Sunday, May 5, 2013
The Question of Christ
Matt. 22:41 ¶ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question:
Matt. 22:42 “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”
Matt. 22:43 He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
Matt. 22:44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet” ’?
Matt. 22:45 If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?”
Matt. 22:46 No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
The religious leaders were once again trying to figure out how to trip up Jesus. They knew that there were suspicions that he might be the Messiah (but of course, they didn't want to believe it), so they thought they'd test him. It is in this little segment that the very nature of Jesus is revealed to all of us. Yes, he is born as the son of David. This is his full humanity revealed. At the same time David calls him Lord. In this his full divinity is revealed. The religious leaders knew that the Messiah would be descended from David. This they understood in the flesh. What they did not understand was that the Messiah would also be God. Therefore he would be the Lord of David, and of all.
Ultimately this little discourse becomes the crux of the matter regarding Jesus Christ. It is the very question regarding Christ with which we must come to grips. Have we ever personally answered the question of Christ?
There are many opinions regarding Jesus that are floating around these days. Of course there are those who believe that he was simply a good man who walked this earth 2000 years ago. There would be those like the religious leaders who would trace Jesus' roots to king David. Therefore they may call him a prophet. Amazingly some of those who call themselves Christians would end their description of Jesus in this way. In reality this is no different than what the Muslims would say about Jesus. Shouldn't there be something more?
The problem with simply seeing Jesus as a good man and role model is that nothing is done to deal with the problem of sin. Jesus was not just a good man, but he was also wholly and completely God. It took the early church many years to wrestle with this concept, to fully come to grips with what Jesus was trying to tell the disciples and religious leaders way back here in Matthew. Yes, he was humanly descended from David, but he was of heavenly descent from God the Father. Only by assuming human flesh could Jesus set right that which had been set wrong by sin. His entire life was a process of redeeming humanity -- from the moment of conception until his resurrection.
Today is Easter Sunday in the Eastern part of the world. Many have already worshipped today and declared, "He is Risen!" "He is Risen Indeed!" This is the final seal of approval on the acceptance of Christ. He was and is the son of God who came in the flesh and whose life reclaimed humanity and through his victory over death is able to now provide a pathway of redemption for our lives. Irenaeus said, “the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.” In other words, he provided a pathway for us to be welcomed into a personal and intimate relationship with God. We are welcomed into the fellowship found within the relationship of the Holy Trinity.
If Jesus were just a man, a descendant of David, the victory would never have been possible. Lives continue to be transformed today because of what Jesus, the Messiah has done. Every one of us must come to grips with the question of Christ. Was he just a man? Or was he truly wholly and completely the God-Man who provides a path of restoration for all of humanity?
I believe that Christ, the Messiah, the God-Man is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
Lord, thank you Lord for being willing to come in the flesh to restore your children in relationship to you. I am blessed! Amen.