A theological reflection on Mark 8:27-29
“Who do you say that I am”
This is a question that has wracked the minds of people for centuries since it was first asked, and it is a question that is still being asked of us by Christ today.
If I was asked to explain this to a person seeking the truth what would my answer be, well it is complex as it is simple. But perhaps I would start like this. Jesus is the holy one of God, God revealed to us through the personage of Jesus Christ, the eternal one who existed before time itself. Human yet of the divine essence of
God but I want to focus on Jesus being the holy one of God.
Throughout the Old Testament book of Isaiah God is referred to as The Holy One of Israel. Twenty eight separate occasions God is mentioned in this way, Isaiah 1:4 , Isaiah 12:6 and Isaiah 41:14 for example. No doubt Isaiah use of this phrase stems from his personal encounter with God as told in Isaiah 6.
Jesus is referred to as The Holy One of God only in two passages of the scripture in the New Testament namely in Mark 1:24 when Jesus was in the Synagogue with the unclean man. The demon which had possessed the man said “I know who you are, the Holy One of God”.Here we see how similar the terminology is, to how God is referred to in Isaiah and how Jesus is referred to in this first chapter of Mark. So the divine title afforded to God in the Old Testament now rests upon Jesus.
There is another place in the New Testament where Jesus Is referred to as The Holy One of God and that is in John 6-66. We learn here that many of Jesus’s followers had left his side
and Jesus said to the remaining twelve do you wish to go as well and Peter in his answer refers to Jesus as the Holy One of God, so in these two portions of scripture from the New Testament we have a confirmation of the identity of Jesus that being of God incarnate,
come down from the highest heavens in the personage of Jesus.
Why would God do this, because it was no longer about plagues, punishment and pestilence for the commission of sinful acts, this was about the salvation of the whole of humanity so the birth of Jesus is significant but the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is more significant because the crucifixion was the ultimate act of love and forgiveness and the resurrection was the message of hope to fallen humankind. Jesus the Holy One of God who alone is able to forgive us of all our sins so that we are cleansed from all wrongdoing. For us Christians knowing Jesus as The Holy One of God is of paramount importance because it is a confirmation that Jesus is Holy God in human form, God made man, both human and divine, and is that not something to marvel at.
The crucifixion was a necessary act, as in order for us to be redeemed from our sinful nature one had to descend into the depths of the pit (hell) to where sin came from so that we could be raised up. Without the crucifixion, there would be simply no hope for fallen humankind.