Did you know that we live in a world of seven major religions and thousands of common religions? Could that be a part of why our world is so divided? That said, I am grateful that I live in a country and was raised in a neighborhood where Christianity was the dominant faith. Someone said religion is a search for God. Being a follower of Jesus Christ means I have found Him. People have spent their lives and have written thousands of books in an attempt to explain and define Jesus Christ.
The name Jesus or in Hebrew is (Yeshua) which means “savior” or “Jehovah (God) is salvation.” The word Christ comes from the Greek word Christos, which translates Hebrew Messiah. Both terms come from verbs meaning “to anoint with sacred oil”; hence as titles they mean “the anointed one.” Therefore, the name Jesus Christ means the Savior the Messiah, the anointed one. He who is God was anointed to come into this world to save all who would believe in Him. One of our most favorite scriptures says it best: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
If I am wrong, I apologize, but there appears to be no other religion where God left His throne in Glory, came into this world and dwelled among His people, being rejected by most. Yet, He endured it all and died on an old rugged cross to redeem mankind of sin, those acts and thoughts that separate us from God. This was spoken of in the Old Testament.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; yet, we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:3-6).
Our God has three distinct personalities. The Father is Spirit who humbled Himself and came into this world as a Son. The Son, Jesus, walked on this earth for thirty three years to teach us how to live, and then sacrificed his life to redeem us of our sins. That is to say, “We owed a debt that we could not pay; Jesus paid that debt He did not owe.” If we believe that Jesus literally came back as the Holy Spirit and dwells in us to comfort us as He guides us through this adventure we call life.
Therefore, as we approach the Thanksgiving season, we remember what the forefathers did to form this awesome country we called America. And, I am mindful to remember, on a personal note, my forefathers who came as slaves and helped build America. Most of all, I am thankful for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. In Him we live, breathe, and have our being, now and forever.
The Rev. Carey N. Ingram is the pastor at Lovejoy Baptist Church.