Who is this Jesus? No one disputes he has played a significant role in shaping human history, but opinions vary on that significance.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was God coming to the earth as a human being, just like you and me. God was not establishing a distant relationship with us, but a close and intimate one. Jesus was God totally identifying with the human predicament.
The Bible tells us that Jesus means two things to us:
Jesus is our description of God
No one has ever seen God. But many people have tried to imagine what He is like. This has led to a lot of different ideas about God. Some think He may be just an impersonal force. Others think he is "life energy" that can be tapped into. Still others think He is "out to get me", like a mean ogre, just waiting for you to do the wrong thing. But what is God really like?
This is where Jesus comes into the picture. The Bible says:
- "[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God..." Colossians 1:15.
- "[Jesus] is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being..." Hebrews 1:3.
- "No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father's side, has made him known" John 1:18.
That means when we look at Jesus, we know what God is like.
Jesus is our point of contact with God
God created us for a close, intimate relationship with Him. But self-centeredness and a God-less lifestyle - what the Bible calls "sin" - was like an impenetrable barrier between us and God. So Jesus came on a mission of reconciliation - to seek out human lives that had been "lost" to God.
- Jesus said: "(I) came to seek and to save what was lost" Luke 19:10.
- The Bible also says: "...God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them" 2 Corinthians 5:19.
This is why the Cross is so central to establishing a true relationship with God. The death and resurrection of Jesus shattered the barrier between you and God once and for all, opening the door for us to return to God.
The issue of who Jesus really is cannot be put aside. Each person must make a decision for himself or herself. If He is not who He says He is, then we can pass Him off as only of peripheral significance for our lives. But if He is who He says He is, then all other priorities pale compared to getting to know this Jesus. He becomes the most significant person - not just in human history, but for you personally.