Jesus Christ: Two Ways to Reject Him But Only One Way to Accept Him

Posted: November 15, 2014 in 99-Uncategorized
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Luke 2:25-35 — Today is our last look at this passage before we move on. Simeon warning to Mary is as profound today as it was then. Jesus requires a reaction. You either reject Him or you accept Him. There is no middle ground when it comes to Jesus.

Simeon tells Mary, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but He will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose Him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” With Jesus there was no neutral ground. People either joyfully accepted His message or they totally rejected Him as a threat to their status quo. Mary would be grieved by the widespread rejection of her son.

There are two ways that people reject Jesus and only one way that they accept Him. First, there are those who totally reject Him. They do not believe that He existed. They do not believe a Word that He says. They think that He and other religious figures are just inventions of man to keep people under control. They think that religion is something created by man to keep them having hope in a world that is completely a set or disorganized random circumstances. These are the people of reason who believe than man is his own god. They believe that religion is the bane of man’s existence. These are Satan’s favorites. They believe that there are no moral absolutes. They believe that the restrictions on behavior are constructs of society and religion intended to keep man in line. They believe that in the absence of restrictions of society that man will grow to be more evolved, more tolerant. These are the very people that criticize Christians for being intolerant. To them, that is the worst sin of all is intolerance of men who do not wish to allow me to do whatever I want. They believe that what is right for me may not be right for you but you MUST be tolerant of what I do. This is the first group that rejects Jesus.

The second group that rejects Jesus are those that see Him only as a great philosopher and a radical rabbi. To them, Jesus was a great man, a great political figure. They see Him as one of many great prophets. These are the ones who amalgamize all religions and take the best of each and create their own brand of religion. I was here in this category for a great deal of my life. I saw Jesus as great martyr. I saw Him as a guy who took on the Jewish religious establishment and the Roman Empire and single handedly changed both. I saw Him as a great man and an inspiration to men like Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Gandhi. To me, He was the champion of the underdog. He was the champion of change through love rather than violence. But ultimately just a man. He was one of those generational rebels, generational changers that come along every so often to shake up society and change it in some fundamental way. In this way, I completely sidestepped what Jesus had become to my Christian friends. I just could not buy that He was what they were saying He was. I just couldn’t buy all the miraculous stuff. I thought these were inventions of the church itself and that Jesus would have scoffed at them. As well, I thought too if the miracles were true, there were rational, logical explanations of them within the realm of the scientific laws of the universe. To me, Jesus was greater as a radical political figure than as some hocum of Him being the Son of God. That just did not make any sense to me. In this way, many like myself were and are rejecting Jesus on these grounds. Accepting Him as a great man but not the Son of God is rejecting Him just as much as those who reject Him altogether. Mary’s soul is pierced by both. This sweet teenager who gave birth to Jesus and raised Him as her son and love Him as only a mother could love her own child is grieved. Not because she is of equal stature with Jesus but because she was his mom. She loved her son. She knew He was the Son of God and she was grieved when her “baby boy” was treated so badly.

There is only one way not to reject Jesus. There is only one way. We must see Him as the Son of God. We must see Him as what the Bible tells us. He is God come to earth in the flesh. He came to earth for a very specific purpose. He came to be the sacrifice for our sins. He was the culmination of everything God was preparing before He came in the flesh as Jesus the Son. Our sin separates us from God permanently – only one sin taints us and by golly we are a sinful sin committing daily lot are we not. These things separate us from God. There is no way no matter what anybody tells you that we can offset our sin nature by doing all the right things and trying to avoid the obvious bad things. We are sinful. We are born with the propensity to sin and the first time we consciously execute our sin nature, we are boned. We are sunk. Nothing can fix it. However, Jesus came to fix it. He came to earth. He, since He is God and not a created thing, was able to live the perfectly sinless life. There was no sin in Him and He committed no sin. His purpose was to be the final sacrifice of the the Old Testament sacrificial system. No longer would daily, weekly, monthly, annual sacrifices for sin be necessary. He was the perfect sinless sacrifice. He was the final sacrifice for sin. He took God’s wrath against sin on the cross so that you and I and any who believes that He is the Son of God would not have to. When we see Jesus in this way and accept Him as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, we are covered by His sinlessness. We take on His nature. Through His perfect sinless nature, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. When we see Christ as our Savior and accept this fact, we open our eyes to the fact that they we are indeed sinners and were destined for hell in the absence of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Our eyes are opened to Scripture. Our eyes see Him as the Son of God and the miracles, the teaching, the life all make perfect sense to us. To those who do not see Jesus in this way, Paul was right. It seems as unreasoned foolishness to them. But to us, there is nothing more logical and nothing more profound and nothing more worth sharing that our salvation through who Jesus really is — the Son of God.

Where do you stand with Jesus today? Are you willing to risk your eternity on totally rejecting Him? Are you willing to risk your eternity on seeing him simply as a radical political figure? Or are you willing to risk ridicule in this life for the eternity secure in God’s hand by understanding who Jesus really is — the Son of God who died on the cross for your sins? May your eyes be opened to who He really is? Amen.

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