His Life. Does this proof exist in yours and in mine? Do we bear such proof marks in our lives of faith? 

 

A friend was talking the other day about how everyone wants to see Christ, but that few of us seem to understand that the only path to really seeing Him will come through His cross. Through our going to it as well, partaking, as His word says, of the fellowship of His sufferings. It's there that we will see Him, and there that our wounds will be made whole. There that we will receive His mark upon our bodies and souls. At the cross we will not find a crutch, or an imaginary friend. We will find, receive, and know Christ. Then our hearts too will sing; "He's real, He's real, I KNOW He's real!" Do they sing that now? How really real is He to you and I today?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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