There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every human being which man has always sought to fill – hence the vast number of different religions, all of which are seeking to express what they believe God to be like. But it is only Jesus who can show us what God is really like. For, as Paul so succinctly expressed this amazing truth, ‘He is the image of the invisible God.’ If we want to know what God is like, then all we need to do is look to Him. If we want to know the way to go in life, all we need to do is follow Him.
Man saw in Him the embodiment of love, creative power, compassion and self-sacrifice. The Creator God who miraculously re-created those in need of healing. The Good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep. The ultimate, divine evidence of who we are, where we came from and, finally, where those who are willing to trust in Him are going. He came from Heaven and for those who are in Him that is our eternal home also.
When Jesus first called Simon Peter, He used those two simple words, ‘Follow me’. At the end of Jesus’ life, He used the same two words to renew the call to Simon Peter to follow Him for the rest of His days. As Peter followed Jesus, the Spirit of God followed Peter and, at Pentecost, empowered him when he preached the first sermon of his life-long ministry and the church was born.
The older I get, the simpler the message of the Gospel seems to become! To follow Him is the beginning and the end of it all. A never changing call to follow Him today, and tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that, until one day we will take our final human step and follow Him into eternity across the bridge which separates us from the realms of earthly time and the timeless all-embracing presence of the living God.
As I write these words, as a family we are mourning the passing of a dear family member who has loved and served the Lord all his life – but our loss is his eternal joy as he has taken that final earthly step into the glory of our all-loving Creator God. To be in Christ means, as Paul said, that death has no sting, for Jesus overcame death and in Him is life eternal. We can only imagine what God’s glory means, but the glimpses of His glory we see written about in God’s Word leaves me excited at what’s to come!
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