April 2022

“Who do men say that I am?” That was Jesus’ question to his disciples. It is a question that every follower of Jesus must answer. For some people, he is the founder of a world religion; for others he is a mystic, a revolutionary, a freedom fighter, and the list goes on. But, as Jesus said to the twelve, “Who do you say that I am?” It was Peter who blurted out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16). Hopefully, you can say the same thing. But do we understand what it means to say that?
When we use the name Jesus Christ, we are not saying Christ is Jesus’ last name. Christ is His identity— “Jesus, the Christ.” Christos is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word, Messiah. The word means “anointed” and it pointed to all that was promised in the Old Testament concerning God’s answer to man’s sin. Isaiah, more than any other OT prophet declares the hope of not only Israel but humanity as a whole: “The Lord has laid the iniquity of us all on Him (Christ/Messiah) (Isa 53:6). So, when we say Christ, we must think of what the cross means for us—salvation, redemption, forgiveness of sin.
The Jesus we follow is not some itinerate sage or “holy man.” He is, as the New Testament states several times, “The only begotten of the Father” or “the one and only Son,” which means the one who has shared the “glory before the world ever was” (John 17:5). That means, as Jesus said to the disciple, Philip, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Or as Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one” meaning we are in perfect agreement with each other. So, when we call Him the Son of God, we are placing our faith in the mysterious and miraculous presence of God taking on flesh to live and die among us, that we might live with Him forever.
I doubt that Peter understood all the implications of what he said in that moment. But come Easter Morning, he would begin to see the real Jesus. As you and I come to another Resurrection Morning this month, let us pray, as the Apostle Paul prayed, that the “eyes of our heart may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which He has called us, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power . . . He exerted in Christ when he raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come (Eph 1:18-21). Pastor Mike