Jesus Christ is often seen as one of the greatest religious teachers to ever live. Others see him as either a liar or a lunatic. As Christians, though, we see him as Lord — the promised Savior of the world who delivered us from our sins through his death, burial, and resurrection. Without Jesus, we would still be lost in sin and suffering… without hope. But, because he chose to suffer on a Roman Cross on our behalf, we are now able to know God on a deep and personal level.
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus walked the Earth as 100% human but also as 100% God. Because of this combination, Jesus could fully empathize with us in our pain as a human. Yet, because he was without sin, he was able to rescue us through his perfect life, death, and resurrection. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus actually emphasized his dual nature by calling himself the “Son of Man” (Matthew 12:8, Matthew 26:64, Luke 19:10, John 5:27) while claiming to be equal with God (John 10:30). In many instances, Jesus performed many miracles and forgave people of their sins… something only God could do.
Because of his claims to divinity, Jesus was labeled by the Pharisees, or, teachers of the Jewish law, as blasphemous. Instead of seeing Jesus as the Messiah (or “anointed one”) that was promised throughout the Old Testament, the Jewish religious leaders saw him as upsetting the status quo and their ancient traditions. Because of their unbelief, they couldn’t see the Savior they were waiting for, even when he was right in front of them (Matthew 16:1-12). This is why they killed him… because they wanted to hold onto their old ways rather than accept a new way of living.
All that Jesus did, including dying and bearing our sins on himself, was born out of his love for us. When he rose from the dead, he invited us to experience that unconditional love as His adopted children and taught us a new way to live… to live for God’s glory! After he rose from the dead in Matthew 28, Jesus told his disciples to spread the gospel to the ends of the Earth… sparking a global movement. As a result, Christianity has now become one of the leading religions in the world, influencing Western civilization and culture for the past 2,000 years.
While impressive this may be, Jesus never invited us into a world-changing religion… but rather a life-changing relationship. In fact, Jesus was the one that upset the religious establishment of his day because he knew that religion was never what God intended for mankind in the first place. Instead, God wanted a restored relationship with humanity, just like the original relationship in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived directly in God’s presence. And that’s what Jesus Christ invites us into — a personal relationship that we were created for.
Who do you say that Jesus is? Liar or lunatic? Teacher? Savior? If you haven’t done so already, we pray that you would accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. For more on how to make that decision, read this article. To continue learning more about who Jesus is, we encourage you to read the following articles found in our “Who Is Jesus?” blog series.