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Previous Message From Virtual Church

Where Is Jesus?

John 20:10 Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11 but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 "Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). (NIV)

Mary was searching for Jesus. Just as we must also search for Him, Mary was trying to find Him. Mary’s search was different than our own. Mary was trying to find Jesus’ body for He had died on the Cross and had been placed in the tomb. Mary found Him. Alive, and speaking her name. We also will find Him. Alive, and speaking our name.

When we think of Jesus, we most often think of Him as a human being. To think of Jesus as a human being is to be only half-right. For He was not "just human." He was not "just human" because he was more. Jesus Christ was God in human shape and human form. He looked like a man and by our standards of measuring whether someone is human, He was a human being.

He walked and talked.
He had a body similar to ours.
He had knowledge and wisdom.
He cried.
He suffered pain.
He died.

Yes, Jesus was a human being. However, He was more than just a man. He was also God. He was both the Son of God as well as God Himself. He referred to God in Heaven as His father. Yet, Father and Son are both One. They are inseparable yet Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father. Are you confused? If you are confused about these matters it is because there are many things we do not understand about the spiritual realms. Although Jesus was clearly a human being, He had the ability to do all that God could do.

John 8:15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."

When we look at Jesus, we see a man with a human body. His body was like our body if we want to make a comparison. However, Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. He had every physical, emotional, and psychological attribute that we have. Yet, He was also God. We will not unravel this mystery. We can understand this idea of being fully human and fully divine only as an idea. We cannot get into Jesus’ shoes and walk His path as both man and God because no human has ever been both man and God except the Savior.

Indeed, Jesus was more than just a man.
Look at what He did…
He floated up into the clouds.
He stilled the waters.
He made the blind to see and the lame to walk.
He died but he came back to life

After He came back to life, He appeared to people in the form of another person other than Jesus. So different was He, two followers did not immediately recognize Him.

Obviously, we are not like Him, but He is like us. To say we are like Him is an effort to take ourselves and elevate ourselves to His level. The facts are that He lowered Himself down to our level in an effort to help us gain entrance into His home when we die. He lowered himself down so we could be raised up.

Christ came into our world two thousand years ago and has remained in our lives because He loves us. Christ loves us not because we loved Him first. Christ loves us because we are one of His children. We are one of His flock of sheep.

We can know He understands us because we know He has walked in our shoes as a person. He understands us and knows what we go through each minute because He lives with us. He lives both within us and outside of us.

In addition, no one can understand us like He can. Even we cannot understand ourselves as He understands us. He knows more about us than we will ever know about ourselves until we see Him face to face. We have Jesus’ spirit alive in us. When we recognize we have this person, Jesus, with us on the inside, this recognition is the most profound step in our journey on earth. The recognition that Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit is alive within us is so profound it is life changing and life altering.

Matthew 28:20 "Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the world" (KJV)

Once we recognize the existence of God within us, we are then under a compulsion to make some kind of response. This compulsion to make a response does not necessarily mean each person accepts Him. Man has the freedom to accept Him or reject Him. Each day every human being has the choice of acceptance or rejection of God. What most people try to do is ignore the decision. In the minds of most people, if they can ignore the choice then the choice does not exist. However, denial of the truth does not make the truth go away.

We can try to ignore that God is within us. We can try to ignore God’s touch of love within us by occupying our minds with other thoughts. We can try to run away from God, knowing He is alive within us as we run. We can try to live as if God does not exist. We can try to tell ourselves He does not exist.

We can tell ourselves that we will take care of this God thing later. We can try to put off recognizing He is alive within us. We can even go so far as to plead a case with others that God does not exist. However, no matter how much we plead that He does not exist, He remains within us every moment we are alive.

We can live our lives trying to ignore Christ’ love within us. We will need to scramble to keep our thoughts, our lives, and our selves in tact if we are to live as if God is not touching us. We must live as if the love of the Creator who created all things is not in us. Imagine, just for a moment, what a person’s life would be like if they were in denial of the greatest force of love in the universe.

