[Rector]

The centrality of Christ

 

At the centre of the Christian faith is Jesus. He is the one we approach when we approach God. He is the founder of our religion and he is the focus of it. He is the centre of our beliefs. He is "Emmanuel", God with us. Other faiths have their founders. Mohammedanism has Mohammed, Buddhism has Buddha....... Yet not only is Christ the founder of our religion; he is the focus of it. He is God. In other religions the founder is a prophet, someone who claims to show the way to God. Jesus claims of himself that he not only points the way, he is the way to God, he is God.

When we approach God we often do it in a nondescript way. We will talk of God doing this and God doing that. We will often pray to God in terms of "God help me......." Yet our God is not a nondescript being of unlimited power. He is not an it, but a person, and the person we approach is actually Jesus. We may approach the Father, but when we do, we approach him through Jesus. Even then we do it as if approaching Jesus, for as Jesus said, "If you have seen me you have seen the Father."

The Bible is quite clear on the centrality of Jesus. Jesus himself said, "He who honours not the Son honours not the Father", John 5:23. We are quite foolish if we believe we honour God when we worship him apart from our Lord Jesus. It is at "the name of Jesus" that every knee shall bow", Philippians 2:10. "Christ is all in all", Colossians 3:11.

Think for a moment on some of the things Jesus is central to. He is central in redemption. Peter, speaking before the Jewish Sanhedrin, said of Jesus that "salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven give to humanity by which we must be saved", Acts 4:12. He is central for access into the presence of God. "No one comes to the Father but by me." He is central in revelation. The apostle Paul said, "In Christ all the fullness of the deity dwells bodily", Colossians 2:9.

In the service of Holy Communion we see the centrality of Christ. In this service we reaffirm the benefits we have received through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus. The benefits, of course, being forgiveness and friendship with God. The only thing we offer God in the service is thanksgiving for his grace to us through Christ. This is why the service is often called the Eucharist (thanksgiving).

In Colossians 1:14-20 we see Christ's central place in creation, revelation and redemption. Let us make Jesus the centre of our living, for he is the centre of all things.