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Bluegrass Bible Beat: Who is Jesus

By: Scott Adkins, Sling ‘n Stone Ministry
Carter County Times

After three installments discussing persecution and martyrdom, we open a multi-part installment that explores a pivotal question: For whom should we suffer persecution, and if called upon, martyrdom? The obvious answer: The Lord Jesus Christ. But His Name gives rise to eternity’s question: Just Who is The Lord Jesus Christ? The Lord Himself gives us the answer in His Revelation to John the Apostle on the isle of Patmos. Indeed, Revelation opens heralding The Lord Jesus Christ to be, “the faithful witness… the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 1:5). Let’s start with those three.

The Lord Jesus Christ is, “the faithful witness.” (Rev. 1:5). Warning the Laodiceans, The Lord described Himself as, “the faithful and true witness.” (Rev. 2:14). But for whom does the Lord witness? Answer: Both God the Father and for His disciples. First, He is faithful to both the Father and to His disciples. Declaring the Lord’s faithfulness to God the Father, Philippian 2:8 declares: “[B]eing found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Two thousand years ago, the Romans reserved crucifixion for the most despised criminals. Crucifixion imposed a horrifically slow and agonizing death and, in so doing, indelibly marked those crucified as society’s most despised. Today, we reserve that depth of loathing for only the most heinous criminals, such as those who violate children. That’s what crucifixion meant two thousand years ago.

Yet the Lord Jesus Christ remained faithful to God the Father, even though His faithfulness meant the Lord’s suffering the worst and most disgraceful death imaginable, when He could have wiped-out His persecutors instead. Indeed, after telling Peter to put away his sword, (Matt. 26:52), the Lord asked Peter, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matt. 25:53-54).

The Lord remains faithful to us as well, saying in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you[,]” and in II Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.” Put differently, both towards the Father and towards His disciples, the Lord never waivers – no matter how dire the circumstance, no matter how high the costs. But in what way does the Lord show His faithfulness to us?

The Lord eternally witnesses for us, in both heaven and earth. He declared: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 10:32). And as we carry-out The Great Commission, i.e., preaching the Gospel, Jesus promises: “[L]o, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:19). The Good Shephard never abandons His flock which is why He requires we “remain faithful unto death.”



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