During this Lenten season, as we focus on the cross and all that Jesus' death purchased on our behalf, I find myself wanting to focus on His life as well.
The person who lived before he died. The man who had morning breathe and hung out with questionable people.
Is it just me, or do we have a way of pushing Jesus aside...so busy focusing on his death that we forget about His life.
His life may not be the climax of the story, but it's still significant. Right?
Can I admit that I never know what to do with Jesus?
Can I admit that it's hard for me to imagine Him here...on this earth...but specifically in this house...with kids and soccer practice and school and dinner to cook, bills to pay, and clothes to wash?
Can I admit that this disconnect frustrates me? That I wonder if trying to shove Jesus into my life to see how He'd live it may be backwards but the converse...me living like Jesus seems...
I don't know...
It's easy for me to sing songs about Jesus and talk about Christian topics and even say that I want to follow Him.
It's far harder to actually encounter Him in the Bible...to read His words about loving the poor, the outcast, the orphan, and our enemies. It's almost impossible to read His earnest warnings about loving this earth and the treasures it contains without walking away stunned and a little uneasy.
How can Jesus' death bring me comfort, but His life make me completely uncomfortable?
It's difficult to think of Jesus as an actual person. Someone who lived on this earth. Ate food. Took showers. Picked a dandelion and blew it.
When I think of that Jesus...the Jesus of the Bible...the person...not the idea, I wonder if I'd feel comfortable around Him. I'm guilty of only thinking of Jesus as a sacrifice or some other theological label. Rarely do I think of him as a real person who lived a real life...a life that I have a hard time understanding.
This Lenten season I want to do something crazy and invite Jesus' life to be a part of what we're celebrating.
My hope is that Easter Sunday could be less about celebrating a grand inheritance from a relative I hardly knew and more about remembering the life and death of a dear, beloved friend.