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Jesus Took My Place
Stories by Karen E, Armstrong ---A Life Blessed by God

Jesus Took My Place

I enjoyed the sermon today on the state of the church preached by our minister Tom Claibourne. He always has a few jokes that he shares to keep us on our toes. I particularly enjoyed what he had to share with us today. He spoke on how our visions of the church are and how are we staying focused on Jesus in our ministry for Him. I was encouraged very much by his sermon as I listened intently. I believe that we are nothing without the Lord.

The little story he told us at the end made me sit up and listen as I waited for the punch line. He told of a visitor had came to the church and upon parking his car he was met by a member telling him that he was in his place. Quietly he walked away. He proceeded to go into the church and was met by others telling him that he had taken their places in the pews and so on. As church began this stranger who had came in began to take on a different look as others looked upon him. Different ones became concerned and disturbed at what they saw. They saw ugly scars on his hands and feet and I am sure they were on his forehead as well as a wound to His side. They asked him what happened? He replied, I took your place.

I thought about this and I was wondering how many times do we have the presence of the Lord in our midst and He may be a complete stranger that we know nothing about? The bible also teaches that some of us have entertained angels unaware. We ask the Lord to come into our midst and then we reject Him big time. When we refuse a lonely person, hurting victim and look the other way have we not turned our back on the Lord.

Has it been so long that you saw Jesus? He is there every day my friend. He may be in a crying baby, a rape victim, a torn family, another persons suicidal cry for help. He may be there needing food, he may need clothing and warmth from another person as He works through them to test you to see if you will serve him in honor and glory.

I have seen Him in a young mothers eyes in labor. I have seen him at the death of a loved ones. I have felt Him in the dark lonely night as I cry out to Him in sorrow and pain. I have seen Him stand by the grave of my loved ones and reach out His pierced hand to comfort me. I have sensed Him in the prayer of another on my behalf and I have felt Him in an embrace of another. I have found Him in a friend as they share with me. I hear him in a babys cry or laugh. I have clothed Him when He was hungry and fed Him when He was hungry as I served others. He is very real and present with me all the time.

When you were fed and comforted through the word it was because Jesus bore your pain and took your place. He will stand in when no one else will. He will take your place and be your strength when you are weak. He will take your place as you cry out to the Father and intercede for you. He loves you dearly as He took your place to be the escape goat for the slaughter. He became the sacrificial lamb for you. He took your place on the tree that He himself grew to die on. We could never take His place in the things that He has done for us. We can only receive the mercy seat He reserved for us in His name to sit with Him in high places.

He sat down after taking my place at the right hand of the Father and put all things under His feet. He tells us that we can also put all things under our feet in Him as He took our place and reserved a place for all eternity for you and me.

If it had not been for Jesus taking my place I would be on the outside looking in and no where to sit. He told me that He would be my door to heaven and I could come in no other way to sit in my place He reserved for me to worship Him for all eternity. I gladly will move over and let you take my place for all eternity. To God be the praise and the glory for taking my place.

Written by Karen {Barnett} Armstrong

February 9, 2002