Much is being said about how great a man Billy Graham was. He was a great role model and I love hearing about him versus some of the people that are set up as role models in today’s society. But Billy was a sinner just like you and just like me. You see, it was never the man Billy Graham; it was the Message he delivered.
What was the Message? The Message was simple. We are all sinners and our sins (mine and Billy’s), keep us from a perfect and just God. These sins have to be paid for and the Bible is clear that the only payment for sin is a blood sacrifice. A perfect blood sacrifice. Which one of us is perfect? Which one of us is able to make this sacrifice? Myself? Billy? There is no one, no not one, because we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of the Lord. So, God sent a perfect sacrifice. He sent His Son, the Perfect One. The Only One worthy to pay the price. The Lord Jesus died on the cross for my sins and for Billy’s. That, however, is not the end. On the third day, Jesus rose. He came back to earth alive. The same thing happens to us when we realize in our hearts that this is what Jesus did for us. We are made alive again through Jesus. I know it and Billy knows it.
That was the message. It still is the message whether I deliver it, Billy delivers it, or you deliver it. It never changes. We should never put the messenger before the message. The Apostle Paul explains it best in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.
And I, when I came to you, brothers, (I) did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The message is not about what Billy Graham did, it is about what Christ did in Billy Graham. The message has always been Christ crucified and now alive. Billy’s departure gives us an opportunity to speak about Christ and it gives us an opportunity to deliver the Message. The same message that Billy delivered.