Jesus is the most consequential person in Human History. He literally divides time as we know it. Countless songs, books, and poems have been written about him. Millions of people call him Saviour and Lord. Whilst critics would like to silence his name, he still remains influential as ever. So what about this 1st Century Jew still animates the globe?
What’s all the hype about? Let’s find out!
He practiced what he preached
No one makes the case for atheism better than a hypocritical religious person. A lot of people have turned away from God because they’ve had a bad experience with a Christian or the Church. This is an absolute tragedy and should be a wake-up call to my fellow Christians. History is filled with people who have justified the most heinous crimes with religion. Because of this, Religion is judged by its abuse. For all unbelievers who attack hypocritical Christians, let me tell you that Jesus is on your side.
Christians have never claimed to be perfect. We’ve only claimed to serve a perfect God. So if a person wants to look at Christianity, please don’t look at any follower cause we fail every day. Look at Jesus for he is perfect. He is entirely consistent with his words and deeds. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus says to Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. It’s a lofty ideal and can be easy to say in comfort. But you see not only is Jesus a great teacher, but he’s also our example of how to live. When he was on the Cross, suffering greatly by the very people he created, he could have easily brought down judgment on them. Yet he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. He truly loved and prayed for his enemies. In the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus teaches us that we can’t be selective in our Love. It should transcend Race, Class, Gender etc. He lived out this creed through his encounter with the Samaritan woman. This certainly involved a social cost, but Jesus loves all and he showed it.
Jesus truly practiced what he preached. So if there’s any seeker reading, look to Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. We as Christians will always fall short, but Christ never fails.
Truth & Grace
Truth is the most valuable thing in the world. In fact, it’s so valuable said Churchill that it’s often surrounded by lies. The truth liberates as it is the thing that corresponds to reality. But not only is Truth of utmost importance, the way it’s communicated and carried also matters. This is where Grace comes in. Ravi Zacharias correctly points out that “Yes, if Truth is not undergirded by love, it makes the possessor of that truth obnoxious and the truly repulsive”. I believe Jesus ministry was so successful because he embodied this sentiment.
In his encounter with the adulterous woman, he shows us how to truly live this out. He showed unmerited Grace to her but he didn’t just leave it there. He told her to “Go and sin no more”. He acknowledged the sin of Adultery but also showed her Grace. It’s interesting that Prostitutes, tax collectors would hang out with Jesus and yet he never compromised on the Truth. We as Christians need to love people as everyone is on a journey. We can never force Truth especially since the embodiment of all Truth is a person. His name is Jesus.
If we truly want to make an impact, let us never choose one or the other. Jesus showed us that it possible to speak Truth in Grace. God is both Love and Truth. May we always reflect that.
How much you truly value someone is by how much you’re willing to sacrifice. God so loved us that he gave his very best; his own Son. That’s how much he values us but because of our sin, we have been separated from God. God would have been perfectly Justified to leave us rotting in our sin. And yet Christ came and endured the punishment we deserved on the Cross. The Cross was so painful that the word “excruciating” means out of the Cross. The pain he endured was so great, but greater is his Love for us. It’s a love that knows no boundaries and limitations. He loved us while we were yet enemies of him. We are forever his obsession, his fixation. Nothing can ever disqualify us from his Love for it is unconditional.
As I conclude…
If you look at Religion; it is a bunch of do’s and don’ts. It’s all about your performance so that you can be right with God. Every Religious Leader says ‘Follow this way to find God”. Jesus said, “I am the Way and I’ve come to find you”. So won’t you yield to him? He’s closer than a friend and longs for a relationship with you. All you have to do is believe.
For when Jesus said “It is Finished”, I believed He meant it.