Who Do You Say That I Am?
by lynda ventura 3/30/2013 / Christian Apologetics
"He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:3-4
Many people of Jesus' time despised Jesus. He represented all they were not; all they couldn't be, holy, righteous, kind, and full of love and forgiveness. He was (and is) God. Jesus is fully Man and fully God, for some reason that offended people. That was Jesus' "crime." He simply stated who He was. He told the truth.
As it was then, so it is now. Many people believe Jesus the Man, existed. But what they fail to believe, and some even get a little perturbed at, is the fact that He is God. Unbelieving people like to separate Jesus from the Godhead. They bring Jesus down to thier level, rather than give Him His due place as King of Kings. But that doesn'take from the reality that Jesus is God.
A simple Sunday school lesson can put things into perspective for us. Let's look at an egg. There are three parts, a yolk, the white and the shell. They each have different functions, yet they are one thing. Like-wise, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One. They each have different functions, but they are One. Together, they are God. Its' that simple.
Speaking of Jesus particularly, God's word says, "In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God." John 1:1 Writing is an expression of ourselves. Our heavenly Father gave us the Word, Jesus Christ. As the Word He is the perfect expression of God the Father. This was a beautiful gift.
In Christ, no more was God's presence such, as on the mountain, that people were afraid. God's word says, "Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." Exodus 20:18-19 They were afraid for God to even speak to them, let alone be in Hs presence! They were afraid of God. Even when God dwelt with them in the tabernacle, only anointed men could touch it, otherwise they too would die. The iniquity of the unpurified people condemned them. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 The wages of sin is death"Romans 6:23a The children of Israel knew that their sin earned them death in the presence of their Holy God."So the children of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, "Surely we die, we perish, we all perish! Whoever even comes near the tabernacle of the LORD must die. Shall we all utterly die?" Numbers 17:12-13
God finally came to us, to dwell with us, to live like us in the God-Man Jesus Christ. He drew near to us in such a way as never before. Heb 9:11 says, "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Romans 6:23 says in full, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." God gave us the wonderful gift of His Son. Why then do people still despise Him?
Maybe it's because when you seek to be in the presence of our Holy God through Jesus Christ, you do die...you die to yourself.
That's something a lot of people can't deal with. Just admitting that, for one, we aren't good people. (People may do good things, but at the core of our being there is not one who is truly good in the full sense of the wordexcept God.) That takes something called humility. Two, that we need God's forgiveness and that He needs to come first in our hearts. How, as unrepentant sinners, we love to sit on the throne of our own hearts dictating precisely how we should live. To do otherwise requires us to surrender to the authority of Christ in our daily lives. That's called being obedient. What force is so great that it prevents those two characteristics from flowing in ourselves? In a word pride.
It's pride that made people look at Jesus Christ and mock Him. It's pride that even today makes people hide as it were their faces from Him as the scripture says.
Still, Jesus is God. I've offended some for saying that, even in my own family. As it was then, so it is now. Jesus said, "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also." So don't be surprised if the news of Jesus Christ being God doesn't sit well with some. That's okay. Speak truth anyway. It's a seed planted. Let the Word of God speak through the word of God. It could grow into a tree of faith. "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17