“Who is this Jesus?,” asks one line of dialogue in our Easter drama, This Day of Resurrection. That single question is a life-changing question that every one of us must consider.
Jesus asked his disciples in Matthew 16:13, speaking of himself, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They answered that others though he was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Then Jesus made the question personal in Matthew 16:15, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
That was Peter’s belief. A man who lived with Jesus, following him as his disciple for three years - day in, day out, observing his every action & hearing his every word - Peter believed Jesus was God’s One & Only Son, the one way Savior of Humanity from our sins.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one & only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And if you believe in Jesus as the Son of God & Savior of your sins you are not condemned. John 3:18 goes on, “but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one & only son.”
So, even today, each & every person who lives has a decision to make. A personal decision. A life-changing decision. Who is this Jesus? Do you believe He is God’s Son or not? Do you believe you have sinned, falling short of God’s plan & need the free gift of salvation God offers?
The question is not, who do other people think Jesus is, but who do I believe he is?
He is either Liar, Lunatic, or Lord. If Jesus is not Lord, then there are only two alternatives.
If he were a liar, then he’d be a hypocrite for teaching truthfulness while deliberately deceiving his followers. Furthermore, being a liar doesn’t coincide with the results of his life & teachings. Someone who lived as Jesus lived, taught as Jesus taught, & died as Jesus died can’t be a liar.
If Jesus is not a liar, could he have thought himself to be God by mistake? Was he crazy, a lunatic? He could be both sincere & wrong. He’d be deluded & self-deceived, but someone with such abnormalities and imbalance could not teach & live so genuinely before so many people.
If he is not a liar or a lunatic, then he must be Lord. This is not a passing, philosophical argument for your consideration, but a question of eternal life & death. John 20:31 says, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in his name.” Eternal life or death hangs in the balance with this question.
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) and that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life,” (Romans 6:23). All you have to do is confess your sins - all the wrong you have ever done, violations of God’s law - and receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” promises John 1:12.
Years later, when writing the book we know as 1 Peter, Peter recorded in 1:18-21, "It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you beleive in God, who raised him from the dead & glorified him, and so your faith & hope are in God."
God gave you Jesus in order that you might have a personal, saving relationship with Him. God loves you & wants you to settle the question, Who is this Jesus?, with the answer, "He is my Lord & Savior."
To make that decision you can pray a simple prayer like this: God, I know I have sinned, but I know you will forgive me. I believe Jesus is Lord as he said. I want to make him Lord of my life. Thank you for forgiving me & making me your child forever. Amen.
Share a comment of who Jesus is to you. Or, if you offered the prayer above, please let me know.