“He became what we are that He might make us what He is.”
C. S. Lewis, the famed author, was also a professor at Cambridge University and once an agnostic, wrote this about Jesus: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
As we come into the Easter Season, more are thinking about and considering that vital question: Who is Jesus? There is no more critical question. The best way to find the answer is to read the biographies about Jesus found in the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It’s amazing how Jesus becomes real as we read about His life from those early biographies of His life. When you read the original writings, you will quickly discover that the Jesus of the Bible is very different from some of the common misconceptions about Jesus. Many believe in a Jesus that doesn’t exist. Maybe that’s you.
For example, there’s the John Lennon Jesus? All you need is love, that’s all that really matters. Just love and peace and spirituality. We could call this Jesus the “why can’t we all just get along?” one. But that’s not Jesus.
There’s the Tony Robbins Jesus. You’ll see this Jesus in an infomercial. You were created to succeed! You’re a winner, so call yourself one. All you have to do is picture it, believe it, and achieve it. But that’s not Jesus.
A childhood favorite is the Mr. Rogers Jesus. We all need to be careful not to hurt anybody’s feelings, make sure we love everybody and treat everybody fairly. Don’t do anything to offend anyone because we’re all God’s children. But that’s not Jesus.
What about the Oprah Jesus? You’re doing a great job. You can do it, just believe in yourself. You’re beautiful! You’re strong! Everything you need to succeed is already inside of you. You don’t need anyone else. But that’s not Jesus.
Perhaps the American favorite is the Genie Jesus. Everyone loves Genie Jesus because He sits up in Heaven just waiting for us to ask for whatever we need and then we just have to say those three magic words, “In Jesus’s name.” It’s the ask and you shall receive Jesus. But that’s not Jesus.
All of these Jesuses and many more have two very important things in common. First, a lot of people believe in them. Second, and much more important – they’re all myths. They don’t exist. Essentially, they’re an adult version of an imaginary friend that we’ve given the name Jesus to.
There’s only one Jesus – the Jesus revealed to us in the Bible. Without question, Jesus is the most dominating figure in history. Who was He? Or, in the words of Jesus Himself in a question to the leaders of the Jewish community, “What do you think of the Christ?” Every intellectually reflective person must come to grips with this engaging question.
The Jesus that the Bible describes is called the Son of God, the Christ. The Jesus of the Bible is described as Redeemer, King of Kings, Righteous Judge, Bread of Life, Good Shepherd, Great I Am, and the Resurrection and the Life. That’s the real Jesus. He’s not some karma Jesus, sports Jesus, vegan Jesus, career Jesus, racist Jesus, butler Jesus or some good man or good teacher Jesus. Who Jesus is isn’t some hypothetical question. It’s a life-changing one, an eternal destiny changing one. It’s imperative then that we have a right understanding of who Jesus is. Who is Jesus to you? It’s a question each of us must answer. When this question is personalized, it becomes the most important question one will ever be asked or will ever answer: Who is Jesus Christ to YOU?
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10). Who wouldn’t want to have a fulfilled and satisfying life? Then, in 1 John 5:11-13 we’re told that if we have the Son of God in our life we can know that we have eternal life. The bottom line is that Jesus is the only way for us to live an abundant life here on earth and receive eternal life in fellowship with God in eternity.
Easter is about Jesus dying on the cross to take the punishment for our sins so we could be forgiven and justified with God. If we don’t receive the free gift of eternal life by experiencing the forgiveness achieved by Jesus, justice demands that we will receive the punishment we justly deserve.
Jesus must become the Lord of our lives. Imagine your life as an automobile—Jesus must be behind the wheel of your life. Jesus doesn’t want us to clean up our acts, He wants us to surrender our mess to Him. He wants to revolutionize your life at this very moment.
It begins with owning your mess – admitting your sin, repent of it before God, believing that Jesus died for your sin on the cross and receiving the gift of eternal life which Jesus died to freely give you. That’s the real Jesus. He wants to come into your life and give you new life now and eternity in heaven. Please don’t believe some contemporary fairy tale Jesus. Read one of the biographies about Jesus for yourself. Before you decide it’s a big hoax, check it out for yourself. What do you really have to lose?
Can we help you spiritually? Can we help you know Jesus better? Please check out more resources on our church's web page, Gracechurchwi.org. Or, call us at 262.763.3021. If you'd like to know more about how Jesus can change your life, I'd love to mail you a copy of how Jesus changed my life in "My Story." E-mail me at Carson@gracechurchwi.org to request a free copy. Please include your mailing address.