The greatest questions in all of life are these.
- Who is God?
- Who am I? and
- How do I live?
The Jesus story demonstrates to us that God is eternal love and holy. But I’m so weak and really impure. Through Jesus, God shows us how to live here and with Him forever. The Jesus story reveals to us how we, as broken souls, can connect with God, who is perfect. God wants to connect with me and help me live a life of meaning. The Jesus story is about how I can commune with Ultimate Reality (God), know my true self and develop relational intimacy with Him and others. The Jesus story is about learning to serve others and to communicate about Him. The Jesus story is the reality that even though I think and do bad things – things that violate my own conscience and God’s standard – I can be forgiven and brought into a loving relationship with my Maker.
Here’s the deal. Even though God loves me a lot and made me cool and intelligent, I disobey His instructions in thought and practice. I’m justifiably disconnected from God because of all the dark crud in my heart. Because God really wants a united relationship with me, He sent His unique Son, Jesus (the Jewish Messiah or the Christ), to cover for me.
Jesus really came to this planet. He lived a perfect life. Not only that, when I’m confident in who Jesus is, He will take all the terrible stuff I’ve done (and still do) and put it on Himself. I can be released from guilt and made clean. I can be brought into an intimate relationship with Him. To get close with God like this, I need to agree with God about what He says about Himself, about me, and about Jesus. To connect with God I realize that I can’t fix myself so I put all my confidence in Him to pull me close.
When Jesus was executed (by crucifixion), He was paying the penalty for my bad thoughts and misdeeds. He gave His body as a blood sacrifice for all the horrible junk in me. But Jesus didn’t stay dead. After He was murdered and buried, Jesus came back to life. The resurrection of Jesus is among the most verifiable facts of history. Jesus proves who He is and demonstrates His ability to pardon me by His power over death. Jesus is alive.
When I turn away from confidence in myself (pride), in religion, philosophy or my own good/just deeds and turn toward Jesus, God forgives me and puts His love in my heart. Jesus can pay my spiritual debt, acquit me of my moral crimes, connect me to Himself and give me a life of connection and meaning. (And when groups of us begin to follow Jesus our families, communities and society are also transformed. Jesus changes everything.)
So do this, if you will. Talk to God and ask Him to show Himself to you spiritually. Forsake confidence in yourself and put all of your confidence and hope in Messiah Jesus and in His work on your behalf. Agree with God that you are messed up. Stop doing what you know displeases God. Confess your many faults to God. Ask Him to forgive you – because of the sacrifice of Jesus – and to give you a relationship with Himself. If you do that God will begin to change every aspect of your life. He will put His love in your heart and make you His child. Now, get a New Testament at www.powells.com (or on your mobile: www.youversion.com) and start reading in John. (Or read the scriptures online www.biblegateway.com.) If you’re becoming convinced that Jesus is who He says He is, contact us and we’ll talk.