Who He Is October 2018
You may think that when Jesus died on the cross that was the end of it. That it was the end of what He was going to do for you. He had already experienced everything that a human male can feel. Then he experienced everything that a sinful man under judgment can understand including separation from God. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!” Sin must be punished, and Jesus was shouldering all the sins of mankind past, present, and future. Then He did something more. Separation from His Father, God, was the cruelest and most fitting of punishments for all the sins of the world. That transaction is foundational, for all who love sin and continue in it knowingly reject God. Should they continue, they will reject God forever and ever.
After Jesus rested in the tomb, he was drawn out, still very much alive by his all-forgiving, all-loving Father. He appeared many times to a few people including his disciples and several times to larger groups. This left no doubt in the minds of those who met with Him that he was the Son of the Living God and therefore was very much alive. That sense of total acceptance caused many of his followers to attest to this truth despite threats of condemnation and ultimately their death sentences. Each one of them could have, in one sentence of disavowal, prevented his torture and death. They continued to avow and share the facts about Jesus’ life with others.
We know what we do about figures from the past based on what is written about them. My respect for Abraham Lincoln does not come from having met him in person and looking into his eyes for validation of his character. It comes from extensive reading about him. As remarkable as Lincoln was, this is what he said about God: “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.” As much as we believe what we read about President Lincoln, isn’t it odd that there are those who doubt what is in print about Jesus? It is estimated that over a trillion Bibles have been published, not to mention thousands of other books on His life. Why would someone believe the one but not the other?
As Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised us that He would send a helper, the third party of the Trinity, The Holy Spirit, to comfort and guide us. Jesus is waiting on God’s timing now for the third phase of his corporeal life – his return to earth. As He waits, he sees all that transpires on here on our planet, including each individual act of good and of evil. While observing, He also guides the Church, intercedes between the believers and the Father, and has been set at God’s right hand with all things on the earth under His feet.
His exalted position and profession does not change the fact that He loves you and cares about your today and your tomorrows – yes, those forever tomorrows, too. A fellow asked if he should pray to God or pray to Jesus. We told him it was OK to pray to either or to both. He was worried that his salvation was at stake if he chose the wrong one. We told him that his salvation does not come from his prayers but only from his one time acceptance of Jesus as his Lord. Everything that happens after that is a result of a changed heart as a true believer of the real man who has had so much written about Him.