In Jesus Christ, it has always been “Yes”
Can you give me meaning in my life, God? Yes, Child.
Can you show me the way to find peace? Most certainly, Daughter.
Can you give me the strength to face this difficult life? Without question.
Do you have a purpose for my life? One that is uniquely yours.
Can you tell me what lies on the other side of the grave? Oh, yes!
No matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ
He who would not withhold his son from us would not withhold any good thing. Jesus is the assurance that God’s promises are all true. God has promised those who belong to him life—life abundant, and to the full—that life is in Jesus.1 God has promised peace for his children, and that peace is in Jesus, who said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.”2
I can testify to peace in Jesus, and to the power in the above words that he spoke to his disciples (just hours before he was arrested and taken from them). In a very troubled time in my life, I memorized and clung to Jesus’ words of peace, knowing he was the source of all peace. I have also given those words away many times when no other words would soothe a hurting soul.
In Jesus, God says “yes” to us.
“But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1.18-22
All of the Old Testament prophecies were promises God put before the people. He fulfilled the prophecies in Jesus Christ, keeping his promises.
Jesus has always been “yes”, most especially when he walked the dusty roads of Palestine. He was “yes” to those who got “no” from everyone else—especially the religious people. To the Samaritan woman at the well—you remember, the one who was into recycling men—it was “yes!” To the tax collectors, despised by the general populace, it was “yes, I will dine with you.”
His manner was open and approachable; in fact, the Gospels present a man who has such charisma that people will sit three days straight, without food, just to hear his riveting words. Jesus was the man for others. He kept himself free—free for the other person. He would accept almost anybody’s invitation to dinner, (yes!), and as a result no public figure had a more diverse list of friends, ranging from rich people, Roman centurions, and Pharisees to tax collectors, prostitutes, and leprosy victims.3
Jesus never backed away from a conflict—even said “yes” to the hecklers. We just saw Jesus take the part of an adulterous woman, when the crowd was set to stone her.
He said “yes” to those who were down and out, to those who were poor. He was the friend of sinners. They liked being around him and longed for his company. Hmmm . . . stop and think about that . . . Friends, we must be equally as embracing of ‘sinners’, societal losers, etc., who darken the doorways of our churches!
Jesus said “yes” to humility and humbled himself to become a man—like us. He humbled himself enough to serve, taking up the towel and the basin and washing the dirty feet of his disciples. Yes to arrest, yes to torture, mockery and imprisonment . . . yes to the cross. Yes to death.
Truly, in Jesus Christ, it has always been Yes.
1) John 10.10; 2) John 14.27; 3) from The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey