When Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” He strikes a nerve. The whole known world was caught up with figuring out who Jesus is. He has been famously preaching and teaching and healing and so clearly he was important, but how?
Our identity is very important for us. If you’ve ever been a victim of some sort of identity theft, then you know that having “who you are” stolen is distinctly different than simply having “something you own” stolen. Who we are is the sum total of all of the things that make us, us. Who we are includes where we went to school, the hobbies we have, the talents we have, and everything else that we value, have experienced, our strengths, weaknesses and everything else.
When the disciples properly answer Jesus that He is indeed the “Christ”, that is the savior of the world, they do not understand what that really means. They do not understand the components of what the Savior must be and do. When Jesus tells them it means He must die as a sacrifice, Peter gets upset, he can’t believe that it could possibly be true.
Thankfully for us it is true. Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world who dies and rises for the sins of the world. By being who He is, Jesus changes who we are. His work changes who we are into chosen and claimed children of God, bought and won for a price with His life. This Lenten season, we remember the way in which we find our identity in Jesus.