Our living room is graced by three paintings that were given to my wife, Barb, this past Christmas, by her three daughters. They are beautiful prints depicting how Jesus ran to the little lamb in the mud, how he rescued the little lamb and how he carried the little lamb, with the wolf shown in the background. Daily we admire those pictures. The first one has the caption, He Ran, showing the determined, yet bewildered lamb in the foreground, in the mud in the wilderness, with Jesus in the background running to the lamb. The second one has the caption, He Rescued, showing Jesus in the mud with the lamb and dealing with him to get him out. The third one has the caption, He Carried, showing Jesus with the lamb in his arms, carrying him to safety with the devouring wolf in the background. An eight year old girl in our church was giving a testimony before the church in one meeting, and she made the statement, “The devil tried to get me, but Jesus had me.”
The pictures on our wall beautifully convey that good news message. Even though life takes its twists and turns leaving us in the mud, determined, but bewildered as how to get out of our mess, Jesus runs to us to rescue us and carry us. If he, in his love and mercy did not do that, we would have no hope – a miserable life with a miserable end. But he does that. When we hear that he does that, we don’t need to run away from him. We simply allow him to help us. He does not stop at just running to us. He does not stop at just rescuing us, then letting us go to make it on our own the best we can. He carries us in his arms, protecting us from the wolf. The wolf would keep our minds on all the bad stuff of life and devour our very life and testimony. But we see Jesus carrying us. We see his blood sacrifice that cleanses our very conscience from the evil of the past so we don’t have to live conscious of the sin and evil that occurred. The blood of Christ shall “purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). We don’t have to carry junk in our mind. He carries us by his blood sacrifice and by his Spirit. He rescued us out of the mud by his love and compassion, by the blood he spilled, and, he gets the mud out of us by that same blood that cleanses our conscience. We don’t have to carry the junk around with us into this New Year. He cleanses us and carries us. What we could not do for ourselves, he does it for us. We simply allow him to be who he is and allow him to run to us, rescue us, and carry us. Jesus indeed is our complete peace.