I read a book to my youngest a few nights back- one of my all time favorites - The Velveteen Rabbit. I have read this book countless times but last night it had a new level of meaning.
To summarize - boy gets a velveteen rabbit for Christmas. Takes him a while, but he falls in love with him, which makes the bunny Real in his eyes. Bunny meets real rabbits one day and wants to desperately become one. Boy then gets scarlet fever so bunny and other books have to be burned. Bunny gets saved by nursery magic fairy, gets his wish and is turned into a real rabbit.
There are a lot of other finer details but that's a good high level summary. But you ask - what does this have to do with Jesus (after all, that's what this blog is about right?)
1. Jesus makes us Real.
In 1 Corinthians 13:12, the Apostle Paul writes, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
On this earth, when we take Him as Lord & Savior, Jesus makes us Real to Him. We might look the same on the outside, but we are transformed on the inside. He takes our sawdust insides and makes them glorious, reflecting His light but it's dim. We grow shabbier and shabbier on the outside, but as our velveteen fur wears thin, His light is able to be seen even brighter.
It might be a simple way of explaining sanctification, but the idea that the closer I stay to Him, like the rabbit to the boy - tucked in every corner of his life lived through mine - the more Real I become. That brings me peace. The more He loves on me, the more Real I am.
2. Jesus makes us REAL.
John 3:16 says that Jesus came so we could have eternal life. We go from this half-life state of existence to become the beings that we were meant to be. Just like at the end of the book, He comes and get us, then take us where the other rabbits are leaping and dancing - able to dance freely and openly, with no shame for lack of hind legs. The things of this world pass away, and we enter into a new reality - the REAL reality where there are no more tears, only joy in His presence.
In a world that promotes unreality to keep us striving to be what it says we should be, Jesus never asks that. He wants us to be Real in Him. He wants us REAL forever with Him. That is where we find meaning and our true selves.
But the key to being made Real or REAL is Jesus. He unlocks the door with love and He makes us new creations. While others might not be able to see just yet, one day they will. Praise The Lord!