We live in a world of pomp and power, of a glorified boasting of jet thrust and far-flying warheads. It is the same kind of boasting that produced the misery of the days of Caesar, Sadam Hosein, Napoleon, and Hitler and the many dictators in America, Latin America and the Caribbean. In this kind of world, it is not easy to recognize that:
A baby born in a stable of the village of Bethlehem,
A boy reared as a carpenter of Nazareth,
A citizen of a conquered and subdued nation,
A man whose mortal footsteps never went beyond a radius of 120 miles, who never received a school degree, who never spoke from a great pulpit, who never owned a home, who travelled on foot and without purse
Is actually the Creator of heaven and earth and all that in them is. Neither is it easy for many to recognize—
He is the author of our salvation and His the only Name whereby we must be saved,
That He would bring light and understanding of things eternal and divine as none other has ever done.
His teachings would influence not only the personal behaviour of uncounted millions but would also inspire political systems which dignify and protect the individual and social truths which foster education and culture.
His matchless example would become the greatest power for goodness and peace in all the world.
I ask anew the question offered by Pontius Pilate over two thousand years ago, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22.) Indeed, we need continually to ask ourselves, What shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ? What shall we do with his teachings, and how can we make them an inseparable part of our lives? May I suggest some things to consider?
Christ exemplifies giving. The Father gave His Son, and the Son gave His life. Without giving there is no true Christianity, and without sacrifice, there is no true worship.
Giving of self; giving of substance; giving of heart and mind and strength in assisting those in need and in spreading the cause of His eternal truth—these are of the very essence of the true spirit of Christianity.
Christ is the Creator. When I think of the Saviour, I think of the words of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
“The same was at the beginning with God.
“All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1–4.)
Here is the Creator of all that is good and beautiful. I have looked at majestic mountains rising high against the blue sky and thought of Jesus, the Creator of heaven and earth. I have stood on the sand of an island in the Caribbean and watched the dawn rise like thunder—a ball of gold surrounded by clouds of pink and white and purple—and thought of Jesus, the Word by whom all things were made and without whom was not anything made that was made. I have seen a beautiful child—bright-eyed, innocent, loving and trusting—and marvelled at the majesty and miracle of creation. What then shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ?
This earth is His creation. When we make it ugly, we offend Him. Our bodies are the work of our Creator. When we abuse them, we abuse Him. Sin is ever rising and taking over the world. The things that God is against are those same things that are very present before our eyes and we wonder what next. What then shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ?
Through Christ comes eternal life. As certainly as Christ came into the world, lived among men, laid down his life, and became the first fruits of the resurrection, so, through that atonement, all become partakers of immortality. Death will come, but death has been robbed of its sting and the grave of its victory. “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25–6.)
Death is something we will never get accustomed to in this world and we do not have an explanation. However, when we look at the reality of Christ and death it sends a different message for us. Oh, how the greatest lesson of death was taught to us by Jesus Himself.
Indeed, what shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ? Let us live with the certain knowledge that someday “we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt”. Let us live today knowing that we shall live forever. Let us live with the conviction that whatever principle of intelligence and beauty and truth and goodness we make a part of our life here, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
Christ exemplifies compassion and love and, most of all, forgiveness.“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29.) How poor indeed would be our lives without the influence of his teachings and his matchless example. The lessons of the turning of the other cheek, going the second mile, the return of the prodigal, and scores of other incomparable teachings have filtered down the ages to become the catalyst to bring kindness and mercy out of much of man’s inhumanity to man.
Brutality reigns where Christ is banished. Kindness and forbearance govern where Christ is recognized and his teachings are followed.
What shall we do then with Jesus who is called Christ? “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8.)
“Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth, not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.”
Christ gives peace. What shall we do then with Jesus which is called Christ? “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Matthew 25:35–36.)
Jesus Christ is more than the symbol of a celebration. He is the Son of God, the Creator of the earth, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the fulfilment of the Law of Moses, the Redeemer of mankind, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace.
I thank our Eternal Father that mankind in these latter days has been so blessed to know of Christ with added certainty and added knowledge. I rejoice with thanksgiving that he has reaffirmed his matchless gospel truths in their fullness and that he has restored his priesthood power and church to prepare a people and make ready for his eventual coming in great glory and power in the opening of the Millennial era.
I rejoice that as a people, we members of The Mystical Order know of his existence and reality, and receive certain direction from him.
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him: That He lives!
“For we saw Him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that He is the Only Begotten of the Father—
“That by Him, and through Him, and of Him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”
This is our testimony to all mankind. It is our gift and blessing to the world. He is our joy and our salvation, and we will find greater meaning in our own lives as we share these truths with others.
What shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ?
I hope and pray that you came out of the 21 days of prayer and fasting much stronger than when you started. May God bless and keep you through this day and every other day until He comes.