Who Is Jesus?
This week, Christians around the world are looking forward to Easter — Resurrection Sunday. We are talking about Jesus, watching films about Jesus, reading stories about Jesus.
Yet, many people don’t really know who Jesus is. Some say he was a good teacher, a kind man, maybe even a prophet. But those definitions fall short of who he was. In fact, CS Lewis says it best when he argues:
“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 the level with a man who says he is a poached egg–or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus was crucified because He claimed to be God – a capital offense to the religious leaders of his day. Blasphemy. Except, of course, that Jesus wasn’t blaspheming. He was speaking Truth. In fact, one of the many statements that upset those religious leaders was when Jesus stated, “I am the way, the Truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
This statement offended people two thousand years ago, and it offends people now. One way? Isn’t that narrow-minded? Arrogant? Unfair? And, sadly, too many Christians have backed away from this Truth, have watered down the reality of who Jesus is in an attempt to make him more “likeable” to the masses.
But Jesus doesn’t need to be made likeable. He doesn’t need us to make excuses for Him. He doesn’t need to be repackaged into some Dr. Phil that makes people feel better about themselves. Jesus doesn’t need our help.
We need His.
People can choose to believe anything they want about Jesus. God gives us that freedom. But that doesn’t change the reality of who Jesus is: God in the flesh. He came to earth, not to make people feel better, but to provide forgiveness for the sins that keep us separated from Him. He offers eternal life to “whoever believes on Him.” (John 3:16) But he doesn’t force that belief on anyone. It is a gift. A free gift.
If you want to know more about Jesus, read the Gospel of John. Don’t read books about the Bible. Read the Bible. See what Jesus said, what He claimed, what He taught, how He lived and died. See Jesus for who He is – not a madman, not a fool, not a great human teacher, but God in the flesh. And wake up Sunday celebrating that reality, falling at His feet and calling Him Lord.