-Chidiebere Dennis Owah
WHO IS THIS MAN? A BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL PROFILE OF JESUS CHRIST:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (Matthew 16:13).
Folks, as we build up to the festival of Easter which marks the commemoration of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ over two thousand years age, it will be fit and proper for us to begin a series of discussion on this platform that will attempt at profiling the personality that constitutes, as it is popularly said, the reason for this season.
This, I want us to meditatively embark upon in the next couple of days preceding the Easter period.And,I want us to look at the Synoptic Gospels and see how these anointed gospellers or evanglistists(Matthew,Mark and Luke) presented Him.Meanwhile, today we are going to attempt answering this tremendous question our Lord Himself asked- Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? (Matthew 16:13).We are doing that by looking at the following points:
1. THE UNALTERABLE ETERNALITY OF JESUS CHRIST: But thou, Bethlehem
Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (Micah 5:2; Hebrew1:8)
Jesus Christ has been and will ever remain in existence throughout all eternity. In fact, he did not begin His existence either at conception in Nazareth nor His birth at Bethlehem. He asserted that before Abraham (or for the Muslims Ibrahim) had been born, he is (John 8:56-59).More,not that was…He is-that is to say His Eternality is unalterable. His existence predates the annals of humankind, and, as a matter of fact, has no beginning nor end. He could be likened to no religious founder or leader of this world. He is the Ancient of Days. The Everlasting One. He declared in Revelation 1:8,” I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”.That is the Christ we are celebrating all the time.
2. THE UNIVERSAL EXHIBITION OF JESUS CHRIST:
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.(1John 3:5).
The exhibition, presentation or appearance of Christ after many years or ages was for the purpose of the redemption and salvation of mankind,universally. His appearance was not for the purpose of the scenario of frivolities and frolicking that characterizes the modern day festival of the remembrance of His death during Easter Celebration. Of course, you know no sensible man would take a decision to die for such a debased and degraded purpose. He came and died on the cross principally and purposely to emancipate us from the bondage, shackles and manacles of the Enemy of our souls-Satan and his enabler-sin.That is why He came.To set you and me and,of course,all man free from the bondage of sin.
3. OUR UNCOMMON EMANCIPATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST:
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John8:36).
Freedom or emancipation from captivity to sin, Satan and evil habits can only come through the finished work of redemption that Christ did at the cross of Calvary which forms the basis of Easter Celebration. At the cross he shed his lifeblood for our sins and opened the door for our liberation and total emancipation from the power and propensity to sin.
Now, how do we benefit from this emancipatory work he did? It comes through repentance from sin and faith in the gospel or this good news of his death for your sins. That is exactly what he expects of us in commemoration of His sacrificial death on the wooden cross at Calvary. Have you done that? May God help you to do that this season in Jesus name.
Bro. Chidiebere Dennis Owah