Start Surrendering To Christ
I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised. Isaiah 63:7, NIV
“Jesus is Lord” says the words of the song, but what do you really mean when you say those words? It is certain that believers of the first century had some understanding of those words and their implication, for the Roman Emperor Domitian proclaimed himself a god and demanded that the subjects of the empire recognize him as such. It was really a pledge of political loyalty, but believers in Christ saw far more in that act of commitment than a pledge of allegiance to an emperor. All that was necessary would be to go to the temple and offer a pinch of incense saying, “Kaisar estin Kurios,” which means “Caesar is Lord.” Then they could go anywhere and worship as they pleased. Believers, however, refused to say that Caesar was Lord, for they believed that there was only one Lord for them–Jesus Christ.
It would have been so easy to have stayed on the side of political safety by saying, “Caesar is Lord.” After the pinch of incense and those meaningless words they could have then met together and sung, “He is Lord, He is Lord; He is risen from the grave, and He is Lord,” but they refused to do so.
In reality, believers today are confronted with the same tragic choice. To follow Jesus Christ means that we renounce a way of life that is popular today–one that demands instant satisfaction, fulfillment and pleasure–to follow in the footsteps of Him who said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). When someone says, “Jesus is Lord,” what does it really mean? Before I attempt an answer, let me give you some background on that word.
Reading through the pages of the Old Testament you discover that as far back as Abraham’s day, the term, “Lord,” from the Hebrew adon was a title or an address for someone who was important. Sarah called Abraham, Lord. Even in the New Testament you find the term used that way some 300 times. It is the equivalent of addressing someone as “Sir” today. The same word was also used in reference to God, which is why Thomas greeted Jesus after the resurrection with the exclamation, “My Lord and my God!”
During the ministry of Jesus it became apparent that men addressed Jesus as “Lord,” and they had far more in mind than simply a respectful greeting. They believed He was God and addressed Him as such; but saying that Jesus was God no more made Him divine than saying a person is Napoleon or Genghis Khan. On the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter announced that Jesus was Lord because God had brought Him forth from the grave. He said, “`Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus… both Lord and Christ'” (Acts 2:36).
Actually, the credibility of Christianity stands or falls upon the resurrection of Christ. If He really rose from the grave, as the writers of Scripture candidly declare, He is Lord regardless of what men say about Him. If Jesus were mere man, if His resurrection was a hoax, then Christianity must simply take its place among the religions of the world, but if Jesus did rise from the grave, proving that He indeed was and is God, then most certainly Christ is Lord as the early Christians asserted.
Is He Lord of your life? Or, is He merely an acquaintance?
Resource reading: Isaiah 63