There is only one claim that might be more radical than Jesus rising from the dead. It is that Jesus also claimed to be Holy God. Consider these words from Jesus Himself. He states that
“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
This statement drew considerable anger from many of the Jews, as just a few verses later we read they tried to stone Him – in their eyes this was blasphemy.
Elsewhere in the book of John, Jesus declares that:
“… before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58
Here, Jesus is basically quoting God in the Old Testament when God declares Himself to be:
“I AM.” Exodus 3:14
I can think of nothing more radical than claiming to be God. Yet, this is what Jesus claimed and demonstrated. He was God. Correction – He is God. He is very much alive.
Jesus, The Only Hope for Sinners
The truth about Jesus is that He is the eternal, holy, and magnificent God. He existed in eternity past before the world ever was. In Him, creation was made. He is perfectly holy, supremely righteous, and wholly just. Being just, he must also deal with sin and evil appropriately.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:15-20
When sin entered our world through Adam, all men fell and death reigned. As the book of Romans says,
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (v. 3:23) and “The wages of sin is death” (v. 6:23).
Every member of the human race is fatally flawed and stained with sin. Because of this, we’re born evil and we choose evil. We rage war against the laws and morality of God. We lie, we lust, we steal, we hate, we murder, we blaspheme, we make idols, and we deny the very God who made us. All of us are deserving of judgment and eternal death for our sins.
Yet, from the beginning, God had a rescue plan. He made a promise to redeem His people from the guilt, shame, and judgment of their sins. Prophecies were made about a Messiah and in a mystery that was hidden for ages, God revealed that He is Messiah. Truly – Jesus is the Christ.
For sinners, such as you and me, the person and story of Jesus offer eternal hope. Born of a virgin and fulfilling every prophecy made about the coming Messiah, Jesus came to bring forgiveness, life, and hope. God took the form of man, lived a perfect life, and fulfilled the law completely. He was captured, beaten, tortured, denied, and executed by those He came to save. In doing so, He bore the stored wrath of the Holy God. He became the substitute and took the punishment His people deserve; the innocent died for the ungodly. After this, He rose from the dead and established His church.
You can have your sins forgiven if you repent of your sinful life and receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, thereby committing your life to His example and commands. Jesus’ blood spilled on the cross covers your sins and the judgment you deserve is transferred to Him. Instead of wrath, you receive life. This gospel has been preached for 2,000 years by men willing to die horrible deaths for their faith.
For those in Christ, we are credited, or imputed, with the righteousness of Jesus. Meaning, that in the eyes of God the Father, we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Jesus also made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter, and teacher and thereby enable us to live the Christian life. Nevertheless, the effects of our sinful natures linger and will ultimately kill us in this life unless, of course, we live until the time Jesus returns to rapture, first the dead in Christ and then those who are living, prior to the wrath of God being poured out on an unrepentant world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements of Revelation 8 (Trumpet), 16 (Bowl).
Folks, today you are faced with a binary decision. You can choose to believe and trust that Jesus is everything He said He was, or He wasn’t. In denying Him, you remain under the wrath of God and judgment waits for you. Receive Him today! Trust Him! Believe in Him! The Bible tells that “All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There is no sin or evil you’ve committed that grace cannot cover. Forgiveness is available to all who seek it.
Seek Him while He still may be found.
adapted from an article by Jack Lee on April 11th, 2019 “Who was Jesus?” http://www.patheos.com