Understanding who you are - Word&Way

Understanding who you are

It is no accident that the gospels give a significant amount of space to the events and words of Jesus during Holy Week.

God planted the infant seed of messiahship when Jesus was born. The unspeakable gift of the infant Christ — God become human — was the promise of what would be fulfilled more than a generation later. On the first Christmas, no one could tell for sure what the Messiah seed would blossom into.

In Holy Week, the seed had flowered into the Messiah, glorious in every aspect, yet still not understood and defying common messianic expectations. The one who had lived his life in pursuit of his identity as Messiah marched the agonizing path to his destiny as the savior of the world. Jesus' many acts and actions grew not out of a heavenly to-do list but out of his very identity.

I've known many people of faith through the years and met others more recently who try to base every life decision, however large or small, on their identity as children of God and followers of Christ. They have met Christ and grown in that relationship, and they are driven by who (some would say whose) they are.

Being a child of God and acting accordingly isn't as easy as living by religious rules and regulations. In some ways, life is less complicated that way. As Jesus pointed out, one does not need to be a true follower of Christ to focus on the intricacies of religious law, seeking the approval of God and his/her peers.

I'm pretty sure we do not need to live our lives constantly seeking God's approval. If that were the basis of Christian faith, we all would be disappointed in the end. Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection eliminated the need to "do" to please God.

The resurrected Christ said to his disciples before ascending into heaven, "….you will be my witnesses…."

This act of spiritual being enables the believer to more intentionally function as a Christian in every area of life — eternally better than living mostly independent of God, merely plugging him in where we choose and trying to screen him from other aspects of our lives.

Christ knew who he was and faithfully lived out his identity. Will his followers?