What are the consequences of this denial? The consequences are disruptions, accidents, mistakes, chaos, dysfunctionality, lack of control, ignorance, failures, acts of evil, and eventually having your soul, your thoughts, dreams, visions, plans, and hopes burned up not only here on earth but also in the eternal fire of hell.

Romans 2: 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.

Can we afford to play the game? Can we afford to risk losing our souls because we do not want to recognize that God is alive in us as a being of love? Can we afford to risk losing our souls because we did not want to come out of our denial and admit to ourselves there was a being, called Christ or the Holy Spirit, living within us?

What are we to do about this dilemma of denial? The first thing we must do is come out of our denial. The next thing we must do is turn away from our life of chasing after and living in the darkness. We must then turn to Christ who is the Light. We cannot live in denial, nor can we run away from the Light and still have a life touched by the love and light of God. We cannot have a bountiful and fruitful life if we purposefully and intentionally blind ourselves to the realities that God is touching us all the time. We cannot see any fruit or prosperity in our lives if we constantly pursue a course in darkness with no light to guide us or direct us. To walk in darkness is total foolishness. To walk through our lives trying to avoid the touch of the love of God is madness. To live in fear of death is even further madness.

Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

To walk through your life every day and not respond to God’s call requires that you fill your heart and mind with endless thoughts. To ignore the touch of Christ’ love within you, you must feed your mind the thoughts of how busy you are. Then you must go on and think about how burdened you are and how much suffering you must endure. To live in the darkness away from God’s love and Light you must continually remind yourself about how difficult things have become in your life. To live in denial you must always tell yourself you will take action in the future knowing you are telling yourself a lie. To stay away from the love of God through Christ you must fill your thoughts with a thousand other things. You must keep your mind and life busy so you don’t have to think about GOD!!!!

If we keep our lives and ourselves, busy enough we can be incredibly good at not thinking about God. We can also be incredibly good at missing the uncountable blessings from God but still not admit we are missing anything at all. We can watch our lives fall apart around us, be totally befuddled by our life events, and still not admit or even want to know whether we need Christ in us as a live person.

Very often we do not want to think about God because when we think about Him then things begin to stir within us. When we think about God then the love that He is starts working on us and we feel that love. That love we feel begins to call us away from our denial and it begins to make us want to live a different life. His love makes us want to not live in any form of denial. His love makes us want to live in the light rather than in the darkness.

Wherever you believe God to be makes no difference because He walks with you throughout your whole life. No problem you face is faced alone. God will not let you face any difficulty or challenge by yourself. God loves you too much to leave you alone when you need Him. God loves you too much to let you be burdened down without a comforter and helper by your side. Many people have found the love of Christ within themselves and have turned away from Him because He did not do for them what they wanted done. Many people have abandoned their faith because when times got tough God did not overpower them. They abandoned God because He did not make their problems disappear and make them happy. Many people have little faith because God does not or has not yet brought a needed miracle when a miracle is needed. Many people stay in denial of Christ’ love because He did not fix what needed fixing.

There is in this matter of God within us, beside us, and around us an essential ingredient. The essential ingredient is that God is not invasive. God is alive within you this instant but if you are not willing to call upon Him, access Him, open the door to Him, He will remain silent. God will remain so silent you may not even believe He is there. To have God’s presence within us become real we must act upon this presence. It is interesting that as much power as God has at His disposal, He chooses to let us make our own decisions about Him. God permits us to run away from Him. He permits us to make spiritual fools of ourselves. He gives us our freedom. We are free to accept or reject Christ because we must accept Christ in love. We are free because love cannot be coerced, forced, purchased, or rammed down our throats. Christ died on the Cross not knowing the outcome of His act on your life. You are free to accept or reject Him because love requires the freedom of your soul to make that choice.

What will your choice be today?

 

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018