Paul the apostle in his writing to the Corinthian Church said in 1 Cor. 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. He then went on to add in verse 20 but now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
For generations, the attempt to undermine and even deny the very essence of our faith (the resurrection of our lord from the dead) has always been the main focus of those opposed to the Christian faith. The world can accommodate a harmless baby, a moral teacher and to some extent a miracle worker but not a risen savoir. The unwillingness to accept the resurrection of our Lord Jesus begins to make sense if one understands the implications of accepting the resurrection facts. To accept a risen savior means accepting the divinity of Christ, the moral responsibility of our actions and not blaming man’s moral bankruptcy on some genetic malfunction. It means accepting that man is not the measure of all things, that there are consequences for man’s actions thus the presence of a higher authority to whom we all are accountable. This is a scary though that a lot of people are not willing to face.
When Jesus was brought into the temple for dedication, through the mouth of Simon, a prophecy was spoken, Luke 2:34-35 the bible tells us … And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. In Isaiah 8:14 Isaiah prophesied concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, when he wrote… And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. These prophecies will be fulfilled regardless of our opinion. What we as individuals do with this Jesus will determine which aspect of theses prophecies will be fulfilled in our lives. We can’t ignore Jesus, put him on the back burner of our lives or treat him as if he does not matter. You have to do something with Jesus.
In Matthew 27 bible tells of a man who was faced with a choice of what to do with Christ. Pilate tried to dance around the issue of Christ; he tried waving him off without really taking a stand. You can do that (not to take a stand) with any other issue in life but not with Christ, you must take a stand. Pilate after trying without much success spoke out in frustration “what do you want me to do with this Jesus?” No matter your status in life you will not only be faced with this question you will have to do something about it. You may try to ignore Christ like some have tried to do without much success, you may want to mock him, patronize, rationalize or even persecute him, but a stand you must take. You are either for Him or against him. There is no middle ground. You either believe or you don’t, it is as simple as that.
Another Easter season is here, a time of the year when the death and resurrection of our lord and savior Jesus Christ is remembered and celebrated, a time when the very issue confronting humanity (the problem of sin) was not only confronted but dealt with decisively. Easter the greatest season of the year is here and what do we have going on all around us? No matter how much we try to run away from the issue of sin, ignore the sacrifice of our savoir, deny the bodily resurrection of Christ our savoir, or ridicule the saving grace, we all have to face this man called Jesus. We can either face him now as a loving savoir or later as the righteous judge. Like Pilate, we must answer the question “what will I have to do with this Jesus.”
To be able to truly confront this question and effectively answer and resolve this issue of who Jesus Christ is in our hearts, we must
1. Clarify our knowledge of his person i.e. who is this Jesus?
2. Verify our understanding of his purpose i.e. why did he come?
3. Quantify the centrality of his mission i.e. how important is his mission?
4. Evaluate his place in eternity i.e. what is his role in eternity?
Until we come to understand that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That the same was in the beginning with God. And that all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3.) Until we come to understand that he was called “Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins”. (Matthew 1:21). Until we realize “that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) and for the reason of the salvation of our souls “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philip. 2:9-11
Until we come to terms with these irrefutable facts of scriptures concerning the person, purpose and place of Jesus Christ in the eternal scheme of things, responding rightly to the question posed over 2000 years ago might yet prove elusive.