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At Arm's Length?

by Skip Heitzig |
I'll bet you feel a true sense of your relationship to the important people in your life whenever you refer to them as "my husband," or "my wife," or "my children," or "my friends." In a similar, but much more profound way, we should experience a sense of our personal relationship with God when we call Jesus Christ "my Lord." One of the old hymns of the church illustrates this very well. "My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine...My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou, if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, 'tis now."

Mary Magdalene certainly felt that. When she found the tomb was empty on Easter morning, she felt a deep personal loss. As she looked inside, one of the angels asked her why she was weeping. "She said to them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him'" (John 20:13).

Thomas felt it too. In his doubt, he said he wouldn't believe the Lord had risen unless he could touch the wounds in His body. But when he saw Jesus, his reaction was dramatic. "And Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:28).

And it wasn't only those at the time who knew this relationship. Thousands of years earlier, Job said, "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19:25-27)

We can have that same sense of personal relationship. It's important, and that's why I always ask people to make a public commitment of their decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Jesus commended Peter when he said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). It's good to see Him as "the Savior," "the Son of God," "the Redeemer." But that keeps Him at arm's length. To have that personal relationship, He must be "MY Savior," "MY Lord," "MY Redeemer."

This relationship should be much closer than even what we share with those we call our "blood relatives." Jesus is truly a "blood relative." He bled and died on a cross outside Jerusalem 2,000 years ago so that we could be part of His family, an adopted child of His Father. That's what we celebrate this week, our sure hope for eternity.

So don't hold Him at arm's length. Embrace Him. Say, along with Thomas, "My Lord and my God!"

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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