Jesus the Messiah: It's Personal

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Anyone who has experienced a corporate downsizing has heard the phrase, “Don’t take it personal; this is only business.”  Anything that effects your welfare is personal. Rationalizations do nothing to ease the pain. 

In today’s message at the Voorhees Campus, Pastor Jeff talked about how personal the week before Easter was for Jesus, His followers and casual observers like Simon.  No human can go through emotional and physical trauma without being affected.

Many people like to keep a safe distance from Jesus’ story and teachings.  They will say that they “know the historical facts” or “are spiritual just not religious.” These rationalizations are similar to corporate number crunchers who look at life with emotionless facts rather than with a sense of compassion and understanding.

Yesterday, March 24, hundreds of thousands of young people conducted a March for Life worldwide.  The issue centered on Gun Violence.  One speaker, a father of a school shooting victim, said that He was a proud owner of an assault rifle but never thought his allegiance to guns would affect his family. Until it did.  When it became personal, he changed his views.

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Imagine how painful it must have been for Jesus to know what lay ahead of him after Palm Sunday. Not just the abuse, but the disappointing fact that so many humans would not take advantage of His grace and redemption.   Jesus knew the torture that He had to endure, yet he came anyway.  He came for us.  Is that personal enough for you?  He didn’t ask you to die for Him.  He didn’t pass the baton to another.  He died for our sins.

The redemptive power of Jesus is vividly presented in the movie, I Can Only Imagine. The backstory behind that famous Christian song is currently playing.  Jesus can turn the life of the greatest wretch into something of value.  Pastor Jeff cited examples of change from his experiences. Most Christians know someone whose life was turned positive through Jesus.

Everything is personal, and to deny that is just lying to yourself.  Recognize that when you use a rationalization to hurt others. The world is better when you can incorporate Jesus’ examples into your daily life.

Yes, it’s personal and it’s your choice.  Are you going to be the type of person who “…loads people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them?” (Luke 11:46 NIV)?  Or will you accept the gift that Christ gave to you on the cross?   

You can choose to love and help.  You can also choose to hate and oppress.  Jesus has provided you with the correct path.  Love changes everything.   

Can you imagine the depth of God’s love?  Do you know what He did for you?   Try.

-Jim Randazzo

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