THE REAL JESUS

By Wayne Schatzle

      

       I have heard it more than once- "I love Jesus, but could never love that domineering, harsh God of the Old Testament". Indeed, it has puzzled theologians for millennia. We know so little about God, in fact the bible does say "we see through a glass darkly; we know in part". In spite of the little we do know, there are many things we can be quite dogmatic about. One thing is that Jesus, the all loving suffering Servant that was so cruelly crucified for our sins, is none other than the God of the Old Testament {Jn 1:1; Heb 1:2; 1 Cor 10:4; Col 1:16}! It is not a well know fact and commentaries will acknowledge it but have little or no comment about it because there are two very different personalities revealed. In this short article I will attempt to shed some light on Jesus, the One said to be the same yesterday, today and forever- and He never changes.

       Jesus yesterday: He was the Creator of all we see, the heavens, earth, animals and mankind. He was the Being that told Abraham to slay his son. The very One that wrestled with Jacob and presided over the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus was the One that talked face to face with Moses and dictated the Law to; that brought the plagues on Egypt and destroyed the army of Pharaoh and ultimately led Israel to the Promised Land. He was also the One that Israel followed in the wilderness for 40 years and ordering the death of disobedient Israelites. He was that fearsome "Commander of the Lordís army " that went before Joshua to utterly slay men, women, and children- all animals and burn the seven nations of Canaan to the ground merely because they happened to occupy the land. This Jesus was also the One prophesied to die for His creation.

       Jesus to come: Our future shows that same Warrior returning to smite a disobedient people much like the Jesus of old did. The book of Revelation depicts Him riding a horse and wielding a sword to strike the nations. He judges and makes war with eyes like flames of fire. He will rule them with a rod of iron, casting the wicked into the lake of fire. He establishes a Kingdom that requires absolute obedience with devastating penalties such as nationwide drought {Zech 14}.

       Jesus now: In the vast realm of eternity, we live in the razor thin space of time called Grace. This Being works with mankind under a truce now. A major clue to reconcile the Jesus of the past and future came from His own lips. When Pilate asked Him if He were a King. He answered yes, but not of this world {age- gr: aion}, or His disciples would fight. Quite simply this is not Godís time to interfere with men- this is Satanís age. Men are free to choose evil as they wish. Truly this is the age of Grace. This short space of time since the appearance of Jesus as a helpless babe in a manger is a time for the fulfillment of prophecy and a time for the world to try to make it on their own without Godís help. This is a time when Godís speaks in a still small voice from the less traveled path that leads to Life {Mt 7:14}.

       We live in a remarkable time in history. A time when we can experiment with different ways to hurt ourselves and we can be as rebellious as we wish without direct interference from God. Or we can look at the history of menís failings and humble ourselves to Jesus and accept His terms {of surrender, if you will}, much like Rahab of Jericho, who realized the power and righteousness of Jesus and converted- thus saving herself and all her household from the wrath of Jesus to come. What will you do? 01/01/02

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