Jesus just won’t go away. For more than 2000 years this carpenter and itinerant teacher from Galilee has fascinated millions of people all over the world. Those who claim the name Christian (ie. people of Jesus) maintain that Jesus was more than a man. They maintain that he was (and still is) the Son of God himself.
Is all this a bit far-fetched?
Is it foolishness for modern day Aussies to believe that a man was actually God? Let’s have a quick look into that question.
The thing about the Christian faith is it’s assurance that God is knowable. Though we all long to connect with our Maker, we live in a world that struggles to see how this can happen. Many people shake their fists at God and demand that he show himself. But the message of the Bible is that God has done exactly that. God took on skin and entered into the world he created. That’s Jesus!
Those who spent 3 years with him (his disciples) were convinced that he was God’s Son. Spend enough time with me and that wouldn’t be the conclusion you’d come to. But Jesus was different. Jesus’ wisdom blew them away. His miracles amazed them. His love drew them closer and closer in. But then, these first followers saw something that changed them forever. They saw Jesus crucified and buried, but then they saw him alive again. The truth of resurrection confirmed the identity of this man – not even death could hold him down.
But why did he die?
A very early Christian creed (simple statement of truth) explains it:
“Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say. He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say. Christ appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After this, he appeared to more than five hundred other followers” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
The first statement is crucial – ‘Christ died for our sins.’ The teaching of the Bible is that all people are separated from God by their sin. A good explanation of sin is found in it’s spelling – sin has I in the middle. We all put ‘I’ (self) in the middle. We’re all self-centred instead of being God-centred which is the way we were made to be. This selfishness is a rejection of God and is sin. Sin results in spiritual death – a permanent separation from God. But when Jesus died, he took our penalty on himself. We are released; Jesus is punished.
One of the most famous verses in the Bible is John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him, will not die, but will have eternal life.’
This is the good news message about Jesus. But essential to it is the clause ‘whosoever believes in him.’ This is about you believing Jesus.
- That he is the Son of God.
- That he lived a perfect life.
- That he died in your place because you are a sinner.
- That he rose from the dead winning victory over death.
- And that he is the Lord and King over the whole of your life.
The Christian faith is different to every other religion in the world. All other religions tell you what you have to do. Christianity tells you what Jesus has done for you. God has come near and revealed himself. Have you opened up your eyes to see him?
The way to learn about Jesus is to read the New Testaments books written about him. We call these four books, the gospels. To receive a free copy of the New Testament, please contact our church office on 3413 1050 and ask to speak to one of our pastors.