Who Is Christ?

Scripture: Matthew 22:41-46, Matthew 21:10
This broadcast discusses the most incredible Man who ever lived. Jesus Christ was not born into wealth and was raised in a sinful town. He was accused as a criminal, unjustly tried and murdered on a cross. Who is this Man?
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I invite you to consider with me a Man, the most incredible Man who ever lived. The facts of His life are enough to arrest the attention of anyone to give it careful consideration. This incredible Man was born without a human father; in a nameless, lower-class family during a housing shortage; under a set of emergency circumstances that made a cowshed His place of birth. This Man grew up on the dirt floor of a tiny, over-crowded home, in an obscure village in Palestine. And young people, He never rode a bike, nor swam in a pool, nor watched TV, nor talked into a telephone, nor listened to a radio! But when this unique person became thirty years of age, He spent just three years in carving out a destiny that will never be forgotten and around which millions have clustered. He had no formal education. He wrote no books. He received no worldly honors. He held no office. He owned no home and frankly stated that even though the "foxes have their holes and the birds of the air have their nests, the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head."

He never accepted a penny for His services. He espoused the underdog to the disgust of the ruling class. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place of His birth. He dared to expose wickedness in the face of terrific Roman ruthlessness, Jewish hatred, and the incendiary political situation of Palestine that was destined to crush Him. He was executed as a criminal after helping and healing and blessing countless thousands of people as no organization of His day could possibly do. They gambled for the only piece of property He owned, a seamless outer garment. Neither He nor His family owned a cemetery plot, or a grave, and so His closest friends borrowed a cave in which to lay His body.

In the ensuing years millions upon millions have come to worship Him, and many have laid down their lives for Him because of Who He was. This Man loved as no man has ever loved. As we look at His unique character, it is so vast that it is like the starry heavens. When you gaze you look deeper and deeper, and it becomes more wonderful all the time. We stand and admire. We look. We esteem, and we are startled as was the Centurion, who was responsible for His crucifixion, when he exclaimed, "Truly this was the Son of God."

We turn to Matthew 21:10, and we see there that Jerusalem did not know its Lord, but when Jesus came riding into the city on a colt, the people turned out by the multitudes and said, "Who is this?"

"Who is this?" Many today are asking the same question. "Who is this Man, this incredible Man, the Lord Jesus Christ?" In reality, this is not just a man. This is an incredible God who because of love left heaven and came to this earth and inherited the degradation and terror that sin had wrought for 4,000 years and took upon Himself a body and died on the cross for our sins.

This Man has changed the world by His ability to change the human heart. Because of this, Jesus has the ability to change the world. An unknown author wrote these interesting words: "I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected life on earth as powerfully as this one solitary life, the life of Jesus Christ.

Jesus changed the world because He can change human life beyond recognition. There are many religions in the world. There are the cults of the Orient with all of their pathways to some "Nirvana." There are the African voodoo worshipers. There are spiritist revelations, and the psychologic cults for those who are more sophisticated. Take your pick. But no religion in the world has claimed to do what this incredible Man has! This incomparable Christ does in April, 1989, exactly what He did in April of A.D. 29. He takes a man and cleanses him of his guilt and sin. He transforms his life. He puts within that life His Spirit so that a man becomes a "new creation." And then, He gives him a sense of self-worth and guarantees a hope of resurrection and eternal life. What religion in the world claims to do this?

Tallyrand was right when the man came who wanted to found a new religion and had met the problems that such a project posed. He said, "Well, I would propose that if you would begin a superior religion to that of Jesus Christ, you begin by being crucified and on the third day rise again!"

There was a humble British miner who found Christ as his Saviour, and one of the boastful skeptics of that town met him on the street one day. The skeptic shook his finger at the humble man and said, "You and your Christ! I'll see what you know about Christianity! Give me the date of Christ's birth!" The humble man hesitated and said, "Sir, I don't know the date of Christ's birth, but I know this: I was a drunkard and when I got my pay I squandered most of it in a tavern before I ever reached home. And when I got there, I beat my wife, and my children ran and hid, and the neighbors fed them and clothed them. But something happened to me when Jesus came into my heart. Now I love my wife and family, and we are very happy. Sir, I don't know the date of Christ's birth, but I know this, that Christ was born in my heart." What a testimony! Surely this testimony cannot be excelled.

There was a man and wife in Arizona who found Christ under the preaching of Billy Graham. He was wealthy. He lived in a great estate, drove two Cadillacs, and had everything that this world could provide. But when Jesus came into his heart, he begin to realize that he had gotten it all by fraud. He was forced to sit down with his wife and look into each others hearts in the blazing light of Calvary. There they made sweeping decisions. The Cadillacs went, their priceless possessions went, and soon their home had to go. They were reduced to very ordinary-looking people because their consciences had become enlightened and they could do nothing else. What power the Gospel has!

In John 9 there was a man healed by Jesus who was blind from birth. The Pharisees got hold of this story and seized the man. They interrogated him and asked him all sorts of questions about Jesus. He became so shaken by it that, finally, he said, "I don't know anything about this man; but one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." Isn't this enough, dear friends? Any Christian will say the same thing. Thank God for the wonderful revelation in Jesus Christ.

There is a text of Scripture that is most interesting in Matthew 22:41-46. Jesus, apparently, walked into the midst of a group of Pharisees and said to them, "What think ye of Christ, whose son is he?" It was a very important thing whose son a man was, especially in those days. "They say unto Him, The son of David, and He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord? The Lord said unto my Lord, sit down on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool. If David then call Him Lord, how is he his son? And no man," the Scripture says, "was able to answer him." Furthermore, from that time forth, they stopped asking him questions.

It was D. L. Moody who loved to call upon witnesses of the New Testament as to the identity of Christ. He would say, "You Pharisees, you who were His enemies and sought to trip Him on every point: who do you say Christ is?" And the Pharisees answered, "This man receiveth sinners." Not so bad a condemnation, is it? Then he goes to Pilate and says, "Pilate, you had Christ on the balcony when the howling mob wanted his blood. You know Christ. What do you think of Him?" And Pilate answers back, "I find no fault in this man." And then, of course, through the crowd comes a man with an urgent message from Pilate's wife. And the note says, "Husband, have nothing to do with this just man, for I have suffered many things in a dream because of it this night." Then he takes us to Judas. "Judas, you sold your Lord for $12.60. What do you think of Him?" Judas answers, "I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood."

And Moody takes us to the Centurion who stood at the foot of the cross. "Indeed, this was the Son of God." Then he takes us to Peter who betrayed Him, and Peter answers, "God hath made that same Jesus both Lord and Christ." He takes us to Thomas, who doubted but who makes his startling conclusion: "My Lord and my God!" Yes, all the witnesses declare that Jesus is divine. He is the most incredible Man in history.

The most important question that must be in your mind and heart today is the question that Pilate asked when standing on that balcony: "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" For every human being has Christ on his hands, too. The question we must answer is, "What shall I do with this incredible Man Jesus Christ?"

If Christ were a mere man, this would pose no problem. We could dispense with Him as the psychologist often does. Philosophize Him away if you wish. Do what you will with this historical person if He is not divine. If He is a great teacher, destroy His books; but if He is more than a great teacher, look out!

If Jesus is what He said He was, then, my friend, be careful! If Jesus did come from heaven, you are treading on sacred ground. Your entire destiny is wrapped up with who Jesus really was. If Jesus is divine, then there rests in the hands of every human being an entire destiny that rises or falls on our relationship to this incredible Man. It is the world's grandest opportunity if you accept it. It is a most fearful responsibility.

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