When we say “real people,” we mean that our church is filled with Real Estate agents, UPS drivers, Physician Assistants, Fedex Managers, dads, moms, husbands, wives, students, singles, Hawkeye fans, Cyclone fans, hikers, trail-riders, and much more. Each of us comes from a different background, but when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, we have a similar story.
At some point in our life, each of us had to be “real” about who we were–that while we were sometimes successful in life, we were also sinners. Not only are we dads and Web designers and home-buyers, but we are also lawbreakers, blasphemers, haters, and idolaters. We are impatient, greedy, lustful, unkind, distracted, unrighteous, embittered, and above all, not worshipers of God like we should be. This knowledge hung heavy around our neck giving a sense of God’s condemnation.
The gospel teaches us a story–a true historical story–of how God sent his Son to be a Redeemer of real people. Jesus became a man and came into the world. He was a son, carpenter, brother, teacher, miracle-worker, friend, but most of all, he was the Christ, which means God sent him on the specific mission of redemption.
Jesus’ innocent death was accepted by God as the punishment for the sins of anyone who believes in Jesus. The gospel tells us that this salvation is not available to the self-righteous or hypocrites, but only to real people who confess their sins and reach out to God for grace.
When real people meet the real Redeemer, lives are changed forever. We are still wives, Program Designers, armchair coaches, Maintenance staff, and definitely still sinners, but we are more too. Because of our Redeemer, we are forgiven, loved, justified, purpose-filled, and free.