Creamer column: Jesus was a real man
The beauty and wonder of spring are here. The leaves have returned to the trees with their fresh spring green color. I think the dogwoods have been especially beautiful this year. The azaleas are wonderful in their many glorious colors and shapes. Donít get me started on all the spring flowers that have bloomed so beautifully, welcoming this wonderful time of the year.
I know there are many people who are suffering because of all the pollen in the air. Itís the price we pay to finally put this long and cold winter behind us. For some the arrival of spring has not been so pleasant because of all the violent thunderstorms we have been enduring lately as winter and summer battle it out. Soon they too will subside as we will have normal garden variety thunderstorms.
Spring also brings with it the Easter holiday. While most kids are looking forward to the bunny and his baskets full of candy, I find myself reflecting on the man, Jesus, who died and rose from the grave on Easter morning. He came to grant us forgiveness, to restore our relationship with God, and to give us the gift of eternal life.
I know Jesus is the Savior of the world, but he was also a man, human in every way. Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus enjoyed a good meal? In many of the stories in the Bible, Jesus is eating a meal when something happened. He also enjoyed a good glass of wine with his food. I bet Jesus knew his wines and which ones were better than others.
We also know that Jesus got tired. Even though he was the son of God, he felt the human weakness of being wiped out. One time after ministering to the crowd he got into a boat and told the disciples to head for the other side. He laid down in the boat and fell into such a deep sleep he didnít even feel the boat rocking fiercely in the storm. They had to wake him up so he could calm the storm.
Jesus had to pray to God. When Jesus came to the earth he limited himself to our human experience with God. Jesus had to pray and talk to the Father, which we see in several places in the scripture. Jesus needed to recharge his spiritual batteries to prepare himself for ministry. He also needed to demonstrate for us the importance and the need for prayer in our lives.
Jesus had to wait for Godís timing. I believe that Jesus knew that Lazarus was sick and God probably told him when Lazarus died. Jesus had to wait for Godís timing to go to his friend because God wanted to do an incredible miracle by raising him from the dead. Poor Lazarus had to leave heaven to come back here.
I am sure Jesus felt pain, sorrow and loss in his life. He needed to understand those experiences so he could comfort us when we have those same experiences. I am also convinced that the disciples pulled some pranks on Jesus. I imagine he laughed heartily at some of the things they did.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus struggled with obedience and his flesh on that fateful night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Three times he went to the Father to ask if there was any other way besides the cross to bring redemption to the world. His flesh did not want to endure the pain and agony, but he made his flesh submit to Godís will and purpose for his life.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before him, the joy of redeeming mankind. Jesus paid the ultimate price with his life so we can be forgiven and have a personal relationship with God. Jesus opens the door for Godís love and mercy and the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven. Jesus made the way for every human who will receive the free gift of salvation. Itís priceless yet it is free because Jesus, the man, paid the price and rose again from the dead.
I want to encourage you to receive the free gift of eternal life with a loving God this Easter. If you have ever doubted, now is the time to settle the matter. Heaven and hell are real places and you will spend eternity in one of them. My prayer is that you will open your heart to receive the man Jesus as your Savior. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all love you. Happy Easter!
Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at www.dougcreamer.com