John 19:28-37, After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.” And again another Scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.”
What is the secret to sacrificial faith? Is it the powerful presentation of a particular message? Is it the witness of the magnificent changes of the lost coming to life? Maybe it’s the academic excellence of our own growing efforts. An example of what this great element is, is seen in the picture scripture gives us of John the Apostle. He had a heart which was developed to become the fertile soil out of which the Holy Spirit could inspire a very special picture of the life and purpose of Jesus.”
John remained near Jesus regardless of what Jesus was doing. He rarely, one might say Biblically never, left His side. A lesson for us in itself. Whether it was the Mount of Transfiguration or the suffering of Gethsemane John would stand close by. John would lean on the Christ at the final supper, and into the courts for Jesus own trial. John watched the dead raised to life, and he witnessed the passing of Jesus from this life. Even when Jesus’ mission, by many, had been declared a failure, John was nearby. He could not possibly know that the plan was exactly on target. Still, he was there when others had scattered. John had seen the face of Jesus shine like the sun. I can’t possibly imagine how deeply that image was burned into the memory of this young man, and yet he saw the face of that same Savior bloodied and spat upon.
He was there in the brightest and darkest moments of the life of Christ. John would not change the focus he had on Jesus whether the picture was victory or man’s version of defeat. We will never learn from what we refuse to look at. Another lesson.
Who can we truly know that we have not lived with to the greatest degree? Life is filled with both challenge and joy. There are exclamations of victory and cries of defeat. Jesus’ life is both humbling and confusing. To those who refuse to look away, blessing and hope are the reward. Being close to the life of Christ is both disturbing and unexplainable.
The question of faith is not whether Jesus actually lived. There is too much real evidence of His presence in this world. The question for us is much more basic. Will we walk away from Jesus when human understanding has reached its limits? Will we walk by faith in the Christ or by infantile finite human sight? Will we abandon Jesus when our own comprehension sees defeat and death?
When we approach the question of where Jesus lives in our lives, we are really left with two conclusions. Satan says Jesus is either cruel or frail. Will we stay close to Him in the battles of life when it seems evil has won? Will we stand by faithfully, even if it means we lose everything here in this world? Where will we be when our human logic and observations seem to witness weakness in one who possess’ all our trust? Where am I when the waves roar, the thunder rolls and the lightening is striking all around? How we answer this defines our faith. Godspeed on your journey.