Jesus the ‘Christ’

JESUS SPEAKING

                ‘Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi.  On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked.  “Who do you say I am?”  Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”  Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him’ (Mark 8: 27-30.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Many people were confused about the nature and purpose of Jesus during his earthly ministry.  He did not immediately reveal his identity as the Son of God, and the savior of the world; instead he allowed others to discover his identity for themselves.  Many believed Jesus was a Holy man like John the Baptist who remained pure and ministered to the lost; others believed he was a worker of extraordinary miracles like Elijah who rained fire down from heaven and raised the dead; still others who heard him speak believed he was a prophet whose words were a message from God.  He was far more than just a minister, a miracle worker, and a prophet.  When the disciples were asked who he was, they proclaimed him to be the Christ.  ‘Christ’ was a title reserved for the promised savior. [Note:  The word ‘Christ’ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word ‘messiah,’ which means ‘anointed one,’ or ‘Chosen of God.’]  Throughout the Old Testament, God promised that He would send a redeemer to His people; Jesus Christ was (and is) the fulfillment of that promise; he came to save mankind from the sins that had sentenced them to certain death, and eternal separation from God.  His work upon the cross signaled the completion of God’s promise (indeed today, anyone who professes Jesus as the Christ, is forgiven by the blood that was shed upon the cross.)

                During world war two, the Jewish people that were unable to flee Nazi controlled Europe, found themselves surrounded by death.  They were slowly stripped of their rights, their property, and eventually their lives.  As the Jews were herded in to concentration camps, it appeared there was no way out; death was an inevitable certainty.  But there was a slight glimmer of hope.  Those within the camps knew there was a war going on.  If the Nazi’s were defeated, they would keep their lives.  In 1944, the Germans began to retreat from Poland.  As the Russians advanced, they liberated the first ‘concentration camp,’ and many Jews tasted salvation.  As the Russian, American, and British forces made their way to in to the heart of Germany, they freed hundreds of thousands of sick and malnourished Jewish prisoners from the jaws of death.

                Throughout history, death has been the enemy of all people.  People die when they are young; they die when they are old.  It has been said that only two things are certain, “Death, and taxes.”  This is true, for all those who believe Jesus is just a man (or a prophet; or spiritual guru.)  Those who desire to live will find hope in him, and know that he is the Son of the Living God, and the savior of mankind.  When we call Jesus the ‘Christ’ he enters in to our hearts and lives and delivers us from death.  In him we will live forever; in him we will receive the promise of God; in him we will know the goodness of God’s salvation.  There is a question you need to answer; a question that has been asked throughout every generation, to every person who has ever lived; and that question is now being asked of you, “Who do you say I am?”  Who is Jesus Christ to you?

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You today, and we profess that Your Son is the Christ, and that through him we have our salvation.  Help us Father to never lose sight of the hope that we have in him.  Help us Lord to present this question to others in love, that they too, might know what it means to be free from death, and to be wholly forgiven for our sins and transgressions.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

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