The Gospel of Mark begins by claiming that Jesus Christ was not just a good teacher or a moral example, but the Son of God, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1)
No one else uses that phrase, “the Son of God,” to describe Jesus until we see the conversion of a Roman centurion—a commanding officer and one of the men who oversaw the crucifixion of Jesus—who confesses in Mark 15:39, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
I am a commander. I am a leader. I am in control. But, I am nothing like that man.
I have influence. I garner respect. I demand loyalty. But, I am nothing like that man.
That man, the one who just died, was a true commander, a radical leader, and was... is...sovereignly in control. That man, the one still hanging on the cross, has real influence, garners eternal respect, and is the only man I have ever loved to follow.
I have led men into battle. I have seen countless men die. I have never seen anyone die like that man.
That man was mocked, beaten, betrayed – yet, He obeyed. I was facing Him the moment He died. I was literally the one who drove those spikes into His hands and feet, laughing while I did it.
When He died, He died like no other. When He screamed, “It is finished!” my life began. When He breathed his last, I breathed my first breath of salvation. New life in my lungs.
Truly, that man was no mere man. That man was...is...the Son of God.
At first glance, and second and twelfth and twentieth glances, this makes no sense.
I have pledged my loyalty to Caesar, the most powerful, successful person—or more accurately, the most powerful and successful system of life—on this earth. The money that I pay my soldiers for their sacrifices has the phrase, “Caesar is Lord,” stamped into each and every coin.
Caesar is Lord? I’ve never really believed it. It’s just something to say. I don’t even know Caesar. But that man, the Son of God. Jesus is Lord! I get it, now.
I’ve tasted everything this world has to offer. Power. Sex. Influence. Approval. Each is like trying to drink salt water when you’re thirsty. It makes sense for a bit, and even feels good for a moment, but the moment is fleeting and then you’re left even more thirsty.
But with Him, the real Lord, the Son of God, I have found that which truly satisfies. I have to change everything. I get to change everything!
I am not a commander, but I now serve the One who commands the stars. I am not a leader, but I now follow the One who leads through sacrifice, not selfishness. I am not in control, but I now worship the One who controls all things for His glory.
I have no influence, but I have everything I need in Him. I garner no respect, because there is nothing good in me apart from Him. I demand no loyalty, but I have joyfully surrendered my life to the One who died for me.
I know who Jesus is. Do you?