Anticipation (Devotional)

Phyllis Nissila

Sometimes I like to imagine myself leaning over the railing of an upper level balcony in a crowded open air market in Nazareth, Galilee, or Capernaum, in the early 30s, A.D., watching Jesus as He passes.

The afternoon is bright, hot; the air, punctuated with laughter and the shrieks of children careening underfoot, women calling, and men conducting business. Animals bray, carts creak under heavy loads of food, clothing, household goods.

I focus on Jesus and the disciples as they slowly wind through, stopping here and there to inspect bread or fruit, talk to the locals.

Soon, a few people, then more, realize this is the man who turned water into wine, healed a leper, raised a dead girl; the man who spoke with such authority and gazed on them with such compassion. They press closer.

Jesus lays hands on some; leans closer to a few as if in an effort to hear them better; prays, arms raised, over others. From time to time He gives directions to His disciples.

A breeze sifts through his hair; He pulls a lock behind His ear, laughs, head back, overbth_Jesus_Laughing someone’s comment, takes a long drink from a cup someone hands him.

Any minute now I expect Him to turn and look up at me. I feel He knows I am here, watching, anticipating…

I didn’t always look forward to meeting my Savior face to face, however.

From childhood religion I regarded God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as Judge, Jury, and Executioner sitting on the edge of their thrones, pens poised over ledgers filled with my sins, ever ready to record the next one and at length to close the book on me forever.

After I became a Christian in my early twenties, it took some years of immersion in God’s Word, learning of the grace detailed there, to gradually understand that through the sacrifice on the cross, Jesus closed the book on my sins, not me, forever. His blood covers those pages; His payment on Calvary fulfilled my debt. Slowly, I learned the difference between religion and relationship, law and grace. I’m still taking notes.

Now I can anticipate that day, my last, here, when Jesus finally turns in my direction, extends His hand, and gazes on me with compassion.

Because of His sacrifice, I can anticipate that day—and this one.

How about you?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. –Jesus (Matthew 11:28, NIV)


Image from public domain

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4 Responses to Anticipation (Devotional)

  1. carl gordon says:

    Simple truth, liberating! This would serve well on the front page of every newspaper! Made Jesus “real” to me today. Many thanks!


  2. Cathy says:

    I can say now, there is no fear of dying, because Christ paid My Sin Debt in full!
    My sin is taken away and I know I have the Righteousness by Christ imputed to me by Believing on Him!
    Christ did EVERYTHING, my work means nothing!
    By Grace we are saved through faith
    And not of yourselves
    It is the gift of God
    Not of works
    Lest any man shall boast!
    Catholic apologist try to deny the sufficiency of Christ and use the scripture …we are co-workers with Christ. They truly believe your works,in their Church will save you! They will never have Peace in rest with Christ. The Humanism, they experience, takes them farther from God, and makes them slaves to the Papacy!
    I would rather be a slave to Righteousness than a slave to Pontifax Maximus!


  3. Pingback: WHERE IS YOUR CAPERNAUM? « "Working for Christ"

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