cartoon picture of a brain blowing up.

Do This for Me

Today I would like us to think about the man, Jesus. Often, we focus on Jesus, the Son of God. As the Son of God, Jesus is 100% God. And as the Son of Man, Jesus is 100% man. That’s good as the apostle Paul wrote to his “son” Timothy, “For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus1”. Let me just say that this nature is difficult to understand; this is good. God is not like us. If He (the trinity) were then, He would be untrustworthy; He could not be above and beyond us. But God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not like our thoughts. This is especially evident when it comes to Jesus.

As we remember, when the Holy Spirit made a divine appointment between the disabled beggar and Peter and John, the beggar was healed when Peter looked at the man and said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Did you catch that? Peter didn’t say Jesus, the Son of God, or Jesus or the Son of Man. Paraphrasing, Peter said, “In the name of the Messiah, Jesus, the man from Nazareth.”

Jesus, the Man

As God’s beloved son, the man Jesus takes who we are and what we need. Then using His relationship with God, Jesus intercedes for us. Jesus takes our heart’s desires 2 – the ones that are in God’s will – and He says to His Father, “Do this for me.” Mind blown! Yes, Jesus loves us that much. It was the man Jesus that paid for our salvation. Of all the options available to the infinite God, why allow His only begotten (intimately brought into the world) 3 son to be treated the way Jesus was treated?

Paying What was Due

Sin requires death. For doomed humanity, Jesus was the death in the family. He was the dearly loved son4. Jesus was perfect in everything he did5; he never sinned6. He always did his Father’s will7. God used the perfect man’s blood to pay what was due8. Perfect blood paid the price.

Then the man Jesus, who was dead, came out of his grave9, not just alive, but his body was transformed, one that could live in heaven and earth. The man Jesus was the first resurrection10, and by his resurrection – eternal life, never to die again – he made resurrection available for all who put their trust in him11. He did this as our “kinsman redeemer.” Jesus, as our blood relative, bought our salvation.

Just Like Jesus

Just like Jesus, we will receive a new body at our resurrection12. The resurrected Jesus could eat fish13, pass through walls14, and move from place to place unhindered15. He was completely unobstructed by anything. The Pharisees, Sadducees, or Scribes were in his rearview mirror! And it was the man Jesus who announced, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me16” No one can give authority to God, but God gave all authority to the man Jesus.

Good News

We must never forget that Jesus is divine; he is the Son of God, the 2nd person of the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit17. He has ascended into heaven, from where he came18.

As Good Friday and Easter draw near, a time for us to celebrate Christ Jesus’ crucifixion, which purchased our salvation, and His resurrection, which gave us our hope for resurrection19, we should know that these works by God were done with and by Jesus, the Son of God, Son of Man, The Bread of Life, The Redeemer, The Rock of our Salvation.

That bumper sticker is correct: No Jesus, No Life. Know Jesus, Know Life.

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[1]: 1 Timothy 2:5 NLT
[2]: Psalm 37:4 [3]: John 3:16
[4]: Matthew 3:17
[5]: 1 Peter 2:22 ESV
[6]: Hebrews 10:14 ESV
[7]: John 5:19
[8]: Colossians 1:19–20 ESV
[9]: Matthew 28:5–6 ESV
[10, 11, 12]: 1 Thessalonians 4:14 ESV
[13]: Luke 24:40–43 ESV
[14]: John 20:18–20 ESV
[15]: Luke 24:13–35 NIV
[16]: Matthew 28:18–19 ESV
[17]: Matthew 28:19 NIV
[18]: John 16:28 ESV
[19]: John 11:25 ESV

A cluttered room full of books.

A Cluttered Mind

My wife and I taught each of our kids how to clean up their rooms. So what, you may be thinking. Well, for some reason, each of our kids reached a breaking point when they were overwhelmed by the mess in their room. 

We would tell one of our kids to go clean their room. About 30 minutes later one of us would go into the bedroom and there our cherub would be, laying in their pile of stuff crying. The mess was so overwhelming that they had no clue where to begin.

Unfortunately, my wife and I have different approaches to room cleaning. They both work and kids easily understand both. I’ll give you my version since it’s the right one. 😉

Clutter, Clutter, Everywhere

I’d give our child time to compose himself or herself. I reassure our child, and then I’d have him/her gather everything that was part of the mess and throw it into the middle of their room. When the bed was cleared, all four walls accessible, and the closet door could be opened then I would sit in the middle of the mess. My munchkin was the goffer.

First, the trash went into a large garbage bag and was taken to our trash container. Next, we’d do the clothes and shoes. And that’s how it went. Category by category, we “filed” the stuff away until my child had a tidy, clean room. We both felt good once everything was where it belonged.

I learned about a cluttered mind from a wonderful pastor of our church when we lived on the west coast. He helped me understand the value of uncluttering my mind before I prayed. To this day I still try to do this, and every time I think of Pastor Dwayne. 

Sporadic Thoughts Shoot Thru Your Mind

A cluttered mind can be so wholly distracting that it becomes nearly impossible to pray. With a cluttered mind, as soon as you become quiet, then all these sporadic thoughts begin shooting through your brain. I don’t need to enumerate them, but you know. When you do finally reach the place where you can concentrate on prayer, you start thinking about praying instead of praying. 

When you start to pray, remind yourself that worry is worthless. Take time to honor the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob; the ancient of days. Of course, the best thing is not to let your mind become cluttered. That’s where Isaiah 26:3-4 comes in.

Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

The phrase “whose mind is stayed on you” is a key to an uncluttered mind. The Hebrew for “stayed” is simply “supported” (סמוּך sâmûk) – shored up, braced, carried. 

Shored up, Braced, and Carried by our God

If we keep our minds shored up, braced, and carried by our God, then we will have less of a mess to clean up during our prayer time. Trust Jesus. Trust the work He has done for you. Go to the Father in the name of Jesus with the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit, and pray!

Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

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