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Vantage point

Red Shirts

Giuseppe Garibaldi was a famous Italian freedom fighter of the 19th century. He followed the words of his friend and teacher, Mazzini: "Do that which is right, and fear no man, for man was made to be free." His freedom fighters wore bright red shirts. Though it would seem this would make them easy targets, in reality, they were commanded by such a master strategist that they seldom lost many men. The red shirts clearly identified Garibaldi’s men (they were even called Red Shirts) and protected them from friendly fire.

Those who follow Jesus today — as Savior, Lord and God — are also clearly identified. Many others believe in Jesus — that He was a real historical person, perhaps a good teacher, even a prophet — but deny His deity and the efficacy of His blood to save.

It is for this reason that each Palm Sunday we publish this edition about the true Jesus Christ. What matters is not that we have a belief in Jesus, but that we believe in the Jesus of the Bible. If Jesus is who He said He is, then His blood provides the only way to salvation. The true followers of Jesus are "Red Shirts" — they rely totally on the power of the blood of Christ to save. Though this makes them stand out, and thus identifies them to the enemies of the Cross, they do not fear; their Captain, who has marked them with His blood, protects them.

Unlike Garibaldi’s men, the Christian freedom fighters of today do not fight for their own freedom — that has been won already — but for the freedom of others. And sometimes the very ones for whom they fight try to injure them.

But no matter. God has not called the Christian to an easy path, but to a hard battle … with a guaranteed victory.

Believing that Jesus is God and that His blood does indeed save us makes us different. It makes us want others to know the real Jesus as we know Him. And they can.

The truths presented in this "Jesus edition" are basic, but they are also life-changing. If you know the Jesus of the Bible, read this issue prayerfully, asking God to give you a renewed appreciation for the Son of God. If you disagree with this view of the historical person Jesus, I challenge you to read these pages with an open heart. Dear reader, Jesus died for you; His blood paid the price of your salvation. Won’t you too let Him apply that blood to your soul?

Please see "The ABCs of Salvation."

— Ken Horn

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