Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God. This means that Jesus is God in human form. Coming into this world, he lived just as any person would today and experienced the fullness of the human experience. Jesus felt sorrow and joy. He was hungry and tempted. He even died and was buried.
But while Jesus was fully human, He was also fully God. He did things that no human could do. Jesus lived a morally perfect life and never once broke God's commandments. Jesus also healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, cast out demons, and walked on water. Best of all, Jesus paid for sins on the cross, died, and rose on the third day.
We can learn about Jesus's life in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which are found in the New Testament of the Bible. In His life, we get a model of how God has designed for us to live. Jesus showed what it meant to live a life full of love, grace, and compassion. But more than just a role model, the New Testament describes Jesus as our friend, our King, and most importantly, our Savior.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10 (NIV)
What did Jesus do?
Jesus died on the cross. But in order to understand why this is significant, we must first understand the problem of sin. Simply put, sin is rebellion against God's design and intention for our lives. The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were given a command by God but when they were tempted, they chose to rebel against God's command. The Bible explains that this was the introduction of sin into the world, and with sin came pain, suffering, and death to all creation.
Sin separates us from a God who is morally perfect and set apart from the rest of creation. The Bible describes this separation from God as death. This is God's just punishment for everyone who rebels against His commands and His design. The problem is, the Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of God's righteous standard.
But God had a plan to restore a relationship between sinful humans and Himself. God sent his son, Jesus, to live among us. While on earth Jesus preaches about God's perfection, the problems of human sin, and how sinners might experience the forgiveness of God. Offended by His message, the religious leaders of the day sentenced Him to death on a cross.
On the cross, Jesus experienced the fullness of God's punishment for sin. Although Jesus was the only man who had ever lived a perfect life, His death on the cross paid for the full price of our sins. But that is not where the story ends! After three days, Jesus rose from the grave, declaring His victory over sin, death, and the grave. Having conquered sin and death, Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for sin and now offers His payment for sin for anyone who relies on Him.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (NIV)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
How should I respond?
Trust in Jesus! Committing to following Jesus is the best decision that a person can make. It begins with a recognition of who God is and who we are. God is the creator of the universe, who has designed for us to live in a world full of His goodness and beauty. But we are sinners who have rebelled, refusing to live according to what God considers good and doing what God considers evil. In our sinful nature, we may attempt to work toward morality or even religion but our efforts always fall short of what God declares is right in His Word.
In recognizing this, the Bible also calls us to turn away from sin and our own efforts to save ourselves. At the same time, the Bible calls us to turn to Jesus as the only one who can restore our relationship with God. Turning to Jesus means trusting that He is the perfect Son of God who died on the cross and paid for your sins.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9 (NIV)
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