Jesus' Message ...
Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Jesus most important words were the claims he made about himself. His message was unlike that of any other teacher of religion. Other teachers have attempted to show us the way to God. Jesus claimed not only to show us the way to God, but to actually be the way. Other religious leaders talked about what we should do to please God. Jesus claimed to be the one who would please God for us, the one who would stand before God as our representative.
This raises two questions. Firstly, what qualifies Jesus to be our representative? He lived an impeccable life of service to others. That was necessary, for only those who are without fault can stand before God. How could Jesus live a faultless life? No religious leader, no matter how wise or compassionate, has ever been faultless. Jesus was a man, but he was more than a man. He showed us God himself! His disciple Philip asked "Show us the Father", Jesus answered "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." On another occasion Jesus asked "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Secondly how, as our representative, did Jesus deal with our faults? God is holy and just. Our disobedience and disrespect could not be overlooked. The only way we could be reconciled to God was for someone else, someone faultless and pure, someone of greater worth than all of us put together, to take the punishment which our disobedience and disrespect deserved.
Every other religious leader of history has died. Jesus died too, but as the Son of God, death could not hold him. Two days later God brought him back to life with a body that would live forever. Because he became our representative, we too can be brought back from death to live forever! A gift too good to be true? Yet it is true! This is the heart of the christian gospel. If you desire to know how you can share in this gift, go to the next section titled:
Our Response ...
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