Christ is viewed in many different ways by many different people. Messiah, a prophet, son of God, a god guy… depending on your perspective, you have a different response to each. However, there is one universal point that stands at the center of it all, He without question, has changed the world more than any one individual who has walked the earth. I honestly think that I would need nothing more than that, to believe in His deity.
On the opposite side though, I find it hard to believe that someone would think positively of Christ if they did not believe Him to be the son of God. Honestly, if not the Messiah, would He not be anything but a liar and a fraud? Would His entire message of being sent to deliver the world be the ramblings of a crazy man? And this is what I believe is the center of His ability to change the world. His black and white boldness took sides with love, yet were decisive to the bone. He chose to love everyone, but in the same breath called out darkness and evil wherever it stood.
The power to change the world came from His ability to always be loving, yet to always be black and white. How many politicians would love to be able to leave a mark on the world like Christ? The reality is that every person who walks the earth would love the ability to do something even remotely close, but we are so far away from those actions with our own. Of course, I don’t forget that this was an inspired life, He is one with God, so to hold ourselves in comparison is futile, yet Ephesians 5:1 tells us to imitate Christ –
To me this is suggesting that no matter how hard the walk might be, that the value in walking that walk is incredible. Beyond our comprehension perhaps. Now, I go back to thinking about the average politician, and how far away that walk is from His. I don’t mean to make sweeping generalizations, but even the average president of the USA will remain indifferent in the history of the world. Yet Christ… look what He has done. Leaving us to question again, what exactly does it mean to imitate Christ? How do I do that? What is the prescription so to speak… to change the world?
First – stop condemning. Man, I find myself guilty of this at times, thinking I am so good at being loving, and finding myself feeling angry at the behaviors, or decisions of others. Christ was amazing at loving everybody. No matter what, He exuded a love that is simply impressive in our world, and perhaps even more impressive in the time that He lived. There are nearly 2 Billion Christians in the world today, which are in my opinion, primarily Christians because the word “LOVE” is His word more than anyone else.
Second – stand for something. Black and white. That is how I think of Christ when I think of His position on the world. He did not waiver, there was no grey, He had specific beliefs and that was that. He came and divided simply because He had no room to waiver. ”Follow Me and have eternal life, otherwise you do not” (paraphrase). This is why I don’t get people who do not believe Him, yet say He was a really good guy. I am guessing most of those people are anti-religion, and haven’t figured out how to read a Bible on their own and to at least follow the guy who changed the world. There are 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world, the interesting consideration to me, is that Muslims grow their numbers by demography more aggressively than by missionaries. Reference the Persian empire on Wikipedia.
I bring this difference up because without the first concept of LOVE, being black and white does not have the same significance or impact. In the book America Alone by author Mark Steyn, he describes the demographic change associated with Islamic growth coming from the fact that the average family has 6-7 children. This is a major source of growth of the religion, whereas Christianity is built on the foundation of love. Check out the book, it is an eye opening read – America Alone
Third – be willing to die for what you believe in. Indeed this is the one that might be hardest for us all. Christ came and willingly, though painfully, chose death for us. For His belief. What are you willing to die for? Your kids, your spouse, your church? Perhaps not your church. How willing are you to die for your family, for the protection of your family? Are you willing to sacrifice greatly for something?
The power that changed the face of this world stemmed from a commitment that we rarely understand, but one that we can experience. We just need to push forward towards that end. From a commitment to ideas that did not allow for wavering from one side to the other, and from a love that went beyond any other emotion. Love came first at all times.
I celebrate this love, as I celebrate the Man who brought it to earth. I pray you will all be blessed and have an incredible time with your families on this Easter weekend. Be well and Be blessed!