For all the questions that plague our species, we generally only ask five types: What, When, Where, How, Why. The media industry races around to give us answers to these questions… however slanted their perspectives may be.
We gorge on facts about natural phenomenon, mass tragedies, the latest political scandal, whatever a Kardashian is, and which nation is threatening to obliterate the planet today… as if having the knowledge will help us control it or understand the reason for it.
If the crucifixion of Jesus were televised today, the facts we would likely hear:
- The height and width of the cross.
- The type of wood is used to make crosses.
- The average time it takes a person to die on a cross.
- The head centurion’s career highlights and political ambitions.
- Weather updates from the site of the crucifixion.
- A timeline of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and conviction.
- What happens to a body when crucified.
- An eerily-accurate estimate of how many people have been crucified by the Romans.
- A less-accurate estimate of how many people were gathered to witness Jesus’ crucifixion.
- A recap of the “crimes” that led to the conviction and sentencing of Jesus.
- The “rise and fall” of Jesus’ ministry (with interviews of spiritual leaders denouncing Jesus’ contention, confrontations, and the things He said that those leaders couldn’t understand).
None of these facts would persuade us whether Jesus was guilty or innocent, deserved to die, or who He really is. We don’t ask Who questions very often. Is it because we don’t want to know? Or that we don’t care? Or perhaps because we think we already know who someone is.
Jesus, Peter, Job, Noah, Rahab, Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, Matthew, Paul, me, you… are, at one time or another, individuals others developed preconceived ideas about, and chose to label or condemn us. It could have been in grade school or last night, but it happened. I have done the same toward others.
What a person does for a living, where they go to church, why they dress like that, how they met their spouse, or when they were baptized… are all decent questions. Though completely meaningless in the scope of whether they have met Him.
Three of the most important questions a person can ask are:
Who is God? The identity of the Creator and Author of all life.
Who am I to God? The identity of the person in relationship with the Creator.
Who do I believe Jesus is? The personal conviction that Jesus is Lord and Savior.
The answers to these questions are vital. Or should be. They should matter to us, to those that know us, and to those God sends our way.
And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered Him, “You are the Christ.” Mark 8:29
God looks at the heart of a person. Shouldn’t we do likewise?