When you say the name, Jesus, do images from his life flash to mind? Images such as:
His healing hand gently touching a hideous leper, the lesions disappearing, fingers and toes miraculously being restored? Do you see the love and joy on Jesus’ face as he watches the healed one, eyes darting between arms and legs, elbows to knees, rejoicing that every inch of his skin glows with health (Matthew 11:5)?
Jesus standing in the bow of a lurching boat with arms raised, sleeves flapping in the whipping wind of a squall? Do you hear his authoritative voice above the mayhem shouting, “Be still!” Do you feel the boat stop pitching and rolling as the fearsome waves settle into calm ripples (Luke 8:22-25)?
Do you see Jesus leaning in, listening intently to the Samaritan woman at the well, eyes focused only on her, indicating genuine interest and tender compassion? Do you sense his pleasure as she becomes a passionate believer (John 4:4-30)?
Do you breathe in the aroma of fresh bread and dried fish that permeated the hillside where 5,000 men (plus women and children) ate lunch one day, supplied by one boy’s meager fare–likely two small barley loaves and five sardines (Luke 9:10-17)?
Do you see Jesus reclining with his disciples at the Last Supper? Do you hear the reverent tone of the ceremonial words? Do you see the astonished expressions on the disciples’ faces, as Jesus changed the well-known ritual to speak of his body, his blood, and a betrayer among them?
Do you recognize the rich symbolism of his sacrifice-to-come in the elements of the meal? 1) The unleavened matzah bread with its grill marks, reminding us of the stripes he bore on his back (Matthew 27:26). 2) The breaking of that bread, representing Jesus’ body broken for us (Matthew 26:26-28). 3) The lamb, symbolizing Jesus as the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sakes that we might have eternal life (Romans 3:23-24). 4) The third cup of wine during the Passover meal, called the cup of redemption, representing Jesus’ blood.**
Without our Jesus of gentleness, power, compassion, and sacrifice, we’d be reduced to lives of futility and fear. Without our Jesus, we’d have no hope and promise of heaven’s ecstasy.
Every moment of his earthly life proved his perfection, his singular purpose, his love.
He is the sum total of all delights.
His name is:
music with which the bells of heaven sing;
a song in a word;
an ocean for comprehension,
although a drop of brevity;
a matchless oratorio in two syllables,
a gathering up of the hallelujahs of eternity
in five letters”
— Charles Spurgeon
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Precious Jesus, we praise you that the same attributes you demonstrated in Galilee and Judea so long ago are still at work among us today. You are our faithful Rock, a Friend who never fails, a Shepherd who always attends. May your name continually be on our lips!
**Jesus referred to his blood as the seal of a new covenant, a new promise. By his death, the debt was paid–the one we owed because of our sin (Luke 22:20; Romans 3:23-25a).
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