The character, conduct and power of first generation Christians was predominantly the result of their personal encounters and interaction with Jesus Christ; both before and after His resurrection.
They had met Him, knew who He was and what He was like. He was real to them! But, 2000 years have gone by…can He be real to us today? I believe the answer is yes.
Jesus, speaking of those who would never physically meet Him, told Thomas (who required visual and tangible evidence to believe), “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Evidently, those who observe Jesus only through the eyes of faith are specially and specifically blessed.
The apostle Peter, no doubt remembering Christ’s words to Thomas, elaborates further in 1 Peter 1:8,9 saying, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
It appears that not only can Christ be experienced by those who have never encountered Him physically, but this experience can result in a fervent love, superlative joy and full deliverance.
That is the theological side of it. What about the practical? Contemporary evidence must be reflected in the impact that Jesus has on people’s lives here and now.
In other words, if He is real, then testimonies of lives changed and hope instilled must be available and viable. There are many of them…some of them are more dramatic than others…none of them are mundane.
One lady, who refers to herself as “A New Woman”, shared online about her particularly painful past.
She writes, “Jesus is real! He has power to change lives! I know this because He has changed me and healed me of my deepest hurt – the experience of incest – and the sexual confusion that resulted.”
Another individual as an adult, shares his testimony of coming to faith in Christ at the age of six. He describes his conversion experience as, “Saved from Sex and Drugs – at Age Six.” He is insinuating that because he gave his life to Christ as a child, he never did fall into these questionable practices.
Evidently, what Jesus promised and what Peter elaborated upon are true! Two millennia after His physical existence on this planet, it remains possible to have a relationship with Christ, to experience the reality of Christ…and equally remarkable, by having the mind and attitude of Christ, we can reflect Him!
How real is He to you?
FAITH & REFLECTION