March 2013

WHAT IS JESUS CHRIST TO ME?

K. V. Varghese

Jesus is my All-in-all.

Over two thousand years ago, a Man appeared on the scene of history. He was born in Bethlehem and grew up into a man, just like you and me. But this Man was different from anyone else. He was no ordinary man, though He lived like one. He had no earthly father; He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of a virgin named Mary. He was laid in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. But the heavenly angels declared His birth and a special star was seen in the sky. The shepherds and the wise men came and worshipped Him.

Nothing much is recorded about His childhood, except that "The child grew and became strong in spirit." Though His date of birth is not known, He divided the universal calendar into B.C. and A.D. The learned men of those days tried to trap Him by questioning Him on religious, social and political matters but He silenced them all. His wisdom knew no bounds. He did not write any books, but the books about Him are countless. He walked and talked with a handful of illiterate disciples, mostly fishermen, living a very simple life, with no place to rest His weary head. He healed the sick, opened the eyes and ears of the blind and deaf. He fed the hungry, touched and healed lepers and preached the kingdom of God. Yet He was crucified, condemned as a criminal and as a blasphemous man. But, wonder of wonders, He rose from the dead, appeared to His disciples and others on a number of occasions, who confirmed their faith in Him as "the Son of God."

Finally, He ascended into heaven in the sight of His disciples, promising to return. His last promise to the disciples was, "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matt.28.20).

He was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Well, what, or who, is this Jesus Christ to me?

Jesus is my Saviour and Deliverer. He died on the cross for me to give me eternal life. Wicked men took Jesus and killed Him, nailing Him on a wooden cross. He could have saved Himself, but He did not, for it was the will of God the Father that He should die to save humankind.

Under the Mosaic Law, blood had to be shed to save mankind. But God's plan for salvation demanded the price of the precious blood of Christ. We have been bought with the blood of Christ and set free into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Jesus died for you and me. "He himself bore our sins on His body on the tree so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed" (1Pet.2:24).

The cross is the place where the love and righteous judgment of God met. His righteous judgment demanded the death penalty for sin, the shedding of blood. His love met His own demands and Jesus died in our place and saved us. Jesus Christ saved us from eternal condemnation. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree" (Gal.3:13). Have you been saved by the precious blood of Jesus? If not, today is the day of salvation. Just believe in the Lord Jesus and in the saving power of His blood, and you will be saved and you will be called a child of God.

Jesus is my Comforter. He said, "Come to me all those who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt.11:28). Everyone labours for his/her existence, carrying a heavy load, physically, emotionally and spiritually. When Adam was driven out of Eden, the Lord said to him, "In toil you shall eat… in the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread." Toil, sweat, labour and pain are the results of the sin committed by the first man. But Jesus said, "Come unto Me." What comforting words! Jesus is tenderly calling us and offering us His comfort. Are you sick? Are you depressed and dismayed? Are you worried about your family, your future, your children? Are you distressed about your finance? Have you been forsaken by your dear ones? Do your neighbours talk ill of you? Have you been cheated by your dear ones? Don't worry, Jesus loves you. Just hear His call and believe that He is able and willing to comfort you in your distress. "Put all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you" (1Pet.5:7). "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me" (Psa.23:7). God says to His people, "I am He that comforts you" (Isa.51:12). Again in Isaiah 66:13 we read, "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you."

Jesus is my Helper and Guide. When I am tossed in the sea of life, when my boat is about to sink, when all hope is lost, Jesus will walk up to me and bring me to safety. When I am at the crossroads and don't know which way to go, I will hear a gentle voice, "Son, this is the way." That is my Jesus. The God of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Peter and Paul and a host of others, is also my God. "Behold, the Lord is my Helper, the Lord is the upholder of my life" (Psa.54.4). He guides me when I am in doubt. He gives me power when I am weak. He heals me when I am sick, and He is the Rock on which I stand firmly. The God who guided the people of Israel through the wilderness for forty years, giving them food and water, is also my God. Follow His footsteps and you will not stumble.

Jesus is my Shepherd and the Door. "The Lord is my Shepherd" (Ps. 23:1). Jesus is my good Shepherd and He laid down His life for me (Jn.10.11). As a shepherd tends his sheep, Jesus looks after me and meets all my physical needs as well as my spiritual aspirations. He is the way, the truth and the life (Jn.14:6). As the Shepherd and the Door, Jesus gives eternal life to all those who believe in Him. Jesus said, "I give them eternal life and they shall never perish" (Jn.10:28).

Jesus is my Friend and Philosopher. As a Friend, He walks with me wherever I go. As a Philosopher, He expounds His written word to me. Jesus is the Word which became flesh. He alone, through the blessed Holy Spirit, can help us discern the spiritual truths of the Scripture. The resurrected Jesus expounded the Scriptures to the bewildered disciples who were on their way to Emmaus: "Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself" (Lk.24:26-27).

Jesus is my Teacher. What a wonderful privilege to have a teacher sent from heaven! "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that gives to all men liberally….; and it shall be given him" Ja.1.5). There are moments when we are in a fix, not knowing what to do; at such times, He is our Teacher. As He taught His disciples, He will teach us, if we will learn from Him. Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matt.11.29).

Jesus is my Bread and Water. He said, "I am the Bread of Life, he who comes to Me shall not hunger and he who believes in Me shall not thirst" (Matt.6:35). To the woman of Samaria, Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks of this water (earthly water) will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst" (Matt.4:13-14). Bread and water are necessities of earthly life. But Jesus refers to the spiritual bread and water that give eternal life. Jesus also said, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink" (Jn.7:37). Jesus provides not only the food that our body needs but also the food for our spiritual needs. Jesus is the Bread of Life. If you believe in Him, He will give you this Bread.

To all who will accept Jesus, He is their Saviour from death, Redeemer from sin, Deliverer from enemies, Leader and Guide through wilderness, Teacher, Shepherd, Justifier, Wisdom, Righteousness, Brother, Burden-bearer. He is their All-in-all!

This Jesus is mine and I am His. What about you, dear reader?

Editorial: RELIGIOUS OBLIGATIONS - Jacob Ninan

CHRIST’S RESURRECTION - P. Samuel Manoharam

BEAUTY IN THE BEATITUDES - Suresh Manoharn

THE CROSS RECONSIDERED - P. M. Joseph

FACEBOOK VERSUS FAITHBOOK - Mohan Adinarayan

REMEMBERING AND FORGETTING - Shantanu Dutta

WHAT IS JESUS CHRIST TO ME? - K. V. Varghese

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