Sketched VII Day 8 Born Again
Read His Words Before Ours!
My dear Yeshayahu,
It has been far too long since we were last close enough to exchange words. I never intended to wait so long, but the days slip quietly into weeks, months and years in their effortless way, don’t they? It feels like I was young and strong only moments ago, but time can be cruel to those who’ve weathered much of it. Glimpses of memories from decades long past stand out in stark relief in my mind’s eye, while simple things I heard only yesterday slip through my grasp like a fine oil. This is what you have to look forward to, my son! If the Lord wills it, you will live to a ripe old age, too.
My eyesight is fading and my hand trembles, but I need to tell you a story, my son. My story.
I need to tell you about how I came to know Yeshua Maschiach. Jesus, our Messiah.
I heard him before I saw him in Jerusalem that day, and his voice is forever etched into my memory in a way I will fail to describe.
It was warm, and gentle, but it carried an authority I had never heard before. As he spoke, I surveyed a crowd of men, women and children, and I was surprised to see there were dozens of children kneeling and sitting cross-legged on the ground near him. Some even pressed against his feet as they looked up at him! Their mothers were not far beyond, and this in itself was shocking. Intrigued by such an unusual sight, I craned my head to catch a better glimpse of this man who had both confounded and incensed so many of my Pharisee counterparts. I pressed between men and women, moving forward as quietly as possible, until I found a space to peer through.
Finally, I caught a glimpse of his face. To be honest? He was completely…ordinary. His complexion and features were dark, just like any one of the other young Jewish men who peppered the crowd. He could have been anyone’s son, or brother, or nephew. It was difficult to make out his stature from where I stood, but he struck me as average height and build.
There was something about him. When he spoke, something stirred inside my chest and caught in my throat. It was as though he were speaking only to me. And as I glanced around at the wondering eyes of the men and women closest to me, I could see they felt it, too.
I turned quickly and continued toward the temple. Who was this man? I wondered, as I walked. I had heard of the miracles and signs he had performed; the wildly impossible stories conflicted with the image of the unassuming man I had just seen. They said he turned water into wine at that wedding. Who has the power to do such a thing?
I didn’t know what to think. The other Pharisees had been in an uproar over his public display at the temple when he wrecked the tables and drove the moneychangers out. They had raged about his rebellion and refusal to follow the Law, but fear colored their voices.
Yeshayahu, I tried to shake the memory of that man, that voice, from my mind, but he wouldn’t leave. It was almost as if he had called me by name that day.
My thoughts swirled, and with each new report of miracle and healing, the stirring in me grew. I wrestled with myself, with what I knew, with what I believed to be true. With the way of our fathers. I wanted to go back to the way things were, but I couldn’t. I had to know more. I decided to speak with him.
The air was cool and dry that night; the darkness was punctuated only by the crisp gleam of stars overhead and the soft glow of the windows and doors I passed. My sandals padded quietly across the earth, but I couldn’t hear anything above the cadence of my heart as it thundered in my ears.
Finally, I reached him.
I brought him my confusion, my history, the things I knew and the things I didn’t, and I asked him, the ordinary man. I took my questions to his feet, and he didn’t turn me away. He listened.
And Yeshayahu, he answered
I didn’t understand what he shared with me that night, but he understood me. He spoke to me about impossible things. Things my natural mind could not fully grasp.
Of being born of water and of spirit.
Of a Kingdom unlike any other.
Of the Son of Man.
Of a God who sent his son not to condemn the world, but to rescue it.
Of a God who loved the world so much, that he gave his only son, so that whomever would believe in him would not perish, but have eternal life.
Yeshayahu, I crept home to consider all he told me, but that night with Yeshua planted something in me. I believed. I didn’t understand it all, but I believed what he said. And I knew that he was the Son of Man he referenced. Days and weeks went by, and everything began to change.
More importantly, I began to change.
I followed him, quietly. I wrestled with what I had believed for so long in the face of what I now knew to be true, but my fear began to fade. Boldness sprouted up in the place it once was. When the other Pharisees were willing to forsake our traditions to get rid of him, I confronted them and reminded them of our laws.
When I heard that he was taken in the garden, everything in me grew quiet.
And I knew, even then, that I had to be there with him until the end.
When he stumbled beneath the weight of the cross, my very spirit screamed.
And when I saw him breathe his last, it felt like my own lungs would still with his.
What should one do for a King who is hated? What can one offer a Rescuer who is murdered by the very ones he came to save?
When I heard Joseph had given his tomb, I brought the finest linen, myrrh and aloes. Together, we wrapped his body. His dead body. My King, my Messiah. Broken and battered. His average features were unrecognizable. The warmth and gentleness of his gaze, gone. That voice…silenced.
When we left him there, in that cold place of death, I wept.
The Light was gone.
Three days later, a murmur began to whisper through the disciples of Christus, and before long, it grew to a roar.
He was alive.
Yeshayahu, make no mistake. Yeshua Maschiach was dead. I was there. I saw him. I held his stiff body in my arms as we wrapped him for burial.
Suddenly, the things he told me that night began to spin and stir in my spirit until all that he told me began to make sense. He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. He was the Light, the Son of Man, the perfect spotless lamb, our Messiah!
Do you know what it is to be born again, Sister-friend? Perhaps you know the words, but do you know the experiential reality? Do you know the transformation He waits to cultivate within your spirit and very life?
When we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, and that He died and rose again to defeat sin and death forever, and choose to accept the spirit of adoption He alone extends to each one of us, we
From that moment, we are “born again” of the spirit, and He sparks within us the beginning of transformation. From this moment, our part is to let. it. happen.
Sister, where are you in your journey? Have you accepted Christ as your Savior, but you struggle to release your grip to let Him change you? Have you heard His call, but you have been afraid of what He might ask you to do…or give up? Pray with me today.
Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God. I believe that you came to earth to die for my sins, and that you defeated death, the grave and hell when you rose after three days. I confess that I am a sinner in need of Your forgiveness. I give my spirit, soul, body and life to You alone today. I want a real relationship with You. Come into my life and make me new. Everything I am and have belongs to You. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’s name, and for Your glory, amen.
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Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Sketched VII Week Two! Don’t miss out on the discussion below – we’d love to hear your thoughts!