Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Previews for Jesus

“I can’t believe we’re seeing this movie,” my friend joked as we headed in with our tickets.

“I know!” I smiled. “It is the ‘brainwash movie’!” We laughed.

It was the “Summer-of-Movies” as we dubbed it. I was in summer school, but had quit my fulltime job. She was home from college for the summer and without a job. We literally went to the movies everyday.

There was one movie we originally had no intention of seeing. The first time we saw the preview we thought “Eh, not-so-much”. The second time we saw the preview we thought, “Well, maybe if we get desperate”. The third (fourth, fifth, etc.) time we saw the preview we thought, “Wow, that looks great! We have to see that one!”

We were “brainwashed” so to speak into wanting to see this movie. The preview was quite effective! And the movie was great too.

Previews are meant to draw us in, to captivate us. They tell us just enough to get us hooked so we’ll show up one Friday night and fork out our $8 to watch it.

I read a devotional the other night about how John the Baptist was like a preview for Christ. He had a unique birth like Jesus, spoke the same message of repentance as Jesus, and even pointed to Him as the Lamb of God. What a powerful and effective preview John was.

This Sunday we read in Acts about those who carried out the sick to the streets and laid them on beds and pallets so that the shadow of Peter might touch them and they might be healed. “Many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles” and “more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” What a powerful and effective preview the apostles were.

What kind of preview is my life? Is it effective?

I certainly do not suggest that we “brainwash” others into believing in Christ’s life and mission. But we certainly can be an effective preview for Him. Our lives should tell them about Him. Our lives should tell others about Christ’s love, His joy, His triumph over sin and death. Others should look at our lives and think, “I want to know more.” They should catch a glimpse of our relationship with God and think, “Wow that looks great. I want to check that out for myself.”

This Easter season may we all have the courage to be previews for Christ. Let us point others towards His love, His life, His truth and show them the transforming power and amazing comfort of a relationship with Him.

-By Sarah Hayes