With Easter just around the corner, many of us are getting ready to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Like most churches, our church has been doing sermon series that lead up to Easter Sunday. Recently, our pastor showed us this video about a documentary on the History Channel called The Real Face of Jesus? The Real Face of Jesus? follows a team of graphic experts as they use cutting-edge 3D software to bring a holy relic known as the Shroud of Turin to life. Many believe Jesus Christ was buried in this ancient linen cloth, which bears traces of blood and the faint, ghostly image of a man. The real face of Jesus?
I must say, watching this video made me wonder what Jesus really looked like. Of course, the first images that come to my mind are a man in his thirties with a beard, but what else? Did he have his mother's eyes? Or Joseph's lips? Did he smile a crooked smile or run his hands through his hair?
Getting to see the face of Jesus one day is going to be a marvelous discovery. Even though I can't physically see Jesus each day, I see him in other ways. I see him through my husband and my children. I see the face of Jesus when I sing praises to his name. I see him when I am hiding away in fear because his light enters my heart and my mind. Jesus is all around us and He is just waiting for us to greet him hello.
I read recently in Jesus Calling that Jesus "understands human frailty, and He knows that I can bear the weight of only one day at a time." Perhaps He knows this from his experience on Earth as a human - as a man walking among us. Or, maybe it comes from the day he had to carry his cross up to a hill, only to be nailed to that cross and suffer the worst possible kind of death.
Friends, do we really grasp who Jesus is and what He has done for us? Let's break this down for a second. Jesus, the son of God, came to this Earth to live as a man. Being human, he had all of our feelings, our characteristics, and he knew how we acted. But, by him being the Son of God, He lived among us without sin. When Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up his life for us He did that so our identities could be in Christ. When we walk among our co-workers, friends, and family do we walk with the face of Christ?
"Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:15-20)
As we come upon this Easter, let's ask ourselves who Jesus is. I am amazed at the technology and the brilliance of these scholars, but even if Jesus looks nothing like they say he looks, I don't really care. It's not the looks that matter, it's what is inside that counts.
Who is Jesus to you? Do we know who He is and what He has done for us?
"I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Till next time, let your light shine!
The Real Face of Jesus? will air on History Channel on Saturday, April 23rd at 3/2 p.m. central time