Ponders Baptist Church - online
ready always to give an answer to every man that asks
Scattered across history we find influential and colorful
personalities claiming their own deity. We find them from ancient
times to the present day, from pharoahs to siddhas. With regard
to lordship, however, there is something unique and compelling
about Jesus of Nazareth that nearly everyone senses. Whether we
adore him, or hate him with a passion, Jesus draws a reaction.

Certainly others have preached justice and condemned sinful
behavior. Others have preached love and compassion. Others
have challenged religious tradition in radical ways, predicted
the end of the ages, and as we mentioned, claimed to be god.

Is there anything new here? Does it make sense, then, that
the whole world must acknowledge Jesus two thousand years
later?

Did Jesus believe he was god? Many well-lettered theologians
have argued that he did not. They say that this idea formed
about him in the years following his death. They say that
during his lifetime, he would have been appalled by the claim
and denied it vigorously.

In a sense, these theologians are correct. He didn't say he
was god - he said he was God.

There's a difference.

Miracles are not a sideshow. They are a claim. The true God has
power to raise the dead, cure the incurable, subdue the waves,
bring forth bread from the earth, and above all - forgive sin.
Jesus claimed all of these things. In fact, he was tried,
convicted, and executed for blasphemy.

(The Gospel of Mark carries us back in time to the court of
Caiaphas):
Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou
the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am, and
you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of
power and coming in the clouds of heaven.
.
Does a thinking person really believe that the Son of God is
not God?

(The Gospel of John answers our question through the railing
Pharisees):
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not
only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his
Father, making himself equal with God.

No, to be the Son of the Blessed does not mean that if the
Father dies, then the Son gets to be God. Common sense
precludes such one-dimensional, crude notions regarding the
spiritual realm. As the Father and Holy Spirit are distinct
and yet one God, so, too, is the Son.

There is something else important that we inherently sense.
Within our souls, we already understand that Jesus loves us.
We may not like that, but we can not escape it. The Old
Testament stories of animal sacrifice make no sense without the
final sacrifice. No one can say that Jesus doesn't feel our
pain. Having taken this punishment on our behalf, it is we
that can not fully comprehend his love for us. It is this
sacrifice of God on our behalf that extracts from each of us
some level of emotional response. We are either drawn closer
or repulsed. No one remains emotionally still before the Christ.

(Seven centuries before the first Christmas, the prophet Isaiah
had a vision of the coming Messiah):
We have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid
on him the iniquity of us all.

.
So there is nothing to argue here. We may choose correctly, or
we may choose incorrectly, but like the throng before Pilate,
we must face this wounded Jesus and choose.
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