Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jesus of Nazareth: Heaven’s Champion

             Today in our country, our fellowmen celebrate the feast of the Black Nazarene. Try to open the television and you will see a lot of breaking news about the said feast. You will see multitude of people who are trying their best to jump at the “karo” (the wheeler where the image of the Black Nazarene is mounted) just to wipe their towels at the said idol.  If you are going to watch the interviews that were conducted by the media men; you will hear the devotees’ reason why they were participating in the said event. Some said that the prayers of healing through the said Black Nazarene were granted. Others said that they were praying for good health and better life. In the interviews, it was evident that the people who participated in the procession have already put their faith in the said Black Nazarene.
                We human beings are needy beings. Too often, we look for a comforter in times of trials, a provider in times of need, a faithful friend that we could depend upon, a lover that will remind us how special we are and how beautiful and amazing we are as persons. All these things are found in one Person: Jesus Christ.

                It is a saddening fact that most of our fellowmen do not really know who Jesus Christ of Nazareth is.  The truth is no image nor can sculpture save us from our sins. No amount of anointing from any idol either through polishing their bodies by a face towel or using an oil that comes from their body can heal your infirmity. Only Jesus Christ can save you from your misery. Only Jesus Christ can heal your wounded heart and make it whole. Only Jesus Christ can be your channel to our Abba Father. A wood or a marble cannot intercede in your behalf. A non-living thing cannot speak to God. Nothing of this world can mediate you to God. Only Jesus Christ can mediate you to the Father. 1 Timothy 2:5 states it loud and clear:

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV)

Peter’s declaration at Acts 4 confirms that Jesus Christ is the Only Messiah, the Cornerstone of our Faith.

With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”

Acts 4: 8-12 (MSG)

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray that as you read this simple blog post, may your eyes be open up and may your hearts accept the fact that Jesus Christ is the One and Only Savior. Apart from Jesus Christ, nobody, nobody, nobody saves. God the Father sent His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for our sins for us to be saved from eternal damnation and have an everlasting life. No image or sculpture of any creation here in the land, air or waters can save us and give the deepest desires of our hearts. Marbles, woods of great value, precious stones and incredible works of hands are nothing in the sight of God. God wants you. God wants to be your God, your Provider, your Lover, your Father, your Brother, your Best friend, your Savior and your ALL in ALL. The choice now lies in your hands. Will accept the real Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and spend eternity with Him? Or will you still put up your faith on these dead wood and marble sculptures that cannot save you from your misery and cannot wash away your sin?

Let me end this blog post with a passage from Isaiah 44: 6-22

“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.

Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let him foretell what will come.

Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.

Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit him nothing?

He and his kind will be put to shame;
craftsmen are nothing but men.

Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and infamy.

The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.

The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in the form of man,
of man in all his glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.

He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.

It is man’s fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.

Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”

From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me; you are my god.”

They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.

No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”

He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

“Remember these things, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I have made you, you are my servant;
O Israel, I will not forget you.

I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”