This is how I see Jesus today. This is the Jesus that I need. I need my Action Hero Jesus. I need a steel-faced Jesus walking away from an explosion without ever looking back. This is the Jesus for me today. This is who I need to be reminded of.
“Whoa, whoa. Hold on there, OneCupOfJoe guy. You can’t bring Jesus down to the level of a movie action hero. That is so sacreligious. What gives you the right? Who do you think you are?”
Just follow me on this one. It will make sense at the end. Read on, my patient and forgiving readers! This is a cool picture that God gave me about the gospel a while back, and it was brought back fresh to me this morning.
I have the privilege and undeserved honor to meet with some men much godiler than me every Thursday morning to pray for and about an area of our town that we are going to so some work in. It is awesome. The guy who leads the group has been doing this for years in a church planting ministry. It is new to me, but John has an awesome way of talking to God and leading other to do the same. Like I said, it truly is a privilege to be a part of this.
Since today is Thursday, I was up praying with these guys at six this morning. I drove to the place we pray with the Sun just coming up over the horizon. It was cool. John usually starts with us praying “the truth about ourselves,” which is when we are in confession mode, and then this is followed by various ways he feels led to have us pray. This morning we did a time of praise, and as a part of this all three of us were just led to pray and thank Jesus for his sacrafice. In essence, we all prayed the gospel to ourselves and each other. It was REALLY awesome!
This is where my Action Hero Jesus comes in.
A couple of months ago, I was reading a book called King’s Cross by Timothy Keller (a MUST read, in my opinion, he goes through the book of Mark but in a way I have never been taught before…the insights and connections are amazing…seriously, give it a read). As I was drinking in all that Tim Keller had to offer, something really resounded with my soul. God used it took the thought even further in my heart.
King’s Cross, Chapter 18, “The Beginning,” somewhere towards the middle:
“Jesus had risen, just as he told them he would. After a criminal does his time in jail and fully satisfies the sentence, the law no more has claim on him and he walks free. Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty for our sins. That was an infinite sentence, but he must have satisified it fully, because on Easter Sunday he walked free. The resurrection was God’s way of stamping PAID IN FULL right across history so that no one could miss it.”
Wow. That thought alone amazed me. I had never thought about Christ’s sacrafice and the resurrection like that before. I paused in my reading there and just sat in awe and wonder. If that were not enough, the Spirit spoke to my heart and continued painting the picture.
The thought that came to heart/mind was, “Not only did he walk out of prison after completing the sentence for your crimes, he walked out with the keys to the jail in his hand and the building crumbled behind him as he walked out. It was done. It was over. It was finished for you, Joe.”
Obviously, I was done reading for that night! I spent time in worship over that thought. Wow. How wonderful?! This is the picture of what Jesus did that I need. I need to be reminded that I am done to sin. It no longer has a hold on me. I am free to love. I am free to give. I am free to serve. I can’t be condemned for my sin anymore because, for me, the prison to hold me in is not there. The creator of the prison served my jail time. When he was done they had to close the place down!
Back to this morning. While we were praying the gospel, this picture came back. Only this time the Spirit added to it. As I prayed about Jesus leaving the prison of my sin with the key in his hand and the building crumbling behind him, this time I saw the stereotypical picture of Jesus that has been fimly ingrained over the years (long hair/beard, white tunic, blue sash…you know the one I am talking about) walking away with a firm look on his face and the jail exploding behind him. Just like the picture above but the old school Jesus in Wolverine’s place. That picture has been in my head all day since. And it is awesome. It is just the Spirit reminding me that it is all really finished. I am right with God. Thank you, Jesus!
So anyhow, that is who I need to be reminded of today. I need to remember my freedom from sin. I need my Action Hero Jesus walking away from finishing my punishment with an exploding prison in his background.
I will close with a bit of Romans (sorry, it is what I am reading right now, so it will be what I quote). I won’t type it here, but go check it out: Romans 8:1-11.
What do you think about this? Do you need to think about Jesus in this way sometimes? Does this give you a new view on our freedom from sin?