Remind yourself of the mission of the Messiah

Published 3:49 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017

By Larry Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene.

The Easter/Lenten season is the cornerstone of our Christian faith.  This is the climax of a story that began in a Bethlehem stable some 33 years prior.  The Messiah had grown up.  He has been turning his world upside down for three and a half years.

Who was this man? The Scribes and Pharisees hated Him because they could not debate Him.  People loved him because “He spoke with authority” as He taught the common folks of Galilee.  Others saw him as a prophet, good man, or a miracle worker.

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As the earthly ministry of Jesus was coming to a climax, there was a distinct declaration of His personhood at the Palm Sunday Parade.  People were shouting, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”  Simon Peter had already made the declaration, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

“The King of Kings and Lord of Lords” was about to take “center stage” in the arena of life and the world would be transformed forever. Who was the man?

Not everyone knew who Jesus was. There was no press or media. When he arrived in Jerusalem on that Sunday before Passover, the city was stirred.  As he rode the young donkey into the city people were shouting hysterically. The chief priest and scribes were trying to get Jesus to quiet the crowd.  He responded, “If they don’t give praise to God, the stones will cry out in their place.” It no longer mattered what the religious leaders felt, Jesus “came to town as a king, to die as a king, and rise from the dead as a king.”

The Christ had come to bring deliverance to all the people.

The tragedy of the day was that most thought He would overthrow the Roman government and establish a kingdom with Israel as the core.

They were looking for an economic boom that brought wealth and prestige to their people. In their subjugation by the Roman authorities, they could imagine themselves as the “oppressor and not the oppressed.”  Their long anticipated Messiah did not come as they expected — according to their plans.  Who was this man?

There was specific evidence to His purpose and mission. John the Baptist had made it clear when he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” An angel of the Lord had appeared to Joseph telling him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21-22)  In simple terms, Jesus the Christ lived, died and rose from the dead to be the “Savior of the World.”

Who was this man? When John the Baptist was placed in prison, he became quite discouraged about who his cousin Jesus might be. He sent a message asking, “Are you the Christ or do we look for someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go tell John, that the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and good news is being preached to the poor.”  Those were the very words used by the Prophet Isaiah when he foretold the role of the Messiah.

Then, who is this man? He is your savior. This is not a socio-economic issue, rather, this is a spiritual matter that will affect your eternal destiny.  Everyone needs a savior.

The best person in the world needs to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. So many have replaced a personal relationship with Jesus Christ with church membership, a single event in life, baptism, a specific gift, how thy dress, etc. Being reconciled to God is a life changing relationship that begins with confession of sins and disobedience, and accepting by faith the forgiving grace of a savior who loves you so much he died for you.

As you walk through another Easter/ Lenten season, remind yourself of the mission of the Messiah.

If your relationship with Jesus Christ is not what you want it to be, he is anxious to enter into a daily relationship that will so transform your life you will know that Christianity is “Simply Beautiful.”