Spring brings with it changes, the brown disappears and is replaced with the colors of Spring. Everything has a new look, new color, a fresh start, even us. I remember the excitement as a child of getting new Easter clothes, bright, colorful, and brand new. We didn’t look the same in our Easter clothes. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify things when they don’t look like you are used to seeing them. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

How do we identify people?  First we observe actions, listen to their words, and then rely on our experience and understanding to identify them. When that doesn’t prove to identify things correctly, we are confused and question. We struggle to match the identity with the actions. We wonder if it is on purpose or just our misunderstanding.

Identity is a unique thing and we should always strive to reveal our true identity. I know, the world we live in has taken some liberties with that. We are free to identify as whatever we want and have the flexibility to change that whenever we want. I have known some people who identify as Christians, but struggle to display a life that honors God.

Saying we are something different doesn’t change who we are on the inside, it only creates confusion. The confusion it creates doesn’t change who we are or who we were created to be, it makes it harder for people to get to know our real identity.

Do you remember the question Jesus asked His disciples in the passage from last week?

Matthew 16:13-19; NLT; When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

People had a difficult time identifying Christ. Jesus said we could only know his true identity if it was revealed to us by God through the Holy Spirit. He went on to say that when we recognize that we could use that truth as the foundation for our life; it was a rock on which the church would be built on.

Have you ever had difficulty figuring out who someone was? I’m not talking about their appearance. I am talking about their motives. Sometimes it is difficult to identify what some people are trying to accomplish. Jesus gave us a clue in John 10:10, but do we believe it?

John 10:10; NLT; The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

As we enter the Easter season we realize that the people had a difficult time deciding who Jesus was. Their expectations were for a leader who would come and overthrow the Romans. They didn’t recognize that his purpose was to give them a different kind of victory, victory over death and eternal separation from their creator, God.

We see the contrast as he entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The people welcomed him as a king; Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest, meaning praise God, praise God! They lined the road and laid down their coats and palm branches creating a special carpet for the King to ride in on. He rode atop a donkey’s colt. We find the account in all four Gospels; Matthew 21:1–11, Mark 11:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19. You will also find the references that lead us back to the Old Testament Prophets. I encourage you to read them this week.

Soon Christ would endure another day that would not involve the fanfare of this one. It would involve chains and whips and ultimately a cross. He would be asked several times; “who are you?” and accused of being something he was not. True to the words back in Matthew 16, he let each one search for that answer and ultimately be convicted in their heart that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, and the Son of Man. He was our Savior.

They fashioned a sign to nail to the cross accusing him of his crime.

Matthew 27:37; NLT; A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Mark 15:26; NLT; A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.”

Luke 23:38; NLT; A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

John 19:19; NLT; And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

Who is Christ? We each have to decide for ourselves. It is an individual decision that begins or ends our relationship with God. Christ came to make atonement for our sin, the sin that separates us from God. If we receive the gift he offers of forgiveness our relationship with God will be restored. If we refuse, the writer of Romans reminds us the wages of sin is death, eternal separation from God. God left the choice for each one of us to make. Who do you say that I am?

Matthew 27:54; NLT; The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

Mark 15:39; NLT; When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

Luke 23:47; NLT; When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent (righteous).”


Pastor Don

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