This Man

To you, who is Jesus?

To the typical, unbelieving man on the street, Jesus may be a good man, a teacher, an avatar of the divine, or even a myth invented by man to control the masses. I can’t remember where I heard this last comment, but it saddens me. I feel the anger and cynicism behind it and I sense the person’s hatred of anyone they believe is telling them what they can or cannot do.

The problem with the unbeliever’s conclusions about Jesus is their conscience; that innate awareness of right and wrong. They can’t explain it or get rid of it. They’re convicted by a law they refuse to acknowledge and it angers them. Yet, the only reason we know right from wrong is because God wrote it. The Almighty, Triune God set the Standard and no matter what we do there’s no getting around it.

Still, unbelievers really only want the things they deem right to be right and the things they deem wrong to be wrong. But what happens when their “wrong” becomes someone else’s “right”?

They have no answers and it’s much like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who rebuked Him for socializing with people they considered unworthy. “…the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘THIS MAN receives sinners and eats with them.’”[1] Once, by invitation, Jesus went to have dinner with one of those religious leaders. While He was there, a woman came into the house, wept, washed His feet with her tears, kissed and anointed them with fragrant oil. The Pharisee chided Jesus in his heart, “…saying, ‘THIS MAN, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.’”[2]

The Pharisee, denying his own sin condition, found fault in Jesus. Yet, Pilate said not once, but twice, "I have found no fault in THIS MAN…”[3] Nevertheless, the chief priests and the crowd shouted, “…Away with THIS MAN, and release to us Barabbas”[4]

They preferred Barabbas, a hardened criminal, to Jesus, the Sinless, Son of God. Still, they could not know their rejection of Him would be for the salvation of many, beginning with one thief who hung on a cross next to Jesus. Realizing Jesus was God, come in the flesh, this thief acknowledged his sin and rebuked his companion hanging on the other cross. “We suffer,” he cried, “…justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but THIS MAN has done nothing wrong.”[5] Jesus forgave him and changed the place where this repentant thief would spend eternity.

Then, darkness fell upon the land for about three hours while God, the Father, placed the sin of the world upon Jesus “…and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”[6] In those three hours, the pain of sin and separation Jesus suffered was worse than the physical pain causing death to His body.

As light returned, Jesus hung there battered, bruised, and bleeding, yet still possessing physical strength. His body was not yet ready to die. So, proving His earlier statement:  “No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back...”[7] Jesus cried in a loud voice, “’…Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, "Certainly THIS MAN was innocent.”[8]

Innocent indeed! Although the Jews demanded His crucifixion and the Romans nailed Him to the cross, it was my sin and yours that put Him there. “For sin pays its wage – death. But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”[9]

THIS MAN died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.[10]

So again I ask, “To you, who is Jesus?”

Have a blessed Resurrection Day!

[1] Luke 15:2
[2] Luke 7:39
[3] Luke 23:4, 14
[4] Luke 23:18
[5] Luke 23:41
[6][6] Luke 23:44-45
[7] John 10:18 GNT
[8] Luke 23:46-47 NASB
[9] Romans 6:23
[10] I Corinthians 15:3-4


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