Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

 

In Focus

A fresh look at the person of Jesus Christ - 1

Monday, December 02, 2019

I am a person who tries to be across the issues of my day. I try to bring a Christian perspective to those issues. To do so requires considerable reflection on the person of Jesus Christ. Looking at life through the prism of Christ offers significant critique of our world and very helpful answers. But what if the people you are addressing are looking through a different prism or don’t understand mine?  

The times in which we live make it hard to keep abreast of where people are at, and it’s easy to be out of touch. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think for a second that Christianity is out of date, irrelevant or lacking answers. Nor do I think I am unaware of the issues we face as a diverse population. I am however more comfortable with my “modernist” upbringing than I am with the postmodern or the post postmodern realities of our day. For example, I am more comfortable with a coherent world view than I am with ambiguity. That probably needs explanation but time does not permit. Suffice it to say, in the midst of a changing a world, it is easy to lose touch with those you are trying to communicate with.

I became aware of just how foreign the person of Jesus Christ is to many Australians when I met a man for whom Jesus Christ was only a profanity.  To him, you could add the person who rejects Jesus Christ but admits that they know so little about Jesus Christ that they are not sure why they reject Him. Again I could add the person who rather likes their Christian friends but knows very little about the Christ of those friends. Sadly, there are others whose bad experience of Christians has left them never being willing to look into the person of Jesus Christ. 

All these people made this out of touch writer want to put them in touch with the person of Jesus Christ. So I thought I would try to offer people a safe and anonymous encounter with Jesus through a series of articles. It will be a summary, looking into the Jesus Christ who changed the world by changing the lives of people just like you and me.  

All this is by way of introduction. So my initial look at Jesus Christ now needs to be very brief. On December 25th our nation will celebrate the birth of this Jesus Christ. He has genealogy. In other words, He is human, one of us. He was not of noble birth, though he was threatened by those who were. He was born to a woman in a stable according to a promise. It’s the promise I want to briefly draw to your attention.

The Bible that Christians read comprises 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over some 1,500 years. Importantly the Bible maintains a cohesive story throughout based on promise. “Big deal!” you might say. Actually, it is. If it were not for the promises, it would just be another history book. But the Old Testament part of the Bible develops the historical story of a promise that is fulfilled in the birth of the Christ child. There are over 300 prophesies in the OT that refer specifically to the Christ and all of them find their fulfilment in Jesus. The probability of that happening by accident has been calculated as a one in one hundred million billion chance.

Why is that promise and the history of it so important? Well it speaks of God’s reliability and our need. God keeps his promises, which stands out in a world where people don’t. The promise speaks to the love of God for the undeserving. In the promise is the offer of forgiveness and help for a life lived well. Wonderfully, all the promises that find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ offer promise for your life and mine. It’s why Christians celebrate Christmas. Christmas holds out promise.