We would pass him on the street with possibly not a second look. Someone who is described as having no beauty or majesty that would be attractive, and nothing in his outward appearance that would be desirable. He would look as ordinary as the most ordinary person, and would easily blend in with the crowd. Jesus. He was despised and rejected. He was a man of sorrow. That doesn’t appear to be that attractive, but what is so attractive about Him? It is easy to miss him, it is easy to walk right past him. But if we were to open our eyes we would notice this ordinary man is the most extraordinary person that ever walked the face of this earth.
I was in California for a business trip last week, in a place where I spent about a year and a half of my life. I had to give a presentation to a bunch of students, but before that during worship (I included one of the songs that was played during that worship set below. I had never heard it before, and not I can’t stop listening to it) I was particularly moved by these students hearts for Jesus. In the group of about maybe 45-50 students, their passion for Jesus was impossible to not notice. I am not sure why this struck me, but I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it was that the Jesus I long to follow is just as alive in California as He is in Connecticut. But I missed Him. I missed Him when I lived there, and I missed Him for a long time in Connecticut. But I assure you, He was all around.
I lived in California at a time when I was lost and very broken. I was reminded of that when I visited the deli I used to work at during my visit and was told by the owner that I had been “young and dumb”. She was right. The truth is that I always wanted to be loved. I looked for it, and I found it. I should actually say that I found the opposite of love and I found it for years. I found empty promises of tomorrow, false hope of change, manipulation, a deranged sense of security, the notion that I was easily replaced, and the promise that “no one would ever love someone like me ever again.” I fell for the bait hook, line, and sinker over and over. After years of chasing false promises and unfulfilled hopes, I was left feeling more empty than ever and thinking who am I?
Over the years, He has been revealing to me who He is, and who I am in Him! I took a long walk on the California shoreline last week. Do you know what He laid on my heart on a beach surrounded by hundreds of other people, in a place where I missed Him years prior? This truth, that is different than anything else He has ever laid on my heart. You are irreplaceable. He was just ordinary to me. He was someone I didn’t take a second look at for so long. I missed Him. I missed His pure love. I missed His embrace. I missed His beauty. I missed it all. But He was there. He was in my morning drive down PCH in the sunrise. He was in the night sky filled with stars. He was there to remind me that I was not forgotten even though I didn’t see it, and that someone would love me. That someone was Jesus.
If we were to open our eyes we would notice this ordinary man is the most extraordinary person that ever walked the face of this earth. If we take a second look, we would notice that what makes Him so attractive is not so much of what He looks like, but who He is. He is the one who notices the unnoticeable. He loved those called unlovable. He gives value to those who are called worthless. He gives hope to the hopeless, and life to the lifeless. He died, and rose again from the dead. He died, and rose again from the dead. He died, and rose again from the dead.
and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!
Revelation 1: 13-18
I love how John describes seeing Jesus in Revelation. After Jesus’ brutal death on the cross, I always like to imagine Him as He is described here. The thought is just so beautiful to me. I also love His invitation to not be afraid. His arms are always open for us. He is truly the one who is irreplaceable. To me He was ordinary. To Him, I was irreplaceable. He is irreplaceable. Don’t miss Him. He is there. He has always been there. He will always be there.