But THEY COULD NOT KEEP HIM IN THE GRAVE!
As He had done or over three years, He proved HE ALONE had theright to have the Final Word, the Only Opinion, the absolute ruth thatmatters. Debate over. NO ONE ELSE walks on water and commands thestorms and heals the lame and blind, and raises the dead by Command. JESUS ALONE, Y’shua, has the Final Word. But thank GOD or that! HE ALONE is Relevant, rather than merely relative. Hear ye HIM! WhateverHE says, goes. Period. No one else can raise the dead but Jesus; no oneelse’s thoughts amount to more than a drip in the ocean o conicting opinions. Hear ye HIM!He was murdered out o rage and jealousy by the religiously poweruland greedy and dark-hearted o His day. But, how did it come about?How did this penniless man, “i it be lawul to call him a man” as the non-christian historian Josephus exclaimed, invade human history, change theDestiny o those who would abandon to Him and His ruth? Soon He will Crack the Sky and come back or those who are His! Will you be thatman, that woman, that child that is looking and longing or His Returnin the clouds to claim His own? Let’s consider Him or a ew minutes.... Jesus’ lie on earth was drawing to a close. For three years He had spentnearly every waking hour with a handul o men and women. ogether they had experienced so much—breathtaking miracles, penetrating teaching,hateul opposition. But it was obvious now that Jesus had something weighing on His mind. Leaving behind the crowds and the critics, He withdrew rom the villages o Galilee to the seacoast city o Caesarea Philippi. He gathered His riends around him, xed His eyes on theirs,took a breath, and asked a question:
“Who do people say I am?”
His riends—probably with a surge o pride that their popular teacherinspired such interest and a wave o attention—repeated the latest rumors. Jesus was a “prophet,” perhaps even one o the old prophets o centuriespast come back to lie! Or maybe a reincarnation o the recently martyred John the Baptist! Jesus waited or the banter to die down and the last chuckle to adeinto silence. He held His disciples in His eyes or a moment longer, thenasked them the most important question they had ever heard.
“But what about
say I am?”
He knew how they ticked, inside and out. And He knew how we wouldtick. He knew that people like you and me could
Him without really
who He was,
Him without really
to what He wassaying, and
Him without really
getting to know
Him. So Jesuschallenged every assumption, cut through every “Well, o course…” andasked the key question.
say I am?
Tis man Jesus rom the Middle East, a man unlike anyone ever born,has been seemingly turned into anemic able and emaciated airytaleby Western nonsense, sentiment, love o the world and things o the world, love o entertainment shows and superstition, and ake orms o Christianity that do not honor nor obey Him, nor reect His Glory orlook at all like the Family o Lie and Love, His Church, that He birthedrom Heaven. Jesus was lied about, mocked, slandered, accused, arrested, tortured,and sentenced to death or daring to take a stand AGAINS the ritualistic weak religions o rote words, empty promises, selsh isolated lives, andpower-hungry medicine-men clergy. Just another “prophet” or Santa Claus or moral eacher or Mystic orFairytale? Who REALLY was and IS Jesus? How you answer that question romthe heart makes ALL the dierence as you look to the Father, or just look to the earth or lieless religions o convenience and powerlessness, as meremen may do.
“Who do YOU say that I Am,” He asks YOU, today! What would yourpersonal response be? In your own heart, what have you made o Jesus?
Let’s take a ew minutes together to sort through our pile o assumptions. Let’s examine each assumption in the light o what thepeople who knew Jesus best had to say about Him. Many o them werepresent on that day in Caesarea Philippi and the testimonies o these peopledeserve our respect. Many o these men and women whose convictionsare recorded in what we call the New estament
went to their deaths
in theace o violent, hateul opposition, without wavering or a single momentin what they so condently declared.Tese ew pages can’t possibly do justice to the question o Jesus’identity and signicance. But let’s do give honest consideration to someo those men and women’s convictions about Him. As we read, let’s ask ourselves:
I what they said is true, what would the implications be or