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What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?
by Alan Allegra
4/15/2015 / Christian Apologetics
A month has passed since Good Friday, when Christians honor the crucifixion of Christ. It is one of my favorite holidays, because it reminds me of the solemnity and meaning of that horrid day.
When Jesus was brought before Pilate, the governor gave the people the choice of whom to release, Barabbas or Jesus. The crowd demanded that Jesus die. Baffled, "Pilate said to them, 'Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?'" We all know the answer.
I became a Christian about 35 years ago. Surprisingly, it wasn't until a few years ago that I paid a lot of attention to the Christ of Christianity. Even through 4 years of seminary and a gazillion hours of church attendance, I didn't think much about Jesus. To me, he was the Son of God and Son of Man who died to save me, but after that, he just went to heaven and wasn't as important as God the Father. I knew the mantra "Jesus is my Savior" but he was gone. I treated Jesus as I would Murphy of Murphy's Law: I believed the law but gave little thought to who Murphy was.
It wasn't until I really dug into the bible, especially the Old Testament, that I appreciated whom the man -- whose name I bore as a label -- was and is. Often, as Christians, we are taught to pay more attention to the New Testament because it relates to the church, and just take some verses out of the Old and twist them to relate to the church instead of some dusty old nation called Israel. This is a great injustice.
The footsteps of Jesus can be traced throughout most of the Old Testament. He is in Genesis as the Creator (Genesis 1:1, cf. Colossians 1:16) and Savior (Genesis 3:15, cf. Philippians 3:20). Jesus is foretold as the Prophet who will replace Moses in Israel (Deuteronomy 18:15, cf. John 6:14). He is the coming Son of David, the King of Israel and ruler of the world (Daniel 7:13-14; Isaiah 9:7, cf. Luke 1:32-33). He is the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6) and the Judge of all men (Psalm 96:13, cf. Matthew 25:31&ff.). Jesus is the heavenly lawyer who intercedes for us before God, having shed his blood on the cross to pay for our sins (Isaiah 53:12, cf. Romans 8:34).
Here is something to ponder: Jesus in is us, and we are in him (Colossians 1:27; Romans 8:1)! It doesn't get more personal than that! He is far away, but he is also as close as one can be. In fact, we are already seated with him in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6). This means we are heirs with Christ, destined to receive indescribable riches in glory: "[A]nd if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him" (Romans 8:17). This verse also assures us that, even in times of suffering, we should not lose hope or think that we have been left alone. Jesus keeps us going day by day (Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 1:3).
Jesus' last name is not "Christ;" that is his title. It means he is the one who was chosen to redeem and rule the world (Luke 23:35). Many who acknowledge that Jesus existed hesitate to call him Christ, the Lord, the Son of God.
Jesus is not just sitting around in heaven -- he is preparing to return to fulfill his destiny of restoring the world to what it should be and being the focus of all things (Acts 3:19-21).
Even now, Jesus Christ is to be the center of all things, worshiped as God (John 5:22-23). He doesn't just open the portal to heaven and stand aside like some cosmic doorkeeper -- he is in us, with us, sustaining us, interceding for us, and coming again to make the world a perfect place. I'd say that makes him pretty important!
What will you do with Jesus who is called Christ?
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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