Someone With Skin On

From the Heart of Dr. Rexella Van Impe

I suppose this story has been told in a variety of ways, but it illustrates so well the heart-cry of all mankind.
As I heard it, a little boy woke up in the midst of a violent storm, frightened by the thunder and lightning, and cried out for his mother. She reassured him, and told him never to be afraid of the dark or the storm because God was right there with him.

In a few minutes the child cried out again, and the mother went back to his side and reminded the youngster of her earlier assurance that God was with him in the storm. "I know," said the lad, "but I want someone with skin on!"

Don't we all? Religions based on noble thoughts or impersonal cosmic forces, or centered around idols made of stone or wood, do not satisfy the deep longing inside the human breast for a God with whom we can have a personal, living experience. We seek a God we can touch -- Someone with skin on -- to be our Example, our Saviour, and our Intercessor.

Centuries after the time when God himself came down to the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening to walk, talk, and have fellowship with Adam and Eve, sinful man had lost sight of who God was and what He was like. Mankind stumbled about in the dark, disobedient and lost.

So God sent His Son to earth once again to reveal to man what God is like and to restore the lines of communication and fellowship. And to help man relate to God, the Father wrapped His Christmas present to the world -- the divine spirit and person of His Son -- in human skin!

The Apostle Paul wrote, For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Jesus, our Example

The old gospel song, "Where He Leads I'll Follow," has a tremendous message in its lyrics. One line in particular describes Jesus by saying, "He the Great Example is, and Pattern for me."

The truth is, Jesus gave us an example for living as well as His life. When we see how Jesus lived, how He acted, how He responded to other people and the circumstances of daily life, we catch a glimpse of how we should live. Oh, if only we would ask ourselves, "What would Jesus do?" when faced with life's tough decisions and choices.

We know that His life was an outpouring of love and joy. His very first recorded miracle was performed at a wedding! He had dear, cherished friends in Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, in whose home He enjoyed rest and fellowship. When Lazarus died and Jesus was called, we're told He wept for His friend. Onlookers even noted, Behold how he loved him! (John 11:36). And Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

The Gospels are filled with examples of the compassion of our Lord. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them (Mark 6:34). We're told He taught them...and later fed them.

Acts 10:38 tells how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
This is the example Jesus set for us -- He went about doing good. In love and compassion, He met people's needs, touching, healing, and lifting them. And that is what we are to do.

In today's dark world, you and I may well be the only light some people will ever see. We are the only hands of God that will ever touch them. Ours are the only feet that will bring the good news of the gospel to them.

I tell you, if Christ's hands are not extended through ours, He will never reach out to some people. That individual in your world crying out for someone with skin on to come to waiting for you.
"Oh, Rexella," you say, "how could we ever expect to be like Jesus and minister as He did?"

Because He said so. Jesus said, Verily, verily, [truly, truly] I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:12,13).
Jesus, our Saviour

A short time after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph brought Him to Jerusalem to the Temple to be presented to the Lord, according to the law of Moses. Two remarkable and beautiful things happened there that day.

First, there was a priest named Simeon, an old man who had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Christ. When He saw Jesus, he took Him in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation (Luke 2:29,30).

There was also an 84-year-old prophetess named Anna in the Temple. The Bible says that she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him [Jesus] to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38).

Why is it so significant that Simeon and Anna recognized Jesus as the Saviour? Perhaps God knew that we today needed to see this confirmation of the faith of others in the holy Scriptures. The majority then and now could not see who He was and is because of spiritual blindness. The Lord Jesus entered the world He had created to rescue fallen man, yet those with whom He desired to be intimately associated rejected Him.
The Bible says, He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:10,11).

Jesus knew the price He would have to pay as the Saviour of the world. The Christmas card picture of Him being revered as a beautiful baby in a manger was for a brief moment. The adulation of those touched by the compassionate prophet, teacher, and healer lasted only a few days.

Jesus grew up in a humble home, in a despised village. His brothers and sisters misunderstood Him. The religious leaders of the day hated Him. And finally, when He was falsely convicted and crucified, His own disciples forsook Him.

But He died for everyone to redeem all mankind, willingly, by choice. He came to be a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).

Someone has said that Jesus would have come to earth, suffered and died, to save just one person. And I believe that is true. But it is also true that, had the Lord been born ten thousand times in Bethlehem, it would have been ineffective... unless He had a birth in our hearts. Only then is He our Saviour.

Jesus, our Intercessor

I've often heard the old folk proverb which suggests that before one criticizes a person, he should walk a mile in his shoes. The point is, of course, that one cannot really understand someone else's behavior unless one has gone through their tests and trials.

The writer of the Book of Hebrews reminds us that because Jesus, the Son of God, came down and wrapped himself in human skin and walked in our shoes, He knows what we're going through... He understands. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Under the law of Moses, the role of the high priest was to intercede before God for mankind. And Jesus, who provided the ultimate sin offering in His death on the cross, now serves as our Intercessor in heaven before the Father.

Having walked the rocky road of human existence before us, He fully understands what it means to be hungry, tired, and penniless be misunderstood, slandered, falsely accused... to endure heartache, physical pain and suffering...even death!

Oh, He knows what you're going through, He understands what you need...and He cares! He sees your struggles, He hears your cry. And He is reaching out to you.

I heard about a little girl whose mother was in the hospital, and who was spending the night alone with her father. Soon after her dad turned out the lights, the little girl said, "Daddy, are you there?"

"Yes, child," he said, "I'm here."

It was quiet for a moment, and then a little voice asked, "Daddy, are you looking at me?"
What a joy to know that, in our darkest hours, we can go ahead and go to sleep knowing that Jesus stays awake all night looking after us!

I love the beautiful words of the old song that says,

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share;
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Just now, reach out and touch the "skin" of Jesus the Lord, God's "unspeakable gift" of love. Receive Him as your Example, accept Him as your Saviour, trust Him as your Intercessor.

Jack Van Impe Ministries
Box 7004
Troy MI 48007



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