It's holy week again. In our part of this world, it's a huge todo. Lots of floats, parades, processionals, people in the street, statues of virgin mary and jesus died, alive, tortured and crucified.
It makes me sad because the Jesus I know, came into town not with music and fanfare and carried by 50 men, but on a donkey. The children cut off palm leaves and cried, Hosana! Which means, save us now.
And the Jesus I knew was pulled in so many directions. They wanted him to save them from their political and economic crisis. They wanted bread and a new governement. He didn't deliever. Instead, he died a wretched death on a horrible instrument, and then suddenly, people said he rose from the dead. He had over 500 witnesses, and he didn't do huge massive miracles as a resurrected Jesus, he just appeared and ate bread and fish.
I'm not here in Spain to convert people, I can't do that as a human being, only God changes men's hearts. But I am here to talk to people about important things, one of which is, who Jesus really is. I don't know all the answers, neither do I want to. God is mysterious, and mystical, and one of the things I like here about Holy Week is somehow, you still catch that feeling in the air.......you smell, taste, feel it in your chest...and its good to remember that Jesus was a real human, and died a horrible death.
But He lives.
And He still changes lives. He's changed mine. I wasn't the bad kid, I didn't rebel, I went to a good Christian Bible school, but that doesn't mean I've escaped a crisis in what I believe. I've had several, some quieter than others.
The worst one, when people I loved and trusted felt like I wasn't up to snuff. Good people. My name got a lot of mud slung on it. I thought, God, how could you do this to me? I still do sometimes. I'm still not completely healed....but I am in process....and that's what's key.
You see, what I've learned...is that God wants to heal us. Us, with broken hearts, with messed up lives, with wounded souls from what others have or haven't done to us. He wants us whole. It's why Jesus died, so that we can have life, and life it to the fullest.
There's an old movie, Chariots of Fire, and in it there is an athelete, an Olympian runner. He wants to run, and his sister is really upset, because he also wants to be a missionary, but puts it on the back burner while he becomes an athelete. She comes one day angry and upset, and yells at him.
He calmly turns and says, "When I Run, I feel God's pleasure".
When I live here, work here, talk to you about who Jesus is, I know God is happy with me. And for me, it's enough. I'd love to talk with you more about it all, but I want you to know, I'm not going to change your mind. I'm going to do what God wants me to do, and ...He will talk to you.
I know this man, a man who came on a donkey, who ate bread and drank wine with his followers, and who died so we could live. .....and that live, full to the max, I would never trade for anything. All its pains, frustrations, and yes, freedom, you can have to. Let's talk.