Section 10: My question to you
My question to you
Unfortunately, but out of necessity, most of the answers have been brief rather than thorough, exhaustive arguments. As we come to the end of this book I would like to ask you, the reader, a question. Here it is: who do you say Jesus is?
Perhaps it is that very question that got you thinking in the first place, and so you picked up this book to find out more. However, many people today haven’t given the time the question justifies.
As a joke one night Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, sent a telegram to twelve of the most respectable men in London – ‘Flee. All Is Revealed’. Within 24 hours six of them had made plans to leave the country.
We all have dark rooms in our lives; things we wish could be forgiven. We also wonder whether there is more to life than this. Why are we here? What’s it all about? And you may wonder what Jesus has to do with it all anyway?
There is something amiss in the world and our lives. There is an awareness of more than we can see or touch. Jesus is the answer to life’s big questions. The Gospel of John – one of the four accounts of the life of Jesus found in the New Testament – tells us of a meeting Jesus had with a religious leader called Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a good man, a really devout man and a member of the Jewish Ruling Council. He was very important and respected in matters of religion. If ever there was a man who seemed not to need a religious conversion – it was Nicodemus. But something happened to him. He heard about Jesus, His teachings and miraculous works. When Nicodemus came to Jesus he had similar questions on his mind, as we do twenty centuries later: is there more to life than this and what does Jesus have to do with it?
Jesus’ reply is for everyone. Whether you are religious or not, respectable or not, it doesn’t really matter for the moment. Jesus said simply, “Unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.” (See John 3)
Don’t be put off by the phrase with ideas of ‘born again’ meaning tele-evangelists or happy-clappy enthusiasts. Jesus is talking about the new life which can be ours as we are born from above and receive spiritual life. It is simply a description of someone becoming a Christian. You see, according to the Bible, we are not in a right relationship with God – in fact we live against Him. We are spiritually dead! Physically we can move and breathe, but in our relationship with God there is no life. We need to be given life, but how do we get it?
Jesus helped Nicodemus to understand the answer by referring to the early part of the Bible. It was a time when God’s special people, the Israelites, were rebelling against God and everything was going wrong. In fact, their camp was infested with venomous snakes and people were beginning to die. They cried out to God and He answered them. He told them to make a bronze snake and put it at the centre of the camp so that whoever looked at it would be saved. If it appeared crazy what did they have to lose, so they did as they were commanded. They looked at it and they were saved.
Jesus told Nicodemus that this was a picture of His life and work. Jesus said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so I must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life’. (See John 3)
Jesus came to be lifted up, to die on a cross – that was His life’s mission. Death and disaster, guilt and loneliness: they are a result of living against God. But just as He gave the Israelites a way out, He gives us one too. Jesus died on the cross an innocent man. He did it as a substitute for us. We deserve punishment for our rebellion, but Jesus took it in our place. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves alive spiritually, but Jesus will give us new life. We can be born again.
Jesus summed it up perfectly in one of the most famous quotes in the world, whose reference John 3:16 can be seen sometimes placarded at sporting fixtures: ‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.’ Jesus, as He walked this earth, claimed to be God in human form, the Saviour of the world and the only way to God the Father. A few would say He is mad, others think He’s deluded, but who do you say He is? If you believe He is who He claimed to be, I urge you to trust Him as your Lord, your Saviour and your Friend. And do it today.
Do you want to know more? Then please go to my web-site: tell-me-more.org.
Grill a Christian by Roger Carswell - request your free copy!
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