That was the last question that was asked in my last interview of the day for ordination.
I thought we were done, because everyone put their notes down and the time keeper said something like, “2 minutes.”
I’m thinking, “Okay. Day’s over. Let’s go home. I’m exhausted.”
And one of the BOOM (Board of Ordained Ministry) members of the Theology section says, “I have one more and final question: Who is Jesus Christ to you?”
Needless to say, this is how it felt: (from 2:35-2:43)
It’s not the funnest of feelings trying to get back into interview mode after dropping your guard (even for a second).
I stammered, and repeated the question, hoping time would run out and when it didn’t, I blasted through.
The following is a more thought out answer from the day of the interviews.
I believe Jesus Christ to be my Savior. But I believe that is not enough. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely important and vital to have Jesus Christ as our Savior. But, I can’t let my relationship with Christ begin and end there.
It’s part of human nature to take things for granted.
People who have a near death experience, they come out the other side with a whole new appreciation and perspective of life. They talk about how they love to hear the birds sing in the morning, the smell of nature, the way the sun feels on their skin etc. Because they could’ve lost everything, every small moment is now precious, and they soak life in. But after a period of time, that sentiment sort of fades. Sure, they still hold onto appreciating life’s every moment, but it’s not as enthusiastic and pure as before.
Simply put, the novelty fades away.
When someone is rescued by another person, they are grateful for the life saver.
The rescuee may go out of his/her way to show gratitude and appreciation for her savior. Not a single day may go by without thinking about the bravery of her rescuer. She may go as far as taking her savior’s entire family out for dinner, sending birthday gifts, whatever to show her appreciation. But 5 years down the road, while she may still have gratitude and appreciation for the person that saved her life… it’s very possible and realistic that the feeling of gratitude and appreciation may not be as intense.
It’s not bad, it’s just seems to be part of our nature.
That can happen with our relationship with Jesus if we let Christ be our Savior and nothing more. That’s why some people are “saved” many times over. I remember hearing a teen from the documentary The Lost Children of Rockdale County say something like, “I was just tired of getting saved every week.”
Yes, Jesus Christ is my Savior, but he is also my Lord and Master. Because Jesus saved me, my life is indebted to him; my life now belongs to him.
As Wesley’s prayer says, “I am no longer my own, but thine.”
So, as Christ as my Lord, I now live my life for him. So, ideally, where Christ goes, I follow. Where Christ decides to send me, I go. What Christ wants me to do, I do. But, I fight. I can’t lie, I fight and resist. But in the end, Jesus love wins me over. Because Jesus is a Master full of love and full of grace. That’s who Jesus Christ is to me.
He is the one who looks me into my eyes and says, “Child, where are they? Has no one condemned you?… Then neither do I condemn you.”
But he is also the one who gently adds, “Go now, and leave your life of sin.”
That is why when we accept Jesus as our Savior, Lord and Master, we are no longer the same. Because, we are handing our lives over to him, and his grace and love is so overwhelming, that it begins to change us from the inside out. We can’t remain the same when we start living for Jesus’ purpose and no longer our own.
And living for Jesus’ purpose, cause and mission – living with Christ as my Master – is where I know I’ll find true freedom.