Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Lord is My Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Christmas is the most celebrated holiday of the year. And why not? People are more happy than usual, we visit with family and friends, there are often parties and it’s just a joyous time of the year. But most importantly, it is the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However in my opinion, Easter is more important.

As many of you know, one of my favorite things to do during Easter is to watch “The 10 Commandments”. The story of Moses is an incredible account of a man devoted to God. But the life of Jesus Christ is astonishing. I don’t even feel worthy to write a blog of this nature, but I’m going to anyway. To think, that God would send His only son, to save the human race is humbling to me. He knew what Jesus would go through, but it would allow our sins to be forgiven. How many of us could honestly watch someone we truly love be tortured if we had the power and ability to stop it?

Jesus lived an incredible life and we really know only a very small part about it. Did you know that Jesus’ time of ministry recorded in the Bible is only about 3 years? I believe that reiterates the significance of Jesus’ life and the message he brought. Everyday we complain about aspects of our life that are aggravating. So often, things just don’t seem to go our way. But when you think about Jesus’ life and his final days, it is truly incredible. To think that “the people” chose to punish Jesus instead of Barabbas is unbelievable. He had committed no crime or harmed anyone and Barabbas was a known criminal. It chokes me up to think about how he was beaten, mocked, ridiculed, and crucified, and for what? For bringing the world a message of peace and forgiveness? It’s hard to comprehend. For him to be tortured and crucified so that we could all be forgiven for the sins we commit is truly humbling. I’m going to be quite honest with you, if I had been put in that same situation, after the first crack of a whip across my back, somebody would have been burned to a crisp with a lightning bolt out of the tip of my finger. There would also be a passage in the Bible that said; “Then Robbie looked around after he incinerated the soldier and said, ‘does anyone else have any questions? Does anyone else doubt me now?” I don’t think I’m alone in that regard. But even after all of the mocking, ridicule, condemnation, and torture, Jesus says; “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

We truly have so much to be grateful for. If you look at history, Christians have gone through extended periods of hardship. Like the Hebrews being slaves to the Egyptians for 400 years. That is amazing. But if Christianity were easy, I don’t think it would prove our worth. Jesus promised us forgiveness; he never promised an easy life on earth and for everything to go our way just because we go to church for an hour on Sunday.

I certainly think going to church and being involved with your community is good for everyone. In my opinion, the people that go to church, visit with their family and friends, do good for others, and accept life as it comes, are almost always happier than people that don’t. We all face challenges and how you deal with them is what makes you the person you are. When you think of the story of Christ, he was met constantly with problems. Those who believed in him were looking for a solution to every problem imaginable. In the passages of the Bible, there are multiple scenarios where Jesus performed miracles. But what I have always wondered is just how many more he likely performed while he was on earth.

Although we all wish everyone could always have a normal, healthy and happy life, it just doesn’t work out like that all time. I think Ecclesiastes 3 sums up our time on earth as good as any passage in the Bible. But to know that if we keep our faith and ask for forgiveness, we will live for eternity in Heaven is a humbling thought. To think that Noah lived to be 950, and Moses lived to be 120, but Jesus only lived to be 33 is certainly a testament as to just how extraordinary his life was. Because of his sacrifice, we can be forgiven. We should always be grateful, but at Easter, we should certainly take the time to thank God and acknowledge just how grateful we are for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.