Okay, as anybody who’s been following my blog realizes I put a great deal of emphasis on Jesus Christ. Some of you may be asking this question: “What’s so special about Jesus that we need to focus on Him in the first place?”
That’s a fair question, especially in today’s climate. Christianity is in an apparent decline, if you believe the media. Even the president of the United States declared that we’re a “post-Christian” nation. Islam is the more popular religion in the world at large. If that doesn’t strike your fancy then there’s always Hinduism, Scientology, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, or any number of possibilities to place one’s worship into. Why Jesus?
Let’s start by looking at the central person of each religion. I’ll be general here for space and time constraints. Every religion has a starting point. Usually there’s a man who receives a message from an outer source (an angel, vision, etc.). This information is recorded in a book for others to learn from. A group of people follow these rules and teachings, and Voila! you have a religion.
The man who received this knowledge is revered and held up as a great individual who contributed immensely to society. But what happened to that man in the long-run? I mean, where’s Mohammed now? Or John Smith… Confucius… or any of the other leaders of the countless religions of the world that are so popular? There’s usually a shrine at their grave to mark their existence. Right?
Most of these religions hold Jesus Christ up as a great prophet in the same league as their leader. But He’s not in the same league. Never has been. Never will be. Why? Check His shrine. What shrine? You ask. EXACTLY… there is no shrine marking Jesus’ grave because He’s through with it. Jesus only needed to borrow a tomb for three days.
He told everybody He was going to come back to life before He died and He did it! Just like He said He would. Granted, I haven’t done a thorough investigation of all of the religions in the world today. But, I don’t recall hearing of anybody else who came back to life without any outside assistance from another person.
So, why did Jesus die if He was going to come back to life in three short days? That’s a great question, and a vital understanding of Jesus’ very purpose for coming to Earth in the first place. Jesus’ death was necessary to fulfill all the prophesy written in the Bible about Him. Yes, I’m going to use the Christian holy book to make my defense because the Christian religion started before Jesus was born to Mary.
You see, the other religions begin with the revelation given to the original leader of that belief. The Bible lays the foundation of Jesus’ purpose long before He walked on this planet. As a matter of fact, it goes all the way back to the creation of the whole universe as we know it to tell us the reason for Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The Bible traces God’s choosing of Abraham to begin the race of people who the promised Savior of mankind would come from. The turmoil in the Middle East is merely an out-growth of the animosity against this choosing.
A system of animal sacrifices was established to foreshadow the ultimate human sacrifice Jesus would offer. Other religions have established rituals to mimic an attempt to assuage God’s anger against man’s sin, but they all fall short.
Religions give people the false sense they’re reaching up to God for the forgiveness they’re looking for. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. We can’t work our way to Heaven. That’s why God came down to us. Yeah, you read that right. God came down to us.
That’s why Christmas is such a big deal to Christians. Jesus’ birth was like none other. Not because of the great pageantry surrounding the stable with shepherds seeing angels. But, because of the way Mary became pregnant. There was no man involved with the conception of her egg. God entered that particular egg and became one of us so He could share in our struggles. He took on our limitations for the earthly lifetime of Jesus so He could be the ultimate sacrifice to meet the demanding requirements HE established before the foundation of the world existed.
Accept that last sentence as fact by faith and you will become a child of God and reach Heaven when your time on this Earth ends. Anything short of that is a mockery to the truth established by God. That’s right, God is the ultimate authority on how to get to Heaven, not some made up substitute for God.
But, I’m not that bad. Why won’t God accept me as I am? Because God is a perfect being. He can’t accept anything less than perfection in His presence. Do you measure up, now? I didn’t think so.
This is the crux of the situation here. God is perfect, we aren’t. So, what do we do to be perfect? There must be something. Why would God create people just to be in Heaven alone for Eternity? The answer is: JESUS.
By Jesus being both God and man in one body He was the only acceptable sacrifice that would appease God’s wrath for our imperfection. This is why it’s called GRACE. We can’t do anything to earn this. It’s a gift straight from God to us. It’s a gift for you to open now.
This is where faith comes into play. You have the choice to accept this news as reality, or reject it as foolishness. I can’t make you accept this. It’s a personal decision. The Holy Spirit must convict your soul to accept this as real, but you must allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your soul.
Pray for that exchange to take place in your life right now. Do that and…
I’ll see you later. Wade