To Grasp Him
“And on the basis of faith in His name, . . .” Acts 3:16
“Well, you had to be there.” It’s a phrase often used by someone who has trouble making a point, or delivering a punch line. It’s the ultimate disclaimer, a way of saying you should experience it for yourself.
The people who love Jesus the most are the ones who have experienced Him for themselves. Intellectually, one can know facts about Jesus, they can even sense there is something different and unique about Him, and even be alarmed by His claims. But to grasp His full significance, you have to experience Him for yourself. You had to be there.
The birth, life, and death are facts recorded in history. Jesus’ life is not a myth; it’s not a mystical idea, a distant hope or dream. It happened when Caesar Augustus was Emperor, when Pontius Pilot was governor of Judea. The life of Jesus can be dated and timed. We know enough of Jesus to have an unmistakable impression. The truth of His life is written upon the conscience, His memory lines the gallery of the soul.
A person can read about Him, talk about Him, theorize theologies about Him. But they can never appreciate the full meaning, until He explodes in their heart with a power of a new affection.
When that happens, Jesus is no longer a curiosity, no longer feared, an experiment or an argument. Neither is He entangled in generalizations of theory. Salvation moves Jesus out of the ethereal, now He becomes the intimate presence of personal experience.
It’s the moment when an individual suddenly sees that all he adores about God is found in Jesus. And, in turn, finds in Jesus all he needs in God. This is the truth proclaimed by Peter, preached by Paul and the other messengers of God, throughout all the ages.
We cannot slice and dice Jesus. We cannot make sense of Jesus by lifting, by cherry-picking a few stories or sermons we barely listened to, or recalling a few fragments of Bible studies of the past. There is Christ in history and there is Christ in you. The evidence of salvation is to know Him as the Author and Perfecter and Savior of our very life.
Where is Christ in your life?