Last Friday, I attended a “Living Last Supper” at my church. Twelve men, each representing a disciple, donned their robes and held a pose from the DaVinci painting while one by one, they came to life and discussed how they’d followed Jesus till the end—or not. When the man who played the role of Jesus entered the room, you could somehow palpably feel that he was Christlike. He emanated love, acceptance, and welcome to everyone, as well as peace and good character. I thought, what would it be like to be Jesus to everyone in the room?
And then I realized, I can be.
I can emanate love, acceptance, welcome, peace, and good character to everyone I encounter, not in my strength, but through the strength given to me (1 Peter 4:11). It’s not a role limited to dramatic renditions; instead, it’s one we each took on when we assumed the name, Christian. Allaboutgod.com says, “They were called ‘Christians’ because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ Jesus.”
I left the performance profoundly blessed but also challenged.
On Easter Sunday, our family sat just a few rows behind the man who had played the role of Jesus. I watched, gratified, as he was kind to his daughter and affectionate with his wife. He had taken on the role of Jesus, after all, and I wanted that to go well beyond Friday night’s moving service. It had. I left that service, too, profoundly blessed, but challenged once more. Can I be like Jesus well after the mountaintop experiences God leads me to, later, during the times when I don’t think everyone is still watching?
Perhaps that’s what it means to live out the name, Christian.