Easter is just around the corner. It is just a few days away.
I have a reminder and an encouragement for you.
Jesus was a great man, but not by the worldly standards of wealth and possession that are prevalent today. He was great not for what he possessed, but for what he gave away. In fact, he really didn’t have anything in the way of possessions throughout his time on earth.
When he was born, as it says in Luke 9, he didn’t even have a place to lay his head. He was born into a borrowed manger. In his adult life, he traveled around, had no address, no house, and he slept everywhere – outside, in friend’s houses.
In Luke 5, we see that he had to borrow Simon’s (Simon Peter) boat to give a sermon. More on this in a moment.
On what we now recognize as Palm Sunday, Jesus rode in on a borrowed donkey as was prophesied. Soon thereafter, he was carrying his cross. He was nailed to it and died on it.
Yet, he was not done borrowing. There was one more thing he needed to borrow. A tomb. He was in that tomb over a span of 3 days. Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross and borrowed the tomb for 3 days.
This man owned nothing. Did not seek riches. Was humble, loving, obedient and true. He wanted nothing and he paid the price.
So what was he buying for that price? He was interested in purchasing one and only thing – YOU.
He did that on the cross. He paid for you and for me with his life. He gave it all away so he could finally say, MINE.
YOU ARE MINE.
And in return, we get to say, I AM YOURS.
And now I want to return to Luke 5. After preaching a sermon on Simon's boat, Jesus asked to go fishing with Simon. Simon was exhausted from unsuccessfully fishing all night, but he obliged. When they tossed in their nets, the caught so much fish that they thought their boats would sink. When Simon saw this, he knew something was up…he turned to Jesus and said, "Go away from Lord; I am a sinful man.”
This is an important lesson for us…especially as we are approaching Easter, a time when many come back to church, and a time when we have the chance to invite many others to join us.
I think Simon represents many of us in his discomfort and fear of being in God’s presence. Because Simon knew he was a sinner, he felt unqualified, unworthy and incapable of being around Jesus. However, the fact that he felt that way is proof that he knew of God. Yet, he had more to learn. As do we all.
I think there are many people in our circles of influence, who have that same challenge as Simon. There are many who are uncomfortable coming to church or being in God’s presence because they feel the exact same things as Simon. They feel they are sinners, unqualified and unworthy.
But that is good news. That is the proof that they have the light of Christ within them.
I share this to encourage you. This week leading up to Easter, there are without a doubt, people with you associate, who know God, but have done the same as Simon tried to do, by telling God “to go away” because they are uncomfortable and feeling shame for their sin.
I encourage you to invite them. Lovingly. Prayerfully.
Remember your invitation is one of the ways that you can partner with God to create the conditions and opportunity for these people you know to find their way to into the loving arms of Jesus.
I imagine you may be thinking of people right now. Take that action.
No judgement. No assumptions. Just love them.
Jesus died on the cross so he could say, YOU ARE MINE.