WHERE IS JESUS?

WHERE IS JESUS?

Beloved, today I have a simple question for you. When you look around, in the midst of both your joy and your sorrow, where is Jesus? Where do you think He is? Is He beside you? Behind you? In front of you? Beneath you, or breathing down your neck? Man has always asked this question yet not many of us have stopped to think about just where we think He is? Sure, He is everywhere. But to you, is He before you, standing in your way; or is He before you guiding and protecting you? Is He beside you comforting you in bad times and sharing your joy in good times; or is He the ‘ball and chain’ that you drag around in your life? Is He behind you giving you support and beneath you lifting you up; or is He your recourse of last resort, to whom you turn to only when life gets too much to handle, and who is otherwise beneath your worship and adoration?

I don’t know about you. But I know where He was when trouble came knocking. I know where He was when persecution of the worst kind came.

“Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”” John 18:7-9

He was right in front, first in line, taking all the persecution that was to come and telling those who came against, to leave us, who are His, alone.

When we see Jesus in this posture, when we see Jesus literally standing there in the face of our troubles, just as He did long ago, it gives a new meaning to what Paul said,

“What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]” Romans 8:31 [AMPC]

Imagine if you were there with Him in Gethsemane. You know very well that the ones who were coming to arrest Him were not there just to get Him. They were there to completely eradicate His cause. To them, Jesus was a trouble maker out to incite social unrest. To them, Jesus was making their lives difficult, questioning them in the very places they had power and calling them to their faces,

“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34

Jesus could perform miracles they could not. Jesus had multitudes following Him, more than they ever had. And Jesus did things, like healing on the Sabbath, which did not conform to their traditions. Jesus made them look bad. So to have Jesus around was political suicide.

But what was worse was, even though Jesus said,

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:34-39

Yet Jesus mingled with the social outcasts, earning Him the name,

“a friend of tax collectors and sinners” Matthew 11:19

So since Jesus was for the social outcasts, as He Himself said He was,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

It was clear in their minds that Jesus was there to get rid of them; and politically, Jesus would have the strength of the masses to do it too; so the authorities were not about to let Jesus and His band of ‘merry men’ get away with it. They were out to eradicate the cause. And surely it would not be enough for the authorities just to get rid of the leader. They needed to make sure that the entire machinery of the organization was destroyed so that the leader did not become a martyr and the subordinates did not rise up in his place. And that was exactly how they thought with regards to Jesus.

“On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.” Matthew 27:62-66

So do you not find it strange then that not one disciple was arrested together with Jesus that night in Gethsemane? When the police bust a syndicate, do they let the runners go free and arrest just the kingpin?

But it was not by chance that it happened. Matthew remembered,

“that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”” John 18:9

What exactly did Jesus say?

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” John 6:37-39

And He was good for every word too.

So when we revisit Peter’s fear of being identified as a disciple of Jesus, it makes that fear seem really unfounded, doesn’t it? Not to mention Peter’s denial. Think about it, Peter and the other disciples could still follow Jesus around, after He was arrested, even to the barracks of the guards and still not get arrested. How miraculous is that?

Beloved, when you think about Jesus, don’t park Him in some room in His ivory tower because that is not where He really is. We are sometimes blind to just what Jesus is doing in our lives because fear has gotten the better of us. We think that Jesus is far away and does not care that we are in trouble. Or worse, we think that He is hiding behind us, powerless to sort out our situation for us. And when we start to think like that and rely on our own strength, we fail to see that Jesus has been, is and always will be in front of us, first in line, to protect us and shield us from all the bad that comes our way.

Instead, we should always remember what the Psalmist said,

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.” Psalm 138:7

Because save all who are His, Jesus certainly did.

And just like He was so long ago, Jesus is for you, right here, right now. Jesus is not a past tense. He is a present participle. He has been, is and always will be in front of you guiding, leading and protecting you. His love for you and care of you started even before you realized it, and it will continue for an eternity after you see Him face to face. All you have to do is take a good, honest look at your life and you will see that that is true.

So with Jesus ahead of us, nothing can come against us. That is why Paul says,

“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:33-34

So since, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

So if you need healing, remember that on the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

If you feel poor, remember

“…the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

If you feel distant from our Father, remember that on the cross,

“…He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Our Father turned His back on Jesus, making Him cry,

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46

So that our Father can say to us right now,

“For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.
“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” Isaiah 54:7-10

Whatever your challenge, Jesus has already taken the brunt of your suffering because that is where He has been, is and always will be; in front of you, guiding you, shielding you. So the next time you look for Jesus, look straight ahead, into your situation, into your future, because that is where He is, forging the way ahead, just for you.

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