Life Lessons from the life of Jesus
The death and resurrection of Jesus are the foundation of our faith. His life, the perfect sacrifice, gave us many lessons for how we can live with our new lives in him.
"...If you knew me, you would also know my father." John 8:19
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are the foundation of our faith. We believe God, the maker of all of heaven and earth, sent Jesus to live a perfect life and then die on the cross, bearing all of the weight and wrath our sin is due. It is the ultimate gift. Without his death, we would have no life and be entrapped in sin without hope. With his death, we are alive in Christ and have forgiveness of sin and a promise of a future and a hope. His death gave us life and his life gave us a picture of how we might live to the fullest (in grace).
While there are endless depths of riches found in Jesus’ life and character, let’s focus on three aspects of his life that we can learn from and emulate.
Jesus saw the best in people…
…and even his tone was mercy on display. In John Chapter 8, we read the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisees brought the woman to Jesus; “they were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him” (John 8:6). Jesus told them that only the one who had never sinned could throw the first stone (v8). I love how he could have asked them, “How can you accuse her when you’ve sinned yourselves?” Instead he asked them a thoughtful, revealing question and allowed them their dignity in the process. He didn’t ask about the type, depth, or frequency of their sins or hers. It didn’t matter. Jesus treated everyone, sinner and accuser, as if they deserved the highest level or respect.
Jesus stood for peace…
...and we can, too. Peace in our homes, our places of work, our families, even our minds. Peace. I remember the story told in Luke 8 of when Jesus was on the boat with the disciples. There was a huge storm and the disciples were terrified. Jesus was sleeping, so they woke him up saying, “We’re going to drown!” Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and commanded the waves: “Silence! Be still!” The Bible says immediately the water was as smooth as glass. Jesus was the one who had put them in the boat to begin with. He said, “Let’s cross the lake.” They were already in his will. Nevertheless, water poured in and they were about to capsize. The disciples weren’t being dramatic; they were in imminent danger. They were already close to Jesus, though. They didn’t have to find him when they needed peace, as he was already with them. He could have kept them safe in a boat that endured the storm, but peace was important enough, and answering the cries of his disciples was important enough for him to act. Jesus cares about peace and we can in our lives, too. We can both claim peace for ourselves and be peacemakers in the lives around us.
Jesus knew who his Father was…
...and he lived that way. Through his mother Mary, his earthly lineage was traced back to King David. Even so, Jesus’ earthly family didn’t have prosperity in the traditional sense. Jesus, though, was very keenly aware of his heavenly Father. He referenced Him all the time. He talked about himself as a reflection of his father. In John 8 he said, “If you knew me, you would also know my father.” Sometimes I feel that way about my dad, too. There are little bits of me here and there, mannerisms, sayings, tastes, all kinds of things that would represent my dad. I also have the blessing of knowing my dad has my back. I can try new things and take a few risks because I know my dad will only let me fall so far. I can live with a little more boldness. We can live that way with our heavenly father, too. We can live with boldness and our lives will reveal who our father is. Our mannerisms, the things we say and do, how we respond - those things should be reflective of our heavenly father.
As we approach the season of resurrection, I’m eternally grateful for Jesus’ death on the cross. And I’m so grateful for Jesus’ life. His life here on earth makes it so easy for me to see how it’s done.
Jesus, thank you for showing us how to live. Thank you for revealing your character to us. Give us your strength to see the best in people and to be gentle and gracious. Teach us how to stand for peace the way you did. Most of all, renew us again and again so that we daily are washed clean of our sins and can reflect our Father in heaven. In your name we pray, Amen.