Recently I have been reading Matthew; actually just finished it yesterday and plan to read it again starting today. At the event of the crucifixion I noticed something I had never seen before. Here is what the mockers have to say about Jesus:
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Later on the religious leaders say to Jesus as he hung there on the cross, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” Matthew 27:40, 42-43
Here’s the point which I never noticed before: as Jesus hangs on the cross these people are STILL driven by their assumptions of who God is and what God, the King of Israel, does. Built within all of their mockery is an idea of what God is like and Jesus isn’t fitting the bill. In fact, they say that Jesus needs to come down from the cross before they can believe in him. Just so you know, belief in God can never be conditioned by our own lofty ideas of how God is SUPPOSED to act. I quote Andy Stanley when I say, “Faith is the confidence that God is who he says he is and will do all that he promised to do.”
Today, it seems that many Christians seek Christ-likeness by merely assuming what kind of person Christ is. We want to be Christ-like without ever knowing what Christ IS like! And so what happens is Christianity becomes a composition of all the little do’s and don’ts about what living for Jesus looks like, all being constructed from the question WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? FRANKLY, if you haven’t read what Jesus did and what Jesus said (and appreciate who Jesus is) you are unqualified to answer that question! So instead of the Church professing Jesus it ends up legislating morality among it congregants and the people who live in the immediate community.
To be changed by Jesus, to be impacted by the Lord means that we have to abandon some of the ideas that we have selfishly or stupidly composed of who God is and what he is like. Jesus Christ is not simply a moral figure but the LORD, and it is about time that I and everyone else start to let him be LORD.
To change we have to break down the misconceptions we have about Jesus! And just let Jesus be Jesus and conform to him instead of him comforming to us!