Meet My Jesus
He changed the way we look at royalty. Born in a stable alongside the donkeys, Jesus lived as a carpenter amongst the poor, and died on a cross surrounded by criminals. He said, he who is greater will be the least, and he who is least will be greatest. He impressed the scholars at the age of 12 in the temple. He turned water into wine. He made the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear. He filled and forgave an adulterous woman at the well who was spiritually empty. He commanded the demons out of a mad man and into pigs. He diverted His eyes from a naked woman pulled to the town square to be stoned.
We All Need Jesus
His quiet words made the stones fall from the fists of an angry mob. His voice made fishermen to drop their nets and cast their hearts, the dead to arise and walk, a tiny tax collector to climb a tree for just a glimpse, and the 4,0000 to hear without a microphone. He fed thousands with a little boy’s lunch. He cradled the children, and blessed them, and washed the disciple’s feet. He fasted in a desert for 40 days and resisted Satan’s temptations. He wept seeing the tears of a friend. He walked on water, calmed the storms, and filled the fishing nets. He chastised prideful giving, while blessing a simple widow who gave her only mite with all her might. He cared for His mother and showed respect to women. He told some great stories that changed lives. He fulfilled the prophesies. He forgave being abandoned, denied, and humiliated. He forgave being tortured, hung, and stabbed. He was quiet in a tomb, but on the third day, He arose. All of this and more, within 33 years.
Meet my Jesus.
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (English Standard Version)
Jesus Meets You Where You Are
My gift of imagination led me to Jesus on October 12, 1975. I was in church that day, wearing my fresh laundered dress, tights, and brushed hair. I was clean and pressed on the outside, but inside, I felt guilty for lying.
The week before, I was talking in church, and my brother whispered he was going to tattle. In fear, I teared up. My father noticed and asked, “Do you want to accept Jesus?” He had this hopeful look on his face. Mentally, I conspired, if I said yes, I would beat Brandon to the punch sort of speak. It was a great idea! I nodded and wiped my face.
After church, I was rushed into the baptism room, and the pastor and I went through the gospel scriptures. I recited his prayer word for word, and when I emerged, my Daddy stood and swept me into his arms.
“You have made your Daddy a happy man today.”
All that week, I carried shame.
Jesus Removes the Shame
The next Sunday, for the first time I listened to the words of the familiar hymns. First, we sang “The Old Rugged Cross.”
I pictured Jesus hanging there, bloody and beaten, and everyone being mean to Him, and laughing while He was in pain. It hurt my heart.
Then, we sang, “Softly and Tenderly”.
I pictured Jesus sitting in the garden with all the children on His lap while asking me to join them.
Last we sang, “Just as I Am.”
I looked down at my leg braces, I wore from the waist down and turned in legs. My classmates called me “Cripple.” They often made me “it” while playing tag because I couldn’t catch anyone. I became the butt of jokes and the victim of pranks, but Jesus loved me just as I was…outcast and all. But… would He accept a liar?
I pictured Jesus, opening his arms, and telling me to come Just As I Am. Liar…Cripple…and all…I ran to Him in my imagination—perfectly.
I sobbed in my hands. My father looked down at me, curiously. “What’s wrong?” he said.
“I lied! I’m not a Christian! I did it, to make you happy.”
After church, Daddy turned out the lights one by one, and locked the doors before leading me to the front pew. We knelt, and he explained the gospel to me. This time I heard it with a heart ready to receive. I repented, surrendered my life, and accepted God’s grace of salvation.
Some say, they feel no different when they accept Jesus, but I don’t agree. On the ride home in my dad’s pickup, I felt lighter, loved, and joyful. I couldn’t stop smiling at Daddy because I was lifted from the tomb of sorrow, into the light of grace.
“…Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:11 (ESV)
Before every Easter, I return to the tomb. It is dank, dark, and quiet. My Jesus lies there wrapped in blood-soaked linens. I cradle His head on my lap, and whisper.
“Why? I’m not worth all of this. I’m a screw up. I’m so sorry.”
I mourn for the way my Jesus died. Did He have to suffer so? My heart hurts. My eyes tear. It is good to visit the tomb, if only to remember grace came at a great cost—a great cost to my Jesus. However, we must never remain in the tomb because Christ didn’t. The burial cloth becomes flat in my lap and the stone rolls away. The light shines in. I see the tomb is empty. it is time to leave. There is clarity. There is hope…. For He is risen!
He is risen indeed!
From The Hallelujah House to yours Have a blessed Easter!
Please note: This blog post originally appeared on The Hallelujah House on April 8, 2012. It appears unedited by our editor Barby Molnar.
Photo credit: Istock: Anastasia Stiahailo #1268696379
Tammy Carter Adams is the founder of The Hallelujah House blog and co-host of The Hallelujah House podcast. Tammy resides in Orlando, Florida with Jay, her husband of 25 years, and their four children. When she’s not creating content she enjoys painting, interior design, and being outdoors. Tammy welcomes you to contact her directly.