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Who is this man Jesus, and is He risen, is He risen indeed?

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #141 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.


I believe the most important question in the Bible, and thus for every human being, is this:

  • “What think ye of Christ?”(Matt. 22:42) as worded in the KJV. 
  • “What do you think about the Christ?” ESV.
  • “What do you think about the Messiah?” NIV.

This inquiry puts the ultimate question to each person about our existence, purpose, and potential for mending our broken relationship with the Heavenly Father. It is the central question of the Gospel. Who do you believe Jesus Christ is?

Do you believe he is who the Bible says that he is? And do you place your faith in him and him alone, his sacrifice on the cross for your sin and his resurrection defying and defeating physical and spiritual death forever?

Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is the main topic in the New Testament…The Gospel is the good news of our reconciliation from the death of sin to eternal life in Christ.”

In Acts 4:12, the Scripture says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

And of course, the best-known verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So, answering the question, what do you think of the Christ, is an experience with eternal implications.

Think of Jesus on the crucifixion cross. Sinner on one side, a robber condemned to death who angrily mocked Jesus as the Christ (Luke 23:39-43).

Sinner on the other side, a man who rebuked his fellow criminal, saying, “Don’t you fear God,” we deserve this, then sincerely expressed his faith but asking Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom. Savior in the middle, who responded to the Sinner’s plea with “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

I’ve always valued this detail in the Bible account. We’ve all heard of deathbed confessions and salvation in the Lord. Perhaps some of us have witnessed this. They are possible, just like the thief on the cross, because as long as we have breath there is hope. And the salvation of a dying person, who seems to be saved by the skin of his teeth, is just as complete and the blessings of heaven just as great as any who come to Christ at a young age and live a life as unto the Lord.

Think again of Jesus on the crucifixion cross. “We get our English word excruciating from the Roman word ‘out of the cross.’” I’ve written before about how the cross, an instrument of torture and gruesome death, which in the providence of God has now become an internationally recognized symbol of hope.

In one sense it is ironic. Why would Christians worldwide want to hang a tool of torture and death, a cross, on the wall of their house or place one in their churches? Why would they want to wear a cross on a necklace? Because the cross has become a symbol of the “redeeming benefits of (Jesus’) Passion and death. The cross is thus a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians.” What we now see in the cross is not death but Jesus’ victory over death (1 Cor. 15:26, 54-57).

But the story does not end on the cross, which is why I prefer an empty cross over a crucifix.

The question “What think ye of Christ?” focuses us back to Easter, for without Easter, without the resurrection, there would be no future for Christianity or for humanity.

We believe what the Bible teaches that Jesus was crucified on the cross, died, spent three days buried, and then rose the third day, Easter morning.

In Matt. 28:5-7, the Scripture records, “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you.”

In 1 Cor 15:14-22, the Apostle Paul responds to those in the Corinthian church who apparently rejected the idea a body could be resurrected. He says, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”

Because of the resurrection on Easter morning, there is:

  • Victory over sin and death.
  • The reality that if we know Christ, we will see again those believers who have died and gone on before us.
  • A future in which we know the end of history.
  • Everlasting hope.

When I was a kid, Easter seemed to have been a bigger deal than it is now. 

People dressed up, I mean really dressed up in what was called their “Easter Sunday best.” Clothes, of course, do not matter in terms of worshipping God, but then again, to strive for a higher level of excellence said something about the importance of the occasion. Now, our dressed down culture seems to delight in going the other way. OK, so be it, but it makes me wonder.

Churches back then scheduled more Easter sunrise services than they do now, though I know some still do this. Again, there is nothing extra-sacred about such a service. It is just a time for the church community to join in celebrating “He is risen. He is risen indeed.”

My upbringing and church background did not include Lent, a Christian religious observance commemorating the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert and enduring temptation by Satan, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, before beginning his public ministry. “In Lent-observing Western Christian denominations, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later; depending on the Christian denomination and local custom, Lent concludes either on the evening of Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), or at sundown on Holy Saturday, when the Easter Vigil is celebrated, though in either case, Lenten fasting observances are maintained until the evening of Holy Saturday.”

“In Lent, many Christians commit to fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries in imitation of Jesus Christ's sacrifice during his journey into the desert for 40 days; this is known as one's Lenten sacrifice. Often observed are the Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ's carrying the Cross and crucifixion.”

Since I grew up among many Catholic friends in our community, I often heard them say they were “Giving it up for lent” in reference to all manner of habits and practices. I’m not suggesting here that people who observe Lent are not sincere or in some way unbiblical, but I will go so far as to say that much of what I observed of this religious practice seemed to be about checking certain boxes and getting it over with. But again, I can’t see in a person’s heart, so I cannot stand in judgment of their sincerity. I can say, though, that those who put their faith in the observance of Lent as a part of a works-based, earn salvation approach, are indeed at odds with what the Scripture says and the Reformation remined usSola fideSola gratiaSola Christus.

Easter is a day like no other in religion.

Jesus, “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, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2024   

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