Jesus, who lived about 2000 years ago, is still causing controversy all over the world today. Love Him or hate Him, the mention of His name evokes powerful emotions from virtually every walk of life. To me and fellow Christians, we find comfort, peace and rest in the name Jesus. Others are immediately on guard, defensive, obviously uncomfortable upon hearing His name. All around the world today, people are being persecuted and killed simply for professing faith in Him. Have you heard about the American pastor in Iran? How about the little girl shot for attending a Bible study in Egypt? How about the American missionary imprisoned in North Korea? Perhaps you've heard about the churches burned in Sudan? Maybe you're aware of the attacks against Christians serving in the U.S. armed forces?
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? -1 Peter 4:12-17
Unfortunately, there are many more current stories of persecution going on today...all because of Jesus Christ, a man who lived and died nearly 2000 years ago. Why on earth is He such a big deal? Why do some people try so hard to get Christians to shut up about Him? Why do some people allow themselves to be tortured, imprisoned and killed for believing in Him? Why not just renounce Him and live? What's to lose?
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -Philippians 2:8-11
I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said, "God is too big for any one religion." Interesting thought, right? If it's true that all religions are just different paths to the same end, why are Christians targeted so violently and relentlessly through history? Who is waging such wars on the Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists...?
Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”-Acts 4:11-12
All of this stuff going on in the world today makes me even more confident that my God, Jesus Christ, is the One True God. It affirms my faith that He died and rose again, and lives today, just as the Bible has recorded. His name is more powerful than any other name. He is God. I believe that every knee will bow and every single tongue will confess that He is Lord. I can't wait for that day! I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Persecuted Christians around the world are willing to die for the cause of Christ because they know what I know, that they are gaining eternal life. They know that their suffering will end and they will be welcomed into Heaven by Jesus himself, made new, and will never suffer again. They have received His love and guidance and know Him personally, just as I know Him.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” -John 11:25-26
Well, do you?
Read another way more thorough and interesting article about Jesus' name here.