By Max Lucado
â€œ. . . shall not perish but have eternal life . . .â€? John 3:16
On a trip to China, I rode past Tiananmen Square in a bus full of Westerners. We tried to recollect the causes and consequences of the revolt. Our knowledge of history was embarrassing. One gave one date; another gave a different one. One person remembered a certain death toll; someone else disagreed. All this time our translator remained silent.
Finally one of us asked her, â€œDo you remember anything about the Tiananmen Square revolt?â€?
Her answer was solemn. â€œYes, I was a part of it.â€?
We quickly grew quiet as she gave firsthand recollections of the bloodshed and oppression. We listened, because sheâ€™d been there.
We who follow Christ do so for the same reason. Heâ€™s been there . . .
Heâ€™s been to Bethlehem, wearing barn rags and hearing sheep crunch. Suckling milk and shivering against the cold. All of divinity content to cocoon itself in an eight-pound body and to sleep on a cowâ€™s supper. Millions who face the chill of empty pockets or the fears of sudden change turn to Christ. Why?
Because heâ€™s been there.
Heâ€™s been to Nazareth, where he made deadlines and paid bills; to Galilee, where he recruited direct reports and separated fighters; to Jerusalem, where he stared down critics and stood up against cynics.
We have our Nazarethsâ€™ as wellâ€”demands and due dates. Jesus wasnâ€™t the last to build a team; accusers didnâ€™t disappear with Jerusalemâ€™s temple. Why seek Jesusâ€™ help with your challenges? Because heâ€™s been there. To Nazareth, to Galilee, to Jerusalem.
But most of all, heâ€™s been to the grave. Not as a visitor, but as a corpse. Buried amidst the cadavers. Numbered among the dead. Heart silent and lungs vacant. Body wrapped and grave sealed. The cemetery. Heâ€™s been buried there.
You havenâ€™t yet. But you will be. And since you will, donâ€™t you need someone who knows the way out?
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Max LucadoFrom: Â 3:16, The Numbers of Hope
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2007) Max Lucado
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