Jesus Christ, the great reconciler of God and man.
Come unto me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Gospel of Matthew 11:28).
During this morning’s baptisms, you will hear each person share in some way or other how Jesus Christ has kept his word. During his lifetime Jesus made a lot of promises. Some were for people living back in the first century. He kept those promises. Others were intended for people of all times—even today. And it has been my experience that Jesus Christ has kept those too.
My first experience of this took place during freshman year in college. My lifestyle was messed up, and I knew it. Among other things, I had recently decided to come off drugs, I wanted to quit smoking, and I was trying to slow down with alcohol. I knew what these things did to some of my friends, and I was scared that would happen to me. Self-destruction: that’s what I feared. All this time, I didn’t believe in any kind of personal God. But I knew in my heart there was something wrong with me. I wanted to be different, but it seemed impossible. And as for the guilt that accompanied all of this, it was getting heavier all the time—especially when I wound up doing things I tried to avoid.
Some friends had been talking with me about Jesus. I thought they were crazy, but I enjoyed hanging with them. They were so different: genuine, understanding, loyal. One afternoon, during a conversation, I finally got the core message of Christianity: Jesus died to free me from the guilt and power of my sin. And Jesus rose from the dead to make sure that freedom would grow in this life and into the one to come. His resurrection sealed his promises.
Two weeks later, after a sleepless night of guilt and anxiety, I decided to trust the promise of Jesus quoted above. Weary of myself, heavy burdened with personal and moral brokenness, I put my faith in Jesus. I asked him to be my Savior and my God. And just as he promised, the Risen Christ “gave me rest.”
That’s my story. What’s yours?