Posted by: forfreedomalone | 09/12/2013

Jesus, The Christ.

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS”, so said the angel to Mary, in Luke 1:31.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sin”, so said the angel to Joseph, in Matthew 1:21.

There is little room for doubt on the child’s name. The little boy, born in Bethlehem, was to be called Jesus. Jesus is the Anglicised name we get from the Greek Iēsous, which in turn comes from the Hebrew Joshua. It means “Jehovah is salvation”.

In trying to understand who Jesus was and why he was any different to anyone else who ever lived I think it is important to understand first that this little boy was a human being. He was flesh and blood, he grew up as all children do, he learned to talk and walk, he went to school and learned to read the Torah. He was taught to obey his parents and to help around the home. He played with other children and grew in all the ways any child would grow.

Jesus was the name to which he would answer when we was called, but was it who he was?
He asked his disciples, in Matthew 16, “Who do you say that I am?” and Peter replied without hesitation “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Why did he say “You are The Christ” when clearly the man who had asked him this question was called Jesus; an angel had told both Mary and Joseph that he was to be called Jesus, so why is Peter calling him Christ?

Christ is the Anglicised form of the Greek Christos meaning “the anointed”. Peter was recognising Jesus was the anointed of God, the one chosen by God.
So what difference does that make to us? Jesus, Christ, what difference does it make?

I believe it makes a big difference.
If we see Jesus we can identify with him as a historical figure, a man, a person who walked this earth and lived a life as we do. We may accept he was a greater man than others of his time or even of all time, but we do not see who he was.
From the moment of his conception he was perfect in spirit. At his baptism his father confirmed his anointed status and reaffirmed that he was filled with the spirit of God.
If we see The Christ was see who this man really was.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was unable to properly pronounce her name when she was tiny (as is the case with many small children) and called herself Lillibet.
Is she two people? No, but not everyone will get to know Lillibet.
When one meets HM one meets Her Majesty The Queen. When one is her child one gets to know Mama. When one is her husband one will get to know Lillibet.
Do you understand?

Understanding and knowing who someone really is, comes from intimacy. It comes from relating to them beyond the name they have and interacting with the essence of who they are. Jesus is the name carried by the man, The Christ is the essence of who he is.

Jesus was his humanity; Christ, his divinity.
Jesus the parcel; Christ, the gift.
Jesus the last man of the line of Adam; Christ, the first of the line of spirit filled people.

I hear so many people say, when they look at Jesus, that they just can’t see how he has anything to offer them. They can see him as a man like them and they can identify with him as they can with Gandhi or Mandela, but they do not see how he powers them to live differently or be different.
This is because they do not see him as The Christ.
It is the power of The Christ, manifest in Jesus, which gives us the full picture and the hope.
He came to live as a man, so that we could see The Christ in Jesus and understand that when we are born again, into the family of God, filled with his spirit, as was The Christ, we are changed from mere struggling and suffering humanity into the children of God, overcomers, “as he is now so are we in this world”.

Others say, “I get him, he’s just like me” and fully identify with the man Jesus, but still do not go beyond and see The Christ, so they cannot access the power he has to save.
Saved is from the Greek sozo, meaning saved, healed, prospered, delivered, made whole, set apart. All of this is ours when we are in relationship with The Christ. The one who came from God to make it possible for us to return to relationship and be filled with his spirit.

God himself is made manifest in his Christ. God is love and we see the fulness of his love for us, when we go beyond the humanity of Jesus and look at the divine Christ. What else would motivate someone to be beaten nearly to death, have thorns rammed onto his head and then be nailed to a cross for something he did not do? What else would motivate a man to be alienated (albeit temporarily) from the father he loved and with whom he was one, to have all of the wrath of the Almighty poured on him and be left in the place of the unrighteous dead? It was not self seeking self promotion which cause Jesus to endure these thing, it was because he was The Christ, the very essence of God in human form, the very manifestation of love.

The power of the relationship is in the intimacy of relationship with The Christ, not just with Jesus. We need to allow ourselves to be drawn in deeper, into the inner sanctum of his being where we become one with him and where we are transformed from sinner to saint, from powerless to powerful, for defeated to more than a conqueror, from beggar to believer.

If you look at Jesus and see an example of a man, look beyond his name to who he is and see The Christ who came to save the world. You will be changed by the experience if you do.

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