One of the biggest problems in Western society is broken relationships - friendships that have become sour, promises that have not been kept, and disappointed hopes. Many have divorced or witnessed a divorce as a child. We have experienced pain and turmoil in an unstable world. We had to learn, authorities and offices are not always trustworthy, and people basically only care about themselves.
Many of us feel lost in such a strange world. We do not know where we come from, where we are now, where we go, how we get there or where we really belong. We try to navigate through the dangers of life as well as we can through a minefield, not to show the pain we feel and not to know whether our efforts and our lives are worthwhile.
We feel very alone and try to defend ourselves. We are reluctant to commit ourselves to anything and believe that man has to suffer because God is angry. The conceptions of God make no sense in today's world - right and wrong are only matters of opinion, sin is an old-fashioned idea and feelings of guilt are food for psychiatrists.
People in the Bible read about Jesus and conclude that he led a supernatural life, healing people by just touching them, making bread out of nothing, walking on the water, surrounded by protective angels and magically healing bodily harm , This has nothing to do with the world today. Likewise, the story of the crucifixion of Jesus seems to be detached from the problems of today's life. His resurrection is good news for him, but why should I think that it is good news for me?
Jesus experienced the world
The pain we feel in an alienating world is exactly the kind of pain that Jesus knows. He was betrayed by a kiss to one of his closest disciples and abused by the authorities. Jesus knew what it is like for a person to be hailed one day and mocked the next. The cousin of Jesus, John the Baptist, was murdered by a ruler appointed by the Romans, because John revealed the moral imperfections of the ruler. Jesus knew he would also be killed because he questioned the teachings and status of Jewish religious leaders. Jesus knew that people would hate him for no reason and that friends would turn against him. This type of person who remains faithful to us, even when we are hateful, is a true friend, the opposite of a traitor.
We are like people who have fallen into an icy river and can not swim. Jesus is the guy who jumps into the cold water to help us. He knows that we will do our best to seize him. But in our desperate attempt to lift our heads up, we push him down into the water.
Jesus volunteered for us to show us a better way. Maybe we can trust this man, Jesus - because he was ready to give his life for us when we were his enemies, how much more can we trust him when we are his friends?
Our life path
Jesus can tell us something about life, where we came from and where we are going and how to get there. He can tell us something about the dangers in the relationship field that we call life. We do not have to trust him very much - we can just try a bit to see if it works. If we do that, we will grow in our confidence. In fact, I think we'll find He's always right.
Usually we do not want friends who are always right. It's annoying. Jesus is not the kind of person who always says, "I told you." He just jumps into the water, fights against our efforts to drown him, drags us to the bank of the river and lets us catch our breath. And let's go until we do something wrong again and fall into the river. Finally, we learn to ask Him where the stumbling blocks are and where the thin ice is, so we do not have to be saved so often.
Jesus is patient. He lets us make mistakes and even lets us suffer from these mistakes. He lets us learn - but he never runs away. We may not be sure it exists, but we can be sure that patience and forgiveness work much better than anger and alienation when it comes to relationships. Jesus does not bother with our doubts and our suspicions. He understands why we are reluctant to trust.
Jesus talks about fun, about joy, about real and lasting personal fulfillment that does not fade, about people who really love you, even if they know how you are. We were created for relationships, so we want them so much and that's what Jesus offers us. He wants us to finally come to him and accept his free invitation to a happy, relaxed party.
Before us lies a life worth living for. Therefore, Jesus willingly endured the pain of this world to point to a better world. It's like we're on an endless desert walk and we do not know which way to go. Jesus leaves the comfort and security of his glorious paradise to defy the sandstorms and show us that he gives us everything we desire, if we just change direction and follow him.
Jesus also tells us where we are right now. We are not in paradise! Life hurts. We know this and he knows it too. He experienced it. That's why he wants to get us out of this mess and give us a life in abundance, which he has planned for us right from the start.
Family ties and friendships are two of the happiest, fulfilling relationships in life when they work well - but unfortunately they do not always work well and that's one of our biggest problems in life.
There are ways that cause pain and there are ways that promote pleasure and pleasure. Sometimes, in our efforts, we avoid the pain and also the joy. So we need a guide as we fight through the trackless desert. Wait a moment - there are some traces - the footsteps of Jesus, showing a different way of life. We will get to where he is, if we follow his footsteps.
The Creator wants a relationship with us, a friendship of love and joy, but we stand there absent-minded and anxious. We betrayed our Creator, hid us, and refused us. We did not open the letters he sent. So God came in the flesh, in Jesus, in our world to tell us that we need not be afraid. He has forgiven us, he has prepared something better for us, he wants us to return to his home, where it feels safe.
The bearer of the message was killed, but this does not make his message disappear. Jesus always offers us friendship and forgiveness. He is alive and not only offers to show us the way, but also to travel with us and to fish out of the icy water when we fall into it. He will accompany us through thick and thin. He is anxious and patient to the last for our wellbeing. We can rely on him, even if everyone else disappoints us.
With a friend like Jesus, you do not need to fear your enemies. He has all the power and power in the universe. He still invites all people to his party. Jesus invites you personally to his party at his own expense in paradise. He went to great lengths to bring you the invitation. He was killed for his trouble, but that does not stop him from loving you. What about you? Maybe you are not ready to believe that someone can be so faithful. He understands that your experience makes you rather skeptical of such explanations. You can trust Jesus! Try it yourself. Get in his boat. You can jump out later if you want, but I think you'll want to stay and eventually you'll row yourself to invite drowning people to get on the boat.
by Michael Morrison