This is the million dollar question that came out of the mouth of Jesus to his disciples. It still remains the most important question that everyone who seek Him must be able to answer appropriately, otherwise things are bound to go wrong in our worship.
Your ability to answer this will determine what you know and how you relate with God. Having come to Christ, the next important thing is to know Him.
To this question, many who had met Jesus mistook him for Elijah, some for John the Baptist and for other prophets. But by divine revelation, Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:13, 16 NKJV.
The same is applicable today as it was 2000 years ago. There are many who have been hobnobbing with Jesus but know next to nothing about him.
Some pray in his name but don’t know him. Some have established churches in his name but don’t know who he really is.
Many have acquired accolades and titles in church and ministry but they really don’t know who this Jesus is.
This is why many Christians today would want to be Elijah and some others like David and other prophets. It is because they have not really seen this Jesus for whom he really is.
But Peter acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God.
The word “Christ” means the anointed one. It also means the Messiah. Up until that time all Israel had been waiting for the Messiah to come. Moses and the prophets had prophesied a saviour was coming.
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
John 1:45 NKJV
So Jesus has always been the message of the scriptures (Moses and the prophets). He told his listeners “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; AND THESE ARE THEY WHICH TESTIFY OF ME.John 5:39 NKJV.
So the scriptures are the testimony of Jesus. It is not only the scripture from Mathew to Revelation that is about Jesus. Everything contained therein, including Genesis to Malachi is a testimony of Jesus.
After His ressurection, Jesus engaged his disciples in scriptures.
“And beginning at Moses and ALL the Prophets, He expounded to them in ALL the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24:27 NKJV.
So He explained to them things concerning himself, not in some of the scriptures, but IN ALL the scriptures.
He opened their understanding that they may understand the scriptures.
All the laws, judgement, rituals, diverse offerings and tithes and prophesies were pointing to Jesus. They were all a type and shadow of things to come. Col. 2:17, Heb 10:1.
They were a stop-gap measure pending the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Indeed when he showed up, he said “I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it”. Then, He proceeded to fulfil the righteous requirements of the law at his death and resurrection.
Dear friend, this is the watershed. It was the end of the law. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes”.
Romans 10:4 NKJV.
So today we have the substance in Christ and it will be ridiculous for us to start chasing shadows. This is the reason why we find it objectionable when men go back to the scriptures to resurrect the rituals, offerings and the laws and celebrate them in the church of Christ. It is tantamount to saying that your Christ has not yet come.
This also makes the argument about the incompleteness of the bible and doubts about it’s authenticity as the written word of God to be dead on arrival. Let’s take it that some manuscripts of the old testament reportedly missing from the Bible are added, they are still summed up as one thing—- “shadows of things to come”.
In any case, even the new testament is self-evident as not containing all the works that Jesus did for want of space. John 21:25. But that can not take the credit away from the substance of the scriptures, which is Jesus.
The long and short of my drift is that Jesus is the message of the scriptures.
However, taking a cursory look at happenings in religious circles today, you will find that from just one book called the Bible, hundreds of thousands of denominations with diverse beliefs have emerged. This is a serious symptom of lack of recognition of one thing —-that Jesus is the message of the scriptures. Christ is not divided!
The reason there’s no unity of “the faith” among bible believers is that many don’t know the message of the Bible.
Paul was a Pharisee, meaning he was a stickler for both the written and the oral law but after meeting the Lord, his focus change completely. He told the Corinthian church “I chose to know nothing among you except Jesus and him, crucified “. Do you think he didn’t know about tithing? Do you think he didn’t know about all other ordinances in the scriptures? But when a man sees Jesus the lamb of God, every other things pales into oblivion.
Dear friends, It is possible to know the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and not know the Jesus of the bible.
It is possible to hold a PhD in theology and bible knowledge and not know who the Bible is pointing to.
It is possible to run a huge ministry with crowds without knowing the real message of the bible and who it is all about.
It is not everyone that’s preaching from the Bible that’s preaching Christ.
Let no man bamboozle you with “the Bible says…..” It is not everything that is termed “biblical” that has a place in the church of Christ, until it is interpreted and processed in the light of what Christ came to do.
For instance, If you can’t take a lamb to church to sacrifice for your sins today, then the idea of first born redemption offering should greatly unsettle you. Same goes for all the other ordinances and rituals.
The day you understand that Jesus is the message of the scriptures (bible), is the day religion begins to lose its hold on your life. You begin to see things differently. Your understanding and attitude to the old testament will change completely. You will know a kind of rest you haven’t experienced before.
If you don’t know that all the scriptures centre around Jesus, men can use the bible to scam and deceive you and later turn around to claim that no gun was put to your head.
The reason men rail and curse using the scriptures is because they don’t know the person all the scriptures are pointing to.
Jesus is not the icing on the cake of the bible. He’s not just the son of God, He is the message of the entire scriptures.
Knowing this will make you see Jesus everywhere in the Bible. Where people see all kinds of offerings and sacrifices, you see Jesus. Where they see covenant seed you see Jesus. Where men see altars you see Jesus. Where they see fears and threats you see the love of Christ. Where they see the curses you see blessings.
Jesus, the message of the scriptures!
On a final note I’d like to add that Jesus is also the message of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not here doing His own thing. There’s a reason why He has been referred to as the Spirit of Christ. He had His terms of reference defined even before He came on the first disciples at Pentecost .
Jesus said: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
John 16:13-14 KJV
So the Holy Spirit in us is not speaking of Himself. He has no other agenda apart from Christ’s. He is here to reveal more of Christ to us. He makes the scriptures to come alive. He opens our understanding. He shows us things to come.
He doesn’t glorify Himself or any man, but Jesus. It therefore stands to reason that any spiritual manifestation that’s pointing to a man or glorifying a man is not from the Spirit of Christ.
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
John 15:26 NKJV
The Holy Spirit is here to testify of Christ, not to call out peoples phone numbers or account numbers during meetings to mesmerize them.
Any spirit that speaks things that are not consistent with the finished work of Christ as contained in the written word, is not the Holy Spirit.
It is a new day!
~ NINYO OMIDIJI.