This entry is part 4 of 30 in the series Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics

Christian Bible StudyWelcome to “Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics.” To see all the authors and titles in the series, and to suggest a topic, please go here. Subscribe today to receive the ebook on this series.

 

Here’s a question asked by 24,900,000 people on a monthly average on Google alone. And this is not taking into consideration other search-engines like Yahoo, Bing and so forth… So, who is Jesus?

Everyone must come to a decision about Him. There is no middle ground we can take. While some have dismissed Jesus as a fictional character, others have attempted to portray Him as merely a good teacher. However, both of these assumptions are terribly inconsistent. The truth is, there is no person in human history like the person of Jesus Christ. No serious historian would doubt his existence without risking his own credibility.
Jesus
Considering that we have more historical documentation on Jesus Christ than anyone else in history is staggering. Consider for a moment that a person as widely accepted as Alexander the Great has five ancient sources dated 300 years after his death to attest to his existence.
On the other hand, not only have several non-Christian sources affirmed the existence of Jesus, but there are over 24,000 complete or partial manuscripts dated within 30 years of His resurrection that attest to His existence. To deny His existence while affirming the existence of anyone else in history is tragically inconsistent. Therefore, one cannot question whether or not He really existed; now is the time to decide what to do with Him. This is where C.S. Lewis can be very helpful to us. Lewis famously suggested that we must decide what to do with Jesus, but our choices are limited. We must decide whether Jesus is a liar, Lord, or lunatic.

Lewis writes,

“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.
That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says He is a poached egg — or else He would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.
Either this Man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).

We would never dream of viewing a man, who had claimed to be before Abraham (John 8:58), as having the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:9-11); or He who refers to Himself as the only way to the Father as merely a good teacher (John 14:6). Jesus’ claims are far too bold to dismiss Him as such. So, who is He?

He is the Hope of humankind. Whether He is laying in a manger or walking on water, He exudes a greatness that grips our attention. There is no one who hated sin more, and no one who loved the sinner more. He was so authoritative that demons would flee from Him; yet, so gentle that children would come to Him.

Indeed, there is no one in all of human history like Jesus. When sin had created a chasm that we could not cross and we were incapable of reaching out to God, God came to us. Jesus took the penalty of sin that was due to us and bore the wrath of God so that we may be saved.

In fact, the Father made Jesus, who never knew sin, to become sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). So He took our sins, and as a result, we wear His perfection. This is the Gospel; and it is truly remarkable.

As Tim Keller writes, “The essence of other religions is advice; Christianity is essentially news.” (The King’s Cross). At the heart of Christianity is not advice on how you can reach God, but news about what God has done in history to reach out to you; and He still opens His arms to anyone who wishes to come to Him.

Discuss: Who is Jesus to you? How did you encounter the person of Jesus? What have you experienced through Jesus? It’s your testimony time! 

Next in the series: “Who is the Holy Spirit.” Don’t miss it!


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