The first question was often asked when Jesus walked on this earth. Just who is He? There were all sorts of opinions. Jesus affirmed that He was God, the One who has never had a beginning of existence — He has always been there. And that He was the Creator of all that exists. The eternal God came down to this earth and shared in the common human experience.
History records that, though He was not guilty of any crime, He was put to a torturous death by crucifixion. While as the Creator, He had all power and could have saved Himself, He voluntarily submitted to such a humiliating and painful death, at the hands of those He had created. Why would He do that?
It was because sin — that is, disobedience and rebellion against the Creator – – had caused estrangement between God and mankind. There was hostility.
Because God is a God of great love, He wanted to arrange for a reconciliation. The penalty for sin was death — not just physical death, but eternal death. Jesus paid that penalty for every person who would confess their sins, cease their rebellion and put their trust in Him. He became their Substitute.
Three days after being executed, He transcended all natural and human experience by coming back to life. In His resurrection He proved that He has conquered death and that He has unlimited power.
Is all of the above merely interesting history, but little more? Should these events which happened about 2,000 years ago, should they matter to me? If you donâ€™t really believe these propositions, but in the end it turns out they were true and you were wrong, then you have lost big time, and without any chance for reversing your stand.
The most basic truth is that Jesus Christ is the only way to be reconciled with a seriously offended God. Yes, there are any number of other voices claiming that they are an equally acceptable way to God and to heaven. But the Bible, the Book of Christianity, insists that Jesus is the one and only way. It is possible to be tragically deceived by these other siren voices.
The Bible further says that since Jesus rose from death and is alive today, a relationship with Him is possible. It is even desired and essential. Such a relationship is entered by repenting of our sins, submitting to His leadership and trusting or believing His Word. Baptism is normally the public sign of such a commitment.
Sometimes people cannot understand how there could be a â€œrelationshipâ€ with someone whom they cannot see. God is invisible to us. What about â€œhearingâ€ Him? We hear Him through reading His Word, the Bible. And we must never forget: Just because we cannot see Him, does not mean that He cannot see us. He can. And though invisible to our natural eye, He offers to be with those who turn to Him, even to the end of the world.
And what about communicating with Him? Friends who really love and care about each other, like to talk to one another. How do we talk to this invisible God? Through prayer. In Matthew 6:5-15 Jesus gives us very basic instruction about praying. It is not speech in some strange vocabulary. It is like talking to a best friend. It is sharing your anxieties, your struggles and having a supportive Friend.
How important is God to us and to daily life? God is the One who generously gives us life itself. He is the Provider of every good gift. (James 1:17). We are far more dependent upon Him and His kindness than we have any idea. And as far as pleasing and serving Him, Jesus told us in John 15:5 that without Him, we could do nothing.
Then, as different people in a given area come to know and experience a relationship with Jesus Christ, it becomes increasingly important. And somehow they find themselves being drawn to others who have also shared this renewing reality. Like a group of people who all share an interest in a particular hobby, these people all share a personal friendship with the living Christ. It is the most unique honor, and it opens all kinds of doors of opportunity and blessing.
This â€œdrawing togetherâ€ is called community. And it is essential to all. If you are standing around a fireplace, or a campfire, and you take the tongs and remove one blazing piece from the fire, and you lay it aside by itself, very soon it will stop glowing. It will grow dark and finally get cold. This is an illustration of how Christians need regular contact with one another. They encourage one another. They support and counsel each other. They hold each other accountable.
A saint of long ago once said, â€œThou (God) hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in thee.â€ And someone else has suggested that there is a hole, an emptiness, a vacancy in every human heart, and it can only be filled by a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Is your inner self hungering for something you have not really defined? Have you tried finding satisfaction in all kinds of things which the world offers? And you still feel empty? Would you like to turn to Jesus?
You can. You can say that following prayer, and the invisible and almighty God will hear you, and will receive you. (John 6:37) Just pray:
â€œLord Jesus, I believe that you died for me and that you are alive and listening to me right now. I repent of my sins and I ask Your forgiveness. From this moment on, I choose to live for you and no longer to please myself. I want to do Your will and not mine.
â€œMake me the kind of person You want me to be. Make me more and more like Jesus. Fill me with the Holy Spirit Who will teach me and help me live for You. I receive You as my Lord and my Savior, and I love You. Amen.â€
If you have made such a decision, we invite you to write us and share that news.