Don’t let the title misguide you.
I desire to grow deeper in my knowledge of the Gospel. I long for God to enlighten my eyes and give me the clarity to see more and more each day the love and sacrifice that went into the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
But I never, ever want to become familiar with the gospel.
I’ll be honest, whenever I hear “Jesus loves you”, my initial response is at many times apathy. I have heard it so many times… so many times. I grew up in a culture saturated with the mere intellectual knowledge of Jesus, and have heard lines like these thousands of times during my lifetime:
“Jesus loves you”
“Jesus died for you”
“He did it all for you”
“God is for you”
“God has a plan for your life”
I hate clichés. And sadly, in my mind I classified many of these truths into the cliché category. I couldn’t help cringing at them whenever I heard them, mostly because of their overuse. I have a feeling many people can empathize with me on this.
Granted, until two years ago I didn’t understand in the slightest the enormity of what Jesus has done. I was spiritually dead and could care less about anything that had to do with God. But even now, as a regenerated, born-again Christian, I often find myself “hard of hearing” when I hear these beautiful truths spoken.
I need to refresh my heart before the Lord daily, reminding myself of the reality of Jesus Christ.
Jesus was a real person. Everything He experienced was very real.
I know Jesus suffered a grotesque and torturous death, but I think many times I fail to connect this historical truth to my present perception of reality. I know that He was crucified, but don’t really think about Him being really crucified. I don’t think about Him being nailed upon splintery wood after being severely beaten. I don’t think about the shock and pain His body must have been in after having flesh repeatedly torn from his back, buttocks, and legs. I don’t think about what was going through His mind as the full weight of His body pulled against the nails He was suspended from. I don’t think about how desperate He must have been to get a brief gasp of air…having to muster up the strength to push himself just high enough to open his lungs to inhale, using the nails in his wrists as leverage.
I don’t ever ponder on the fact that ALL Jesus had known for eternity was the love and joy of His Father. And because of me, Jesus experienced His Father turning His face away from Him for the very first time… allowing death to consume Him.
If eternal death is what I deserve, then eternal death is what Jesus felt on that day.
If the holy hatred of God is what I deserve, the holy hatred of God is what Jesus felt that day.
If the unquenchable fire of God is what I deserve, the unquenchable fire of God is what Jesus felt that day.
This is the gospel. I don’t want to live a day in my life where this is familiar to me.