Who Is Jesus?
Pick any internet search engine and do a search for the name “Jesus.”
You will have to admit, Jesus is a popular person. One popular search engine produced well over 150,000,000 pages devoted to Jesus. It is not surprising, though, as Jesus is without question the most significant character in human history.
A few years ago, a group of over 100 consultants released a report containing over 100 words, names, symbols, and phrases that they believed every educated person should know something about. Over half of these phrases were connected to the life of Jesus. These include the following:
Ask and it shall be given
Consider the lilies of the field
Crown of Thorns
The Golden Rule
The Good Samaritan
The Last Super
The Lord’s Prayer
Pearl of Great Price
Salt of the earth
Casting pearls before swine
Turn the Other Cheek
This is just a small sample, but you get the point. Jesus has obviously had a tremendous impact on human society. Yet for many, Jesus’ impact is much greater than a few words and phrases in a vocabulary. That is why we have built this page. We hope to tell you what we have discovered about Jesus.
As we share, we want you to know that we are not here to preach at you.
Nor are we here to say that we are better than you are.
We simply want to share with you what we have come to experience about life because of Jesus. It is so special that it would be a crime for us not to take a few moments and share our experience with you.
You Have A Special Purpose
Everyone was born with a purpose. God had something special in mind when each of us were born. You are not an accident. At the root of it all was the simple desire of God that each of us be in relationship (or friendship) with Him. We were created to enjoy a special place of intimacy in God’s company forever.
That said, you know that forced intimacy is not really intimacy. That is why God created us with the ability to choose. We have free will - the ability to either choose or reject God’s friendship. Rejecting God's grace doesn't change the nature of that grace. It's is still ours because God's gives it independantlof our actions or attitudes. But we can still outside the intimacy and power of that gift.
In the Bible, there is a story about Adam and Eve, the first couple, the founders of the human race (read the first two chapters of Genesis). Their story illustrates our story. In the beginning, they walked and talked with God daily, enjoying the intimate friendship God intended for them in creation.
We Are All Victims Of Sin
With freedom, however, comes the risk of making bad choices. That is what happened with Adam and Eve. They made some bad choices. Bottom line, they made the choice to live independent of God. That is called sin.
Now here is something we all instinctively know: We are all in the same boat as Adam and Eve. To quote the Bible, “All have sinned…” (Romans 3:23) As descendant of this first couple, we have all inherited the propensity to make bad choices by trying to live independently from God.
Oh, sure, we may not be “that bad” when compared to others – murderers, terrorists, rapists, and the like. Still, when held in the balance against the goodness of God, we are all in the same boat. We are ALL broken. The Bible calls this brokenness sin. It also says that if this sin problem is not addressed, it will produce eternally unpleasant results. That is what the Bible means when it says “the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a). In other words, sin builds a wall that can separate us eternally from the life God intends for us to enjoy.
God's Love Pursues You
This is where Jesus enters the picture!
Each year at Christmas, Christian churches celebrate something called the incarnation. That fancy word means that God came and joined us in human form – in the form of a baby named Jesus.
For just about 33 years, Jesus preached about God’s ultimate intentions for the human race. He confronted injustice. He challenged bigotry and arrogance. He was especially tough on the religious crowds who thought that “going to church” made them better than everyone else (it did not then and does not now). He spoke of God’s love, of mercy, forgiveness, and grace.
Along the way, Jesus lived a perfect, sin-free life. Because of that, Jesus could take upon himself the burden of our sin and brokenness. That's exactly what Jesus did because of God love for each of us. At the cross, Jesus destroyed the barrier that divided us from God. At the cross, Jesus took upon himself our sin and brokeness, put it to death with him, and was then raised so that in Him, we might live in connection with God. Jesus, then, is the means through which God Almighty pursues us in love.
Jesus Is Our Access To God
Thanks to Jesus, broken people are healed and sinful people are redeemed. Jesus has undone everything that sin did to ruin our lives. That's the good news (the biblical word is Gospel) that the church declares. Because of this grace, human beings can now enjoy a full life of intimacy and relationship relationship with God. How does this happen? Good question!
Do we need to do something to make God love us, include us, like us, or accept us? No! That's all on God. We couldn't do anything to make it happen if we wanted to. What we can do, because Jesus makes it possible, is make a decision to start living out of the new life of love and intimacy which God so freely offers us. How do we make this decision? There are two biblical words that are important here.
The first word is repent. The word simply means to turn around or change one’s mind. In this context, it means that we choose to reject our independent streak and declare our intentions to live out of the grace God provides. It's more than simply feeling sorry about the bad things we have done. It is more like making a U-turn away from a life of independence from God toward dependence on God.
How do we live our live our lives towards dependance on God? The Bible talks about about another concept called faith (which is that second important word). By faith, we trust that Jesus dealt with our old life of sin when he was crucified those many years ago. By faith, we also trust Jesus to share the resources of his life with us so we can live daily in connection with God. To put it another way, when we repent and express faith, we affirm that in Jesus Christ, the thing that separated us from God died and something new was born in us. The thing that is born within us is the life of Jesus - making a connection to God Almighty a reality. Because of that connection, we can now live out of the resources of God's love and grace. That's an incredible way to live - positive, energetic, life-enhancing, world-changing.
The Bible states it like this, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live - yet not I, but Christ lives in me - and the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
It is important to know that repentance and faith do not save us. God saves us. Repentance and and faith are the ways we express our belief that through Jesus God has taken care of all we need. It's our way of quitting our efforts to save ourselves through words and deeds. It is our way of turning to God salvation, admitting that we need the help that he provided. It's our way of expressing confidence in God.