August 21, 2010

To Live is Christ — accepting who He is

His brothers were the first to reject Him. I’m not sure how that went down, but the Scriptures reveal that they thought He was out of his mind. Later, at least two of them changed their minds, James and Jude.

The Bible records that His people, the Jews didn’t accept Him either. They thought He was a blasphemer. Any man who claimed to be God had to be that, or insane, or completely arrogant. They crucified Him for His claim. Later, many Jews believed, including some of the priests.

This is still the line that divides the world. Who is He? Some say He was merely a good teacher. If so, why not do as He taught? And not just the “love others” part, but all that He taught, including giving our lives to serve Him with all our heart.

Some say He was merely a good man. If so, why was He killed? The religious leaders of His day would not have murdered a mere good man. They preached goodness themselves.

However, their ancestors were noted for killing prophets. Maybe that is why some say He was merely a prophet. Prophets told forth the will of God. Even today people get killed for doing that.

But that is not why they killed this man who claimed to be God the Son. They killed Him for His claim, and they totally rejected the idea that maybe He was right. At least at first.

A Pharisee named Saul rejected Him too. He vehemently denied this Jesus and persecuted those who followed Him. Saul was on a road to Damascus to arrest more of them when suddenly Jesus confronted him. When that happens to anyone there is not much else to do but fall down and agree with Him. Saul did. He later became Paul and wrote the following verses.

(Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. . . . For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell . . . (Colossians 1:15–19)
The identity of Jesus is the crux of the matter. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). No one can pass through a gate if they reject the gate. No one can come to God the Father if they reject the Son. If anyone rejects who He is, Jesus said that person would be rejected by His Father. Rejection is saying Jesus is not who He claims to be, and calling Him a liar besides. Yet Jesus said He is the truth and the way. Believing in Him means accepting what He did and said, not only His teachings and prophecies, but what He said about Himself and who He claimed to be.

This week’s devotional reading ends with this prayer, “Dear God, I accept Jesus to be the total personification of who You are. Amen.”

The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12) All those who accept Him, the way, the truth, and the life, to them He gives authority to be His children, and with that, eternal life.

All that I can say to that is a joyful amen!

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