When I was in school, we covered a wide of array of historical figures in the classroom: Confucious, Ronald Reagan, Mao Zedong, Napoleon, and many more. There are many names which tower like tall buildings in the panorama of the collective historical memory, often inspiring namesake schools, organizations, even economic theory models.
For the sake of recognizing their contributions or destructions made to society, we secularly academize these individuals. We begin to know them by their historical influence and only by their social, academic, or scientific inventions. Yet, what do these names mean to us personally? To most, the answer is nothing. One reason why is because these people no longer have a personal legacy which could possibly extend to us. The possibility of multiplying their personal connections with us have halted with their own deaths.
Jesus is different. Born again believers actually have a personal, one on one relationship with Him as Savior. The fruit of this relationship is ministry, evangelism, going out of one’s way to spread the gospel and bring others into relationship with God through Jesus.
Jesus is still alive. Though He did die, He came back from the dead. Why? Because a sinless man without the stain of sin in His bloodline cannot be held down by death, as death only comes as a result of sin, committed and/or inherited. But He still died, which means He let death overtake Him, though He didn’t have to. Why in the WORLD would a person let death, the very thing that every one seeks to defy, overtake Him? Was He CRAZY? No. Jesus was wise, to say the least. And in His wisdom, He let death overtake Him so that He could ask for something greater (jumping in my seat), and that is me and you. Death took Him illegally, so Jesus could legally demand our freedom from (spiritual) death. In Him we have the right to become sons of God, with eternal life, never dying. The dead Christian is only sleep and will rise again, just like Jesus.
If you are a Christian and something illegal happens to you, just know that the Spirit of Christ can and will demand the redemption of something greater, if you walk in faith. A friend betray you? Forgive and hold not a grudge. A professor slight you? Pray about it, respectfully question it even, but let God be God. Know that when life sends us lemons, it might be that God is arranging for us to have the whole lemon tree (and then we could really make some lemonade). Christians have relationship with the one who can legally demand those kinds of reparations.
You can’t follow Jesus by seeing him as just a historical figure. The relationship must be that of a “right here, right now” friend and master who is the way to eternal life. He paid the price to open the door for us. Walk through it.
Prayer: Jesus, please come into my heart and live as Master, Lord, and Savior. I believe your sacrifice on the cross grants me new life. Please allow me to walk in the forgiveness that your sacrifice provides, allowing me to become a Son of the living God. Open my eyes to truth and allow me to step into freedom. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.