I want us to grab our virtual goggles—that would be our imagination, in case you forgot!—and see Jesus move as YOU move with Him.
Let’s watch as He appears to John the Baptist and how He insisted on being baptized. See the water, imagine the warmth of the river around your legs, take that plunge with Jesus.
Let’s see Him being taken by the Spirit into the wilderness, and watch him curtly refuse Satan. Imagine the state of hunger He felt, and how tired He must have been. Imagine the strength He needed to fend off the enemy. Are you already beaten down?
Let’s see Him deciding to leave His hometown and move to Capernaum. Is He waving goodbye to friends and family? Is He happy to be moving on His own and into His new life?
Let’s stroll alongside Him on the beach, and sit with Him watching the waves of Lake Galilee. Can you hear the waves crashing? Can you feel the coolness of the sand under your feet? Can you see the men He’ll soon meet, Peter and Andrew? Is Jesus peaceful there, smiling?
Let’s climb a mountain with Jesus and sit next to Him quietly as He begins to teach. Was it a hard climb? What does the air feel like? What does His voice sound like when He begins to teaching The Beatitudes? Is it solemn, energetic, heartfelt?
Let’s have supper with Him at Matthew’s house, surrounded by people of disreputable character. Are you fearful? Are you comfortable? Do you feel as if you belong there with the other sinners? Is the air filled with rejoicing redemption?
Let’s join Jesus on a trip—a circuit of the towns and villages. These were usually very long journeys. Imagine walking long distances in sandals and harsh heat. What do you talk about along the way?
Look at his face when He sees the crowd of broken and hurt lives. What do His eyes tell you? Can you feel His pain? He tells you suddenly, “Get on your knees and pray for harvest hands.” Do you do it?
Imagine now that He has chosen YOU to send out into the ripe fields with detailed instructions on how to behave, what to say, and how to respond to the possible negativity. Are you nervous? Haven been given power to heal and cast out demons, will you now use that power or hide it in fear?
Now let’s take a Sabbath stroll through a field of ripe grain. Is this a happy moment strolling with Jesus, being hungry and eating what you find along the way? Do you feel secure in His presence when He defends you against the Pharisees charges?
Jesus now insists that you part ways so He can be alone for a while. You ride off in a boat with a few others and find yourself surrounded by battering waves. Suddenly you see someone walking towards you…on the water! Do you scream in fear? Are you comforted by Jesus’ reassurance? Do you boldly walk towards Him as Peter had? Will YOU look down and begin to fall, or remain focused on Jesus?
Now Jesus asks you, “Who do you say I am?” Answer Him honestly.
Imagine the bickering and disagreements between the twelve who are, quite literally, no different than you! As you’re walking along the road with Jesus, He abruptly stops, pulls you off to the side of the road and has to settle you down. How does that make you feel?
See Jesus kicking over the tables at the Temple! Are you fearful? Are you worried what He’ll do next? Are you shocked at His behavior, or can you understand how He feels? Are you angry too?
Stand before the Chief Priest and Pontius Pilate, next to Jesus. He remains silent when questioned. Do you plead with Him to speak? Do follow His lead and remain quiet if questioned? (Consider this as you stand there with Him: He is standing there for YOU! He is taking your place for your punishment and sins. He is carrying your guilt, your illness, your shame, your sorrows. He is standing there silently accepting your wrath.)
Now…stand at the foot of the cross.
What do you see? What does the sky look like? What do you hear in the background?
You shared a lot of moments together. Do you, too, like other bystanders, pray that He’ll show His power and get down? Are you weeping and hoping that this scene will change?
Jesus groans and cries out loudly from the depths of His Spirit. Hearing this, how do you feel? What do you do? Are you standing, kneeling, clutching your heart? Are you weeping, screaming, or silently in awe?
He takes His last breath. It’s finished.
Three days later you are stopped dead in your tracks by Jesus as He says, “Good Morning!” Do you run to Him and into His arms? Do you drop to your knees in reverence? Are you shocked or fearful? Is Jesus smiling and possibly laughing when He says, “Don’t be frightened! Go tell my brothers to meet Me in Galilee.”
Where are you now? Let Jesus continue to guide you and take you where He wants you to go.