It has been reported in recent years from the UK that a student in a Religious Education class asked his teacher if he could stay behind after class and ask her a question about her Christmas lesson. (The student probably didn’t want to ask the question in class for fear of being embarrassed in front of his classmates). The question he asked was this, ‘Why would Mary and Joseph name their baby after a swear word?’
The truth that this story conveys is striking. When a student has never heard the name ‘Jesus’ apart from as a swear word, then we know for sure that general knowledge about the Bible or even about Jesus is at an all time low. It must be the greatest irony of all times. Human history is divided into two great sections – ‘BC’ (Before Christ) and ‘AD’ (Anno Domini – Latin for ‘the year of the Lord’) with Jesus Christ the very centre of it all, and yet two thousand years later, in many cases He is ignored, despised, hated and greatly misunderstood!
At Easter time, we are forced again to consider what the Bible says about Jesus. We simply cannot afford to ignore Him although many continue to do so. The great writer C.S.Lewis once summed up the situation logically like this – Jesus has to be one of three things. Either he is a liar (He deliberately went around telling people that he was the Son of God when He wasn’t) or he is a lunatic (He thought He was the Son of God but he was badly mistaken) or he is Lord (He really was and is the Son of God.)
The accounts of his life in the New Testament’s 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), clearly help us know which of the above options best fit the facts that are recorded about Him. To come to some other conclusion other than the evidence the Bible gives and the conclusion it reaches would be ludicrous! But even if we agree with who Jesus said He was, it will not be enough just to have the right idea about Him, or just to be sympathetic to Him, or be more or less in favour of Him…If He is Lord as He says, then He can be nothing less than your Lord and having Him as less than your Lord will never be good enough for Him. It’s all or nothing.
Jesus once asked his disciples this question, ‘Who do you say I am?’ (Matthew 16:15). This Easter, He is still asking us the same question.