Jesus Loves Me…..
I hadn’t heard the song “Jesus loves me, yes I know, for the Bible tells me so” for ages until it was the lead-in to an Andy Stanley sermon I recently listened to. The series of sermons he had done was simply titled “Follow” and over a 4 week period, Andy told the story of Jesus, from childhood to his ascension.
I must admit that my own personal knowledge of Christ was limited and superficial at best. Just the Sunday School stories that we grew up with, and pieces of the Gospel here and there, but not ever enough to have any spiritual or emotional ties to Him.
Over the last year, I have learned more about Jesus, Christianity and God than in all my years total. I mentioned my wayward path last week. Now, with a new life in Christ, I am finding a thirst for and fascination with His story.
Although I had recited the Apostle’s Creed hundreds of times, I never realized that the words “in accordance with the scriptures” were in reference to over 300 Old Testament prophecies about Jesus that all came to be!
I recently read Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ”. It was a book that I had trouble putting down. Going back to the Creed, the words “suffered under Pontius Pilate”, do not really even remotely convey the suffering Jesus bore for us. As I have related to my Regen group, I am so overwhelmed and humbled by what most scholars agree was the actual punishment Jesus took upon himself during the crucifixion. I thought that the depiction in “The Passion of the Christ” movie was brutal, but the picture drawn in chapter 11 of this book takes it to another level altogether. Jesus loves me, indeed.
Another of Andy Stanley’s series was called “The Bible for Grownups.” Andy explains that while most of us have that same superficial understanding of scripture, and that we know a lot of the stories in the Bible, most of us don’t know the story of the Bible, and how it came to be. I encourage everyone to download the Your Move app and listen to these sermons (I look at them more as lessons LOL) to get a really clear understanding of things that we have either wondered about or simply didn’t know or understand about the Bible.
I will sum up the series by saying that without Jesus, the Bible would not exist. The Old Testament is a collection of Hebrew scriptures and might possible exist in some cohesive form today, but Jesus is the glue and the reason that the New Testament and the Bible even exist. If God had not “so loved the world” he would not have sent his son to us. If Jesus were not the son of God, and thereby God incarnate, he would not have shown his love by taking the sins of the world, past, present and future upon himself for our salvation. I found it interesting when Andy said that early Christians didn’t know Jesus loved them because the Bible “told them so”, because there WAS NO BIBLE! They loved Jesus because of what they saw and what they heard. Several hundred eyewitnesses to Christ alive after being crucified and buried is a powerful testimony. This event is the most controversial, powerful, unselfish and loving event the world has ever seen. After 2000 years, people are still talking about it. Some believe it, some don’t. In the end, Jesus loves all of us just the same. And the Bible didn’t tell me so, my heart did.