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If you believe in life after death, then read on. If you believe there is something special about the animal, called “man”, then read on. If you can’t say, “Yes” to those two statements, but want to understand yourself better then maybe you should read on, also.

I truly believe that this can help all of us understand the beauty and love of the person of “Jesus”. To do this I will point to three persons in your life. They will be different for each one of us, but their deaths will bring about the same reaction, the same feeling of loss. Well, at least, two of them will.

The first person that I bring back to your memory is that close friend or relative that died, maybe recently or maybe a long time ago. Whenever it was that he/she died, it still hurts to think of your loss. To think of those good times that were lived and will not be realized again, at least not in this lifetime, is still painful. You remember who it was. That person was a joy to be with. There was no façade with this person. What you saw, was what you got. Their heart was on their sleeve, and they were always true to their heart and to you.

The second person that you are to recall is not a close friend, but rather a person who you really never liked. This was the person who made you feel dumb, or pointed out your flaws, your misgivings. You never felt comfortable around him or her. You maybe never could put your finger on the reason why, but it was there, all the time, the dislike. Or maybe, you could point out their flaws, the things that you didn’t like about them, but were too courteous to tell them. Or, at least you felt you were being courteous.

Both persons have now passed on. Both have gone to their eternal reward. One you miss, the other, you hardly think about. But… stop right there. Let me get this right. The first person is gone, but you still miss them. Even though they lived a good life, (as far as you were concerned they led a good life), even though they are now reaping their eternal reward, you are still sad?? And, the other one, the one you never liked (you didn’t feel comfortable about them, you didn’t like their attitude) they too are reaping what they sowed. You don’t think about them. You don’t care about them.

Two lives have intersected with your life and you have different feelings about both. The one, who you liked you are sad with the loss. The one, who you disliked, you could not care less about them. Both deaths seem to revolve around YOU and YOUR feelings. Both evoke emotions that are totally different, but stem from your attitude towards them, or, their attitude towards you.

At the outset, I spoke of three deaths. Who is the third person that died? Jesus, he died, nailed to a cross. Beaten and punished for OUR sins, yours and mine. He died an excruciating death. What do you feel about Him? Do you cry for him? Do you regret that he died? Do you ever think of the part that you played in His death? This Man of love, who cares for each one of us, even as WE drive nails into his hands and feet. He loves us. What are your thoughts about Him? Do you miss Him? Have you met Him? Or, do you hardly think about Him?

I don’t mean this to be sarcastic, or hurtful. I am pointing out that three persons have touched our lives, and we have different thoughts, different feelings about all three. It seems as though we treat this world as if it revolves around us. It is bad that some people die (those that treated us well). Some people get what they deserve (those that made us feel uncomfortable). And some, we might not even think about, at all (you have to supply the reason, here). The world, this world, does not revolve around US. No matter what we think.

Jesus did walk this earth. Historians, not religiously connected, but natural historians back in the early 40-50 AD, spoke of the Christian sect and the troubles their presence caused. Jesus is real, just like you and me. If we are to be Christians (followers of the Christ) then He is to be part of our lives, our thoughts, our feelings, our way of life. We cannot treat the world as though it has us to thank. We cannot look at the world and choose to put it into different boxes. People, all people, those that we like and those that we have trouble with, deserve our best intentions. They deserve to be prayed for, treated with love and concern. They are not to be dismissed. Not the beggar, the addict, the lazy, the dirty, the murderer, the ungrateful (you get the idea), none of these should be excluded from our prayers, our love, our concern. All should be loved in a caring way, even those persons who don’t care about us and take advantage of us. Nobody said that the life of a Christian was an easy one. The eternal reward, though, is magnificent.

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