Weekly bulletin article by Mike Johnson

One story is that the name Christian was a derisive term coined by non-believers to describe those who believed in Jesus. The explanation is that the term was intended to keep anyone else from committing by identifying that group with a man who was crucified. Surely, no one would want to be connected with such a loser!

The reasoning seems to be that no one would want to take pride in their association with a leader whose life was taken on a cross. The cross was the most shameful way to die in that culture. The public humiliation came from being lifted up so everyone could see. All those who watched mocked the one on the cross. And, adding to the indignity, the person was displayed practically nude!

The truth, however, is that the first Christians were not at all humiliated to be associated with Jesus. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:14, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Paul certainly was not ashamed to tell everyone who his Lord is!

Furthermore, there was no reason for them to be ashamed of the death of Jesus. Three days later He arose! His resurrection forever signaled the victory of God over the devil. “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” (I Corinthians 15:26) Death is the only power Satan has left and it has been rendered powerless through Jesus’ resurrection!

And, His resurrection signaled the future of every faithful believer. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15:22) The only control Satan has over anyone is what power we give him! Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection the devil has been neutralized! Why be ashamed of the action that brought that about?!