It is not that I have such profound insight. Far from it. In thinking about the Resurrection, combined with being impacted by John’s gospel, I have been reminded of the significance of who Jesus was and is. Had he been a mere man, his death, burial and resurrection would have meant nothing, nothing at all. But because he was the Messiah, savior of the world; lover of souls, his death burial and resurrection mean everything.
It occurs to me that, the problem that so many people have with Jesus’ is his identity. Everything would be fine with the world had Jesus not claimed to be the son of God. So, over the years, some have set out to prove Jesus never claimed to be God. The problem for them is, his identity was indeed that of being the Son of God.
Why is Christ’s identity so important to us?
Answer: If Christ was not who he says he was, we are deceived, pitiful and among the most miserable human beings on the planet. (1 Cor. 15) It means that our faith is a house of cards that collapses under the weight of scrutiny.
This is why the “I Am” statement that identified Christ is so vitally important. (John 8:58-59) To state it another way, “I am somebody and have purpose because he is somebody.” When the ultimate somebody says that I am somebody…well, suffice it to say, nothing more needs to be said.
I love the words of Rick Warren when he notes, “Your faith will grow stronger as you focus on your identity in Christ.” In a message many moths ago I shared with my congregation a list of what it means to find your identity is in Christ. Here are six of them:
- It means that you are not defined by your feelings.
- It means that you are not defined by the opinions of others.
- It means that you are not defined by your circumstances.
- It means that you are not defined by your successes or failures.
- It means that you abandon any image of yourself that is not from God.
- It means that you stop accepting what others have said about you, how others have labeled you, and how others have defined you.
It means that you start believing what God says about you.
A significant passage that undergirds what I mean by this list is Ephesians 2:1, 4-5 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved,”
My point is, you are not defined by the car you drive, the money you make, or the house you live in. To the contrary, as a follower of Christ, you are defined by God and God alone. He identifies you as his own. Our identity is actuated by God’s love.
Again, the words of Rick Warren seem very apropos here: “The thing is, if you don’t know who you are, then you’re vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are, and no one else has a vote in the matter.”
What powerful words. They have meaning…our life has meaning and our identity is secure, because of the power of the resurrection.
His is Risen, indeed!
From the heart and mind of Victor.