We were at U-Turn for Christ a couple of weeks ago, and during worship I noticed there were a couple of crosses by the fireplace. There was something written on one of them, and while I couldn’t make out the entire thing in my head, I could see that it said “Jesus” on the crossbar. I then started to think about Jesus as a vandal. He hung there on the cross once. He isn’t there anymore. And I just imagined Him writing on the cross in His own blood, “Jesus was here.” We see it done all the time in different places as people leave their marks on the world for some small bit of recognition, but Jesus dying on the cross left a huge mark on the world. Whether you choose to believe in Him as the Son of God or not, there is no denying that Jesus changed the world. There are some who say Jesus never existed at all, and well, quite frankly, they are ignorant fools.
I continued to dive down the rabbit hole and think about Jesus leaving the same mark in the tomb, “Jesus was here.” He isn’t there anymore. Death could not hold Him. He is alive! He is not on the cross, and He is not in the grave. We spend time and money researching these things from an archaeological standpoint. We buy consumer goods like necklaces and wall art to show people that we are Christians. But Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore! Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not downplaying what happened on the cross. The cross is the place where Jesus' sacrifice brought salvation to the world. There is nothing insignificant about that. The tomb is the place where the power of God through Jesus was on full display. But anyone can wear a cross, have a Bible on his shelf, and call himself a Christian. You can have those things, call yourself a Christian, and not live a single moment for Christ.
If Jesus isn’t in those places today, then where is He? There is the obvious answer that He is found throughout the Bible and will speak to us as we press in there, but there is an even more prevalent place where He is today.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20
Christ is in us today. Many Christians forsake the body of Christ. They either don’t come to church because it is "big money," or they come and go, just filling a seat that day. Christians need fellowship with other Christians. It is an amazing thing when like-minded and like-hearted (Jesus-filled) people come together.
A few years ago, there was a Men's Breakfast that I was just stoked about as I drove home from it. I was bumping some Jesus beats and just spending time with Him. On the way home, I passed a dead raccoon on the side of the road. I remember saying, “God, You are so awesome, You could bring that dead raccoon back to life!” Well, God promptly replied to me and said, “That is stupid; why would I do that? I have already filled the church with people that have new life and with people who are dead needing new life.” That day was sobering-- that sometimes we get focused on the wrong peripheral things instead of focusing on the things right in front of us. The people around us in our lives-- at home, at work, at church-- they all need encouragement, and they all need to see the light from time to time. If Christ is living in us, then we should be living in such a manner that people see that light.
I love what it says in 1 John 3:16:
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
If love is Jesus, and Jesus lives in us, then why aren’t we a perfect image of love? We should stop acting like Jesus was here and start showing people that Jesus IS here! The Bible says that God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Himself all raised Jesus from the grave. John chapter 1 tells us that Jesus was the One who created the world. That is some serious power. That power lives in us, and we walk around weak in the flesh. It’s time to take hold of the power of Jesus in our lives and start living for Him and living for those around us. If He can create the world, He can take hold of any situation and see you through it. But you have to let go. We have to take ourselves off the throne and put Jesus back in His rightful seat in our lives. That way, we can stop acting like Jesus was here and get back to Jesus IS here.