Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’
They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.’
‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Peter answered, ‘God’s Messiah.’Luke 9:18-20
This is probably one of the most important questions in scripture. ‘Who do you say I am?’ We have spent a lot of time during this Covid-19 lockdown reflecting on scripture, God, Jesus, and salvation.
Biblical reflections during the Covid-19 lockdown
- Psalm 23
- Psalm 40
- Psalm 46
- The road to Calvary
- The living Jesus
- Understanding God
- Understanding Jesus
The purpose of these reflections has been to help us think through how we would answer this question. ‘Who do you say I am?’ The answer we give has incredible implications for how we live our lives and our adoption into sonship for all of eternity.
On Tuesday we reflected on how Jesus came into our world, the holy to the unholy to overcome the chasm sin created between man and God. If we have accepted the idea that we live in a fallen sinful world and indeed that all are sinners, (Romans 3:23) then at the very least we need to accept the idea that because of that sin we someone or something to bridge the gap separating us from God.
n Tuesday’s reflection we used the image of Tower Bridge spanning the Thames to visualise the extent of the gap to be bridged. There is a problem with this image, and it is this. A bridge can be built by constructing two sides at once, with both construction crews meeting in the middle.I am old enough to remember the Channel Tunnel being built and the ceremony when the French drill and British drill met in the middle making one tunnel.
The problem we have in thinking about how spanning the gap sin has created between man and God is that we cannot start building from our side. We cannot meet God in the middle, we are completely reliant on God coming to us. Paul writing in Romans 7:18 talked of how there was no good in him and even though he knew what he should do he could not do it.
It is only the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ that enables our sin to be dealt with and atoned for. It is only Christ who redeems us, literally buying us back from sin, removing the barrier separating us from God meaning we can have the life eternal scripture speaks of.
‘Who do you say I am?’ The answer to this question has eternal consequences. If Christ is not the Messiah then either we are lost in our sin and hopelessness as we try to bridge a gap we cannot overcome, or we are not sinners and have nothing to worry about.
Experience alone would suggest we are sinners and our longing for something more, something we can never attain would suggest we cannot bridge the gap to God.
If Christ is the Messiah, then he provides an answer to both our sin and longing. He gives hope and purpose to life as we have something to look forward to. If Christ is the Messiah, then the question becomes have we received by faith, have we done more than simply acknowledge with our mouths but acknowledged this in how we live, trusting in him for that forgiveness of sin and certainty of eternal life.
Who do you say I am?
Prayer Lord Jesus this morning I confess you are the Messiah. God’s holy Son, the one who was without sin, made sin for me. I confess you to be my Redeemer, my Salvation, my Hope, and my Security. I confess you to be my Lord. Lord Jesus I submit my life to you. Amen.