Just Like Me!

IsaNSilThe only thing better than a new baby around the house is…

TWO!

That pleasure is amplified when they are grand-babies!

That is the happy predicament in which my wife and I find ourselves. Two new grandbabies invading our lives only a few months apart and each planting their own flag of conquest in our hearts.

We feel a bit sorry for our Facebook friends.

A few days ago, as much of our “gang” came home to visit their elderly Granny, these two little cousins–just now old enough to be aware–discovered each other.

Isabella, meet Silas. Silas, Isabella.

Lying on the carpet in Granny’s parlor I watched with fascination as the two eyed each other with a newborn sense of wonder. They locked eyes. Their tiny hands reached out to touch. The rapt focus and attention on their faces was priceless.

It was almost as if I could read their little minds:

“Finally…someone who looks just like me!”

In a world where everyone and everything is gigantic, they finally found another creature who fit their scale.

Those moments have loomed large for me. Not just because of the joyful blessing I have as PawPaw, but something deeper has occurred to me.

One of the most engaging, intriguing and enthralling things I find about Jesus is that…He looks just like me.

During this season of Lent as I focus more exclusively and intentionally on Jesus, I understand in deeper ways the invasive beauty of a God who longed for me to know Him so much that He joyfully put on my confining likeness.

He wanted to show me what He was like–and give me a glimpse of what I could be like if I embrace Him.

John said it like this: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” (John 1:14, MSG)

As I contemplate Him, I am gripped with the same fascination that lit up the faces of my tiny new grandbabies. I find, in Him, someone I can clearly relate to and understand.

Because–

  • When He loses track of time and His parents rules to explore a new adventure…
  • When He gets irritated with Mom for making Him perform in front of her friends…
  • When He was hungry, frustrated, lonely and weary from the rub and reality of life…
  • When He rolls His eyes annoyed with friends who should but don’t “get” Him…
  • When He cries from the depths of His gut at the graveside of His friend…
  • When He sighs deeply vexed as someone He loves makes a terrible decision…
  • When He explodes in anger at the insensitive stupidity of unloving religion…
  • When He smiles with pleasure at the voice of His Dad’s approval…

He looks just like me!

Taking in the panorama that was His life, I am forced to agree with the ancient writer that He was “in every way” like me.

Except…

There are too many moments when His life looks as alien and foreign to me as if He had lived on another planet.

I see Him…

  • Go out of His way to tenderly embrace a mentally disturbed person…
  • Humbly submit to dishonest leaders just because it was the right thing to do…
  • Risk His health and reputation to actively love a forgotten terminally ill person…
  • Authentically and unconditionally forgive someone who is unfairly attacking him…
  • Intentionally visit and share a meal with a disreputable, dishonest person…
  • Fearlessly confront organized evil with no regard for the consequences…
  • Willingly suffer unmerited pain to give healing to the very ones hurting him…

Does that look just like me?

Not so much

But this relationship isn’t meant to be a one-way street. He didn’t come solely to show us the Father’s heart. He didn’t just come so we could see Him. He didn’t simply create a cosmic “Aha!” moment.

He didn’t come to play show and tell. He came to make an exchange.

He became what I am so I could become who He is.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

His highest goal wasn’t information or revelation…it was transformation.

The beauty of the Good News is that God loved us so much He came to live as us and for us. But He also continues to love us so much that He constantly lives in us and through us.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

It is that active living Presence that…

  • Informs my mind to think His thoughts
  • Conforms my will to want His desires
  • Reforms my emotions to love with His love
  • Transforms my eyes to see what He sees

As I cooperate with this Presence, it creates passion and purpose to become all I can be in grace. So that one day, standing before this One who stood in my place, I will see Him smile and hear Him say…

“Finally…someone who looks just like Me!”

“…what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

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