This being Passion Week, or Holy Week (in the Christian Faith), I’ve been enjoying a series on the History Channel called, “Jesus: His Life”. It is by far the best docu-drama I’ve seen, in great part because of the panel of theologians and historians who offer insightful commentary throughout. The acting is superior, lending vivid credibility to the prominent characters—people who were closest to Jesus—as they narrate their thoughts at pivotal points in each episode of the saga.
Watching, I experienced empathy for Mary, Jesus’ mother. She’d received prophecy prior to her Son’s conception by the Holy Spirit, so she had some inkling of what the future held—yet, she was a mom. She felt the impact of early slights, the prickly atmosphere of doubt, and the danger which surrounded Jesus and all of her family as He moved into His destiny.
Simon Peter’s delivery of his experience had me choked up with emotion. Imagine being chosen to fulfill a mission of historical magnitude—Jesus gave Peter his new name and said, “upon this rock I will build my church”—and feeling imbued with confidence…only to betray the man he loved, who loved him. His ache of failure was palpable, he felt there was nothing left but to return to fishing. Then, after Jesus was crucified and it seemed there’d be no second chance for Peter to seek forgiveness, the Lord comes to him and restores him to his ordained position of leadership, during their conversation about love and “feeding, tending Jesus’ sheep”.
Mary Magdalene exemplifies Jesus’ power to heal and deliver. She is among the women Jesus elevated to the same position as his male disciples, who provided support to His ministry. The Church devalued women throughout its history—but Jesus never did.
There is no other name which carries power over death, power to heal and restore, to save eternally, to give us a holy identity—than that of JESUS. Nothing but His shed blood on the cross would satisfy the requirement for reconciliation with God. We are invited to freely accept and receive the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and acknowledge that He is who He says He is—the Son of God, Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords, the Risen Savior.
As many of the people in this docu-drama portray, my experience and testimony is also that, once you’ve been touched by Jesus…you can never go back to whatever, wherever, whoever you were before. When I had the life-changing personal encounter with Him in March 2011, the impact of His love left me breathless; it sealed me forever—as though searing me with branding iron of ownership. No matter what trials I encounter, the challenges of this faith-walk…its ebb-and-flow, mountains and valleys…regardless how dark it gets some days…I cannot imagine turning from HIS LOVE which is like no human’s.
I’m not an evangelist, nor teacher or preacher…I doubt I have sufficient influence to convince anyone that what I believe is Truth. My only hope is that I might encourage people…by telling my story, the good/bad/ugly, with genuine authenticity, blunt honesty. I don’t know everything, I’ve much yet to learn in whatever time remains to me. If you choose not to believe—it won’t change my conviction. I may have my craziness…but my relationship with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit is not a figment of wild imagination or mental illness.
HE IS REAL, He is my anchor, my refuge; He lifts me up and holds me together. If He is all I ever have…He’s all I need, desire. He chose me when I was a lost child…He set me apart for Himself in ways that often felt like a curse of alienation…and even when I was unaware, He has walked with me everyday of nearly 70 years, calling me “beloved daughter”. I have the lesser status of many marginalized citizens—low-income, I’ve nothing which reflects society’s definition of success. But I am wealthy within, because I know to Whom I belong…and no one can steal that from me.
If I don’t share about this fire burning in my heart, the Bible says the rocks and stones will cry out…and I’m not about to let them have the mic 🙂
©Ennle Madresan, 2019 ~ All rights reserved.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39, Berean Study Bible
“Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” Deut 4:39, KJB
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6, NLT
“Speak up and present your case—yes, let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago? Who announced it from ancient times? Was it not I, the LORD? There is no other God but Me, a righteous God and Savior; there is none but Me.” Isaiah 45:21, Berean Study Bible
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.” I Peter 1:18-19, Berean Study Bible
“…Justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as an atoning sacrifice through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had passed over the sins committed beforehand. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and to justify the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26, Berean Study Bible
“Then Peter began to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism, but welcomes those from every nation who fear Him and do what is right. He has sent this message to the people of Israel, proclaiming the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Acts 10:34-36, Berean Study Bible
Bible Verses: biblehub.com