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Rizzin indeed!
Missy Martens
by Missy Martens
April 22, 2024

Not too long ago, one of my employees paid me a lovely compliment . . . I think. She told me I had “W Rizz.” If you haven’t heard this term rizz, you will soon be able to find it in the dictionary because Oxford added it as their word of the year for 2023. Its etymology is sketchy, but it potentially comes from the word charisma and has a similar meaning. The letter z makes it young and new and hip. (Do people say hip anymore?) Anyway, to have “W Rizz” is “winning charisma,” and you definitely don’t want “L Rizz.” Basically, rizz is a word meaning style, charm, or attractiveness. To be told this in my 40s by a young and hip employee is refreshing, or maybe she just wanted a raise. One can’t be sure.

Like many new words, rizz can also be a verb. One can rizz, or attract others, because of looks or a charming personality. But what does all this have to do with Jesus? I’m glad you asked.

We just came through another season of Lent in the church year, when we learned about Jesus’ earthly ministry, his miracles, and his teachings. We watched as Jesus was accused of sins we committed and hung on a cross to remove those sins as far as the east is from the west. We witnessed Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. We watched as the disciples carried on Jesus’ ministry and spread the teachings of Jesus. And Christianity is still taught and believed and spreading two thousand years later.

This brings up a few questions:

Why was Jesus such an influencer?

Why did he have so many followers?

Why did his message spread and keep spreading even after his death?

Why are we so drawn to him?

He’s got that rizz. But wait, not your typical rizz. In fact, the prophet Isaiah tells us this: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). No movie star visage. No majestic clothing or fancy chariots. And to top that off, Jesus’ message wasn’t always sunshine and roses. In fact, he assured his followers that the world would hate them (John 15, Luke 6) and that they would have to deny themselves and take up his cross to follow him (Matthew 16). And then, only a few years into his ministry, Jesus died, in the most humiliating way—beaten, mocked, spit on, hung like a criminal on a cross. And anyone who followed Jesus was bound for a similar fate: persecution and death. So why would his disciples keep spreading his message? Why were people still following a dead man?

Because Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose. He is . . . rizzin, if you will.

When Jesus was in the middle of his teaching and preaching on earth, the people would swarm to him. After all, he was feeding crowds of thousands with a kid’s lunch. He was healing the blind, the sick, the possessed. He was raising the dead. The dead! We were dead too—in our sins. We needed a Savior, someone with ultimate W Rizz over sin, death, and the grave. Someone who wouldn’t mince words and would say to us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).

Someone with that kind of power, while being that compassionate and full of grace—that is so attractive. We are drawn to that amazing combination of strength and mercy. True God and true man. Jesus kept the law perfectly for us so that we could stand innocent before our Father in heaven, so that we could be sons and daughters of the King.

And now we believers can have that rizz—we can be attractive to others, not by our steely looks, fancy cars, or social media prowess but by the hope and peace and confidence we have in Jesus.

In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).

These words were written by Peter, the same disciple who denied Jesus three times out of absolute fear for his life (John 18). After Jesus rose from the dead, he would reinstate a repentant Peter and tell Peter to “follow him” (John 21). Peter went on to preach God’s Word boldly, and he would eventually die for Jesus. That’s the amazing transformation that Jesus brings. That’s the amazing attraction of the gospel. Jesus is rizzin. He is rizzin indeed.