Jesus is who He claims to be
What an amazing shift has taken place in my lifetime. When I was a child we learned how to date the history of the world. If something occurred before His birth it was referred to as BC, or "Before Christ." Everything that occurred after His birth was referred to as AD (the Latin phrase Anno Domini), or "Year of our Lord." That practice didn't just happen. People really did divide the history of the world with this watershed event, the birth, life and death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Now our headlines are filled with stories of attempts to excise any mention of His name from our public lives. Listen to the tortured attempts to delete any mention of God or Jesus from our traditional Christmas carols. Watch the exasperated politicians try to defend themselves as they attempt to use legal means to stifle Christian expression; all the while forced to acknowledge that the very legal system they exploit is a result of God giving His law to Moses.
Recently, both Newsweek and Time magazines ran cover stories about Jesus. In an effort to "explain" who Jesus "really" was. They trotted out liberal theologians who pointed out the Bible is obviously a series of stories and borrowed literary devices used by the people of God to try and cope with the times in which they lived. Hence, Jesus is a compilation of literary fictional characters.
There has been so much spin put on the issue of moral values lately that I find myself looking for the Dramamine. So which is it? Is there anything to this Jesus stuff or is it all a myth like the Easter bunny?
Recently I saw footage of Billy Graham's last crusade. I was struck by how feeble he looked. His voice is no longer fiery. The strong medications that manage his tremors have had the effect of flattening his emotions. As he began to preach to the packed stadium, he stumbled over telling a joke. The audience kindly laughed. But when he got to talking about Jesus, the fire returned. He had the look of a man who knew exactly what he was about.
Years ago I heard him preach in person. He put it as succinctly and clearly as I have ever heard it put. "When it comes to Jesus, you really only have three options:
So this Christmas, 2004, without apology, I commend to you the truth that Jesus is exactly who He claims to be. He will do exactly what He claimed that He would do. The angel told Mary, "You are to give Him the name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." That little baby in the cattle feeding trough is God, come in the flesh to heal your broken bodies, your broken hearts, and our broken world.
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH . . . PEACE.