Author Anne Rice mastered the art of the dark, demonic novel. She created sinister character and satanic creatures that would keep one awake at night looking into the shadows for a monster ready drain your blood. However, her journey through the dark places led to an encounter with Jesus—the light of the world and everything changed. When Anne gave her heart to Jesus, she also returned to Him her pen and her creativity.
A couple of years ago Anne wrote a well researched historical novel about the childhood of Jesus. She tried to piece together from ancient writings, historical facts, and traditions an account of Jesus as a boy. She entitled her work Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. As I read her account I was taken back into the world of the first century. With her help I tried to see the world through the eyes of a boy, whose father was God Himself.
As Anne brought the tale to a close, she depicts Jesus as a boy coming to grips with why His Father sent Him into the world. Why He was born of Mary. Why the Son of God would be destined to walk the dusty paths of Galilee and the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem.
Looking up into the stars one dark cloudless night the plot takes shape in His mind. The boy Jesus reflects:
“Born to die, I thought. Yes, born to die. Why else would I be born of a woman? Why else would I be flesh and blood if it wasn’t to die?”
In her mind’s eye the mystery came home to the young Savior of the world. His Father sent Him here on a mission—His mission was to die for the sins of the world.
Later the boy Jesus puts two and two together and discovers:
“I wasn’t sent here to find angels! I wasn’t sent here to dream of them. I wasn’t sent here to hear them sing. I was sent here to be alive. To breathe and sweat and thirst and sometimes cry.”
Before you can die—one has to live—and live He did. You see we are inspired and more importantly saved by the life and death of Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus paved the way for us by “living and dying” and we follow Him by “dying and living.” We die to an existence of sin and shame and are born again to a life of goodness, righteousness, and truth.
Live your life with the abandonment that only comes to those who lay down their lives to become fully alive.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it”—Jesus (Matthew 16:24-25 NIV)