Jesus has been referred to as the greatest Man who ever lived and has been called many things by those who follow Him, including Almighty God, Emmanuel, and the Christ.
He calls himself:
- "the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)."
- "the light of the world (John 8:12, 9:5)."
- "the bread of life (John 6:35)."
His power is unlimited because He calls the stars by name and forms our DNA. He allows no sparrow to fall to the ground without His permission. He knows the thoughts you think before you know them consciously. He controls the atoms by the words of His mouth. He formed the light and created the darkness.
But even with all of this power and all of His uniqueness and the mystery of His personality, mankind has been in opposition to His claims of deity. From the time of His birth, Jesus’ enemies have tried to destroy Him.
The self-righteous Pharisees were threatened by Him. Pontius Pilate sentenced Him to death because of pressure from the Pharisees. Roman guards beat Him. The same ones that followed Him crucified Him. The demons of darkness laughed and danced as He hung upon the cross and they contemplated their victory.
Some refer to Him as insane and claim His history was that of a bastard. Ever since Jesus clothed Himself in humanity, the forces of evil have tried to conquer Him. Ever since pure light pierced the darkness of this world and perfect righteousness challenged the relative righteousness of mankind, His enemies have tried to destroy Him or deny Him.
And finally, He was betrayed by His followers. Here’s what happened in the last few years of Christ’s life:
- He became an itinerant preacher.
- The tide of public opinion turned against Him.
- He was betrayed by one of His closest friends.
- He was arrested for disturbing the status quo.
- All of His followers deserted Him.
- The first century both loved Him and killed Him.
Today, some of these reactions to Jesus continue:
- The 21st century both acknowledges Him and ignores Him.
- We think of Him on Sunday and forget Him on Monday.
- His name is used as a curse word by some and a cry of hope by others.
- When He gives us the air we breathe, we praise Him, yet we reject Him with the same breath whenever some want is not met.
Yet today He lives and is the centerpiece of human history. His cross—which represents the greatest crime that mankind has committed—has become the hope of all who know and embrace Him.
"Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel."
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.