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New Vision of Jesus
Topic Started: Dec 31 2017, 07:56 PM (4 Views)
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Although Joni Eareckson Tada and I do not believe in the same doctrine concerning healing, we do believe in the same Jesus.

Joni Eareckson Tada writes:

"You want a warrior Jesus. You want a battlefield Jesus. You want His rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention. To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that doesn’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.”

You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness.
You want mighty.
You want the strong arm and unshakable grip of God who will not let you go—no matter what.

For instance, I absolutely love that beautiful old hymn (a great favorite of my parents) “I Come to the Garden Alone.” Remember the verse that says, “He speaks and the sound of His voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing”? It’s a nice sentiment, and I’m aware that a thought like that can provide comfort. But it’s really just a reinforcement of a romanticized nineteenth-century image. We have gilded the real Jesus with so much “dew on the roses” that many people have lost touch with Him—or simply turned away.

Why do some people gravitate to a sentimental picture? Well, think about it: A sugar-coated Christ requires nothing from us—neither conviction nor commitment. Why? Because it’s an image that lacks truth and power.

We have to try to change that picture. And the only way to do it is to think about the resurrection. Sure, romanticists try to color the resurrection with lilies and songbirds, but lay aside the emotions and think of the facts for a moment: A man, stone-cold dead—a cadaver of gray, cold flesh, really—rose up from His slab and walked out of His grave.

Friend, that’s almost frightening. There’s nothing sugar-coated about it. And the powerful thing is that it accurately describes what Jesus did. That reality has power; it’s truth that grips you. Some people believe Jesus came to do sweet, pleasant things, like turning bad people into nice people. Not so. As someone once said, our Lord and Savior came to turn dead people into living ones—and there’s nothing sentimental about that.

At different times in my life I’ve enjoyed the old pictures of Jesus cradling cute lambs or walking around with blow-dried hair, clad in a white robe looking like it just arrived from the dry cleaner. But these days, these warfare days, those old images just don’t cut it for me.

I need a battlefield Jesus at my side down here in the dangerous, often messy trenches of daily life. I need Jesus the rescuer, ready to wade through pain, death, and hell itself to find me, grasp my hand, and bring me safely through.
Joni Eareckson Tada
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