LENT 2020 - So... Who Are You, Lord? Part I
Monday, April 6 2020
Meditating these past weeks on the story of the Apostle Paul’s dramatic conversion from militant judaism to knowing Jesus Christ as his Lord, I have found myself asking the same question that this young man asked when, on his journey to Damascus to persecute and imprison the followers of the Way, he saw a light from heaven flashing around him, he fell to the ground and he heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” In fear and trembling, he looked up and said:
“WHO ARE YOU, LORD?”
That same question of mine over these past weeks has led to this entire series of reflections I have written on who Jesus Himself said that He was when He lived on earth.
JESUS said: I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE
He is the true bread from heaven, the bread of God, who takes away all hunger and grants eternal life, because He feeds and satisfies the heart and soul and spirit.
Today, now, He is offering this true bread – Himself – to you. Receive Him and partake of Him. Don't leave Him to grow cold and stale and moldy like a forgotten loaf in the kitchen. Take Him and eat while He, like bread just baked in the oven, is fresh and hot and "able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him”. “Now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."
JESUS said: I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that…” And that is why we need Jesus, the light of the world, who alone can drive out the darkness of sin and evil, perversion and depravation, cruelty and immorality on this earth where we live. Only He is “the true light” that exposes all the lies and all the deception that hide in the shadows. Only He is “the true light” that can light up a better and greater path for us to walk along.
I invite you to step into His perfect light today.
JESUS said: I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP
He is the only legitimate door through which the Shepherd can bring us as sheep into the sheepfold for sleeping at night – and then take us out of the fold for pasturing during the day. As in ancient-culture shepherding, when the shepherd would lie down at the sheepfold’s entrance-way and sleep there throughout the night, literally becoming the door to the sheep, so Jesus is both our Shepherd who cares for us and protects us; and as He Himself states, the only door to salvation and abundant life, the only door to companionship with the Father. “… No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Enter into the sheepfold of God’s love and care and salvation today; enter through the only door who is Jesus; enter, so that you might be free to go out again and find the pasture of abundant life that only He can give you and that you so long to have.
JESUS said: I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
As a good shepherd, He provides for us His flock: His Word as our spiritual food, the living waters of His Spirit to renew us, and rest and peace in His presence.
As a good shepherd, He protects his flock to keep it safe: He never abandons us and flees when danger appears in our lives – He remains to guard and defend us always.
As a good shepherd, He guides and directs his flock: because we too are wont to stray and wander into danger if He does not go on ahead of us to lead us in the narrow and right way.
A good shepherd sacrifices his life for his sheep: if need be, he will lay his life down for them, voluntarily… As did Jesus, on Calvary’s Cross, over 2000 years ago.
And He does all this because we belong to Him – because He knows us intimately, calls us by name, speaks to us personally, and leads us individually – and because He loves us fiercely and sacrificially, fondly and tenderly.
Check in again here in Reflections For Living on Wednesday April 8 for LENT 2020 - SO... WHO ARE YOU, LORD?, PART II.
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