Several years ago the youngsters at our church wore bracelets that read “What Would Jesus do?” They were to remind them of Jesus’ teachings, when they went to school, sports arenas or their friends’ homes. For instance, if one of the young men found himself in a situation where he grew angry and wanted to punch someone in the nose, the bracelet reminded him that Christians should be “…quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1: 19 - 20).
Perhaps one of the young ladies heard gossip about a friend. The bracelet would make her think of Scripture from James 1:26: “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”
It’s possible that either of them could easily have fallen prey to an argumentative student at school, but before the young man or young lady joined a disagreement he or she would look at the bracelet and recall II Timothy 2:24: “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”
It’s not likely that the youngsters thought about those verses word for word. Instead, I imagine they committed the essence of them to memory. Jesus was a great teacher. And the prompt “What would Jesus do?” encourages Christians to learn his guidelines for a fulfilled life in a world so often lacking in spiritual and moral values.
However, the question on our minds this time of year is, “How could Jesus love me so much?” For Christians the days leading up to Easter are reflective, because of Jesus’ great sacrifice for all of us. During this time we give up something for lent. I recently received an email suggesting that rather than fasting, Christians could consider giving up anger and hatred, judging others, discouragement, complaining, resentment and bitterness and spending too much money. Whatever we decide to give up, we realize we are in the season, when Jesus endured humiliation and suffered horrible physical pain for no reason other than to save us from our sins. And, we know we never can repay him. We only can accept his gift.
Finally, on Easter morning churches all over the country resound with the happy sound of “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.” And ministers shout, “He is risen,” and the congregations proclaim, “He Is Risen Indeed.” Christ lives. We not only have his teachings, and his gift of everlasting life, but he is with us every day from now until forever.
Matthew 28: 7, “Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead…’”