The one sure hope

This week’s column was co-written with Pastor Jeff Fortenberry of Bethel Baptist Church in Columbiana. Fortenberry and his family have lived in Calera for six years. (Contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

“What do you think about the Christ?” Jesus asked the Pharisees who tried to find fault with him. They didn’t have an answer (Matthew 22:41).

He asked his disciples, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They answered John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or a prophet.

Then it turned personal. “What about you? Who do you say I am?” Jesus asked.

Peter confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16).

How is it Peter knew who Jesus was when the Pharisees and the crowds didn’t? They all followed him, all with different motives.

Peter’s brother introduced him to Jesus. Peter not only followed Jesus, but had a personal relationship with him. This is how Peter knew Jesus was who he said he was.

God created us to fellowship with him, therefore a relationship to the supernatural is “natural” for men.

But until a relationship with God is established, there is a spiritual void in man and the danger of being misled by forms of spiritism and the occult.

Prior to Christ coming, God communicated with mankind through prophets.

Today, he speaks to us through his Son (Hebrews 1:2).

The relationship begins very simply: God loved the world; this love motivated Him to sacrifice his Son to cure the disease of sin; whoever believes this will live eternally with God (John 3:16).

Jesus is the one mediator between God and man because he gave his life for a ransom for all of men (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

This Sunday, Christ followers will celebrate Easter. It marks the day Jesus rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion. The empty tomb signifies the search for eternal hope is over.

People today are looking for hope and a reason to get up with joy and purpose. All other religions point to a prophet, teacher or man. Hindus believe their leaders have been reincarnated. Buddha followers are thought to be part of some vast cosmos energy. Mohammed is still dead.

Jesus alone conquered death (Acts 1:3). Only He can atone for sin. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).

Who do you say Jesus is? Have you been introduced to him? If so, are you following him in order to have a personal relationship with him? Who, or what, is your eternal hope?

God loves you. He wants you to love him back. But it’s your choice.

Mollie Brown can be reached at dmjhb1@bellsouth.net.