Sorry all my Emergency Ministries folks that it has taken me so long to get this post together an online; we had a special event on Friday night (which rocked!) and some other things got in the way. However, I have not abandoned you…here is “what I mean to say” this past week at Emergency Ministries.

There are just some things that are meant to be together, right? PB & J, babies and diapers, old people and handkerchiefs…those sorts of things. There is another pair of things that are absolutely necessary to be together; the message of God and Jesus Christ. You can’t have one without the other and if you try you will have a deficient message.

In his new book, Rob Bell sums up Christianity as this: “For God so loved the world…”. This, however, completely ignores Jesus Christ and his time on earth. It ignores the fact that Christ died and was resurrected (which is what we are celebrating at Easter). Basically, Rob Bell has decided that the message of God can go forth without Jesus (in some times and in some cases) and to that I must fundamentally disagree. Jesus Christ IS the message of God and it cannot be separated.

John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

So why would you want to remove or replace Jesus? Maybe people do not want to admit that they need someone, that they cannot always have everything together all by themselves. Some people have failed to realize that they are messed up just like everyone else; I guess being messed up is pretty normal. Some people just like church and how it makes you feel; they like the treats, the music, the friendly faces…but they are not interested in Jesus. Church is their social outing. Others reject the violence inherent in the story of Jesus and still more people think that the whole notion of Jesus is just a cute little kid’s story that is not real (just like Barney and the Wiggles…and thank goodness for that!).

Nothing, however, can ever replace Jesus Christ in the message of God. Why you ask? I’m glad you asked. Lets take a look at Jesus’ resume….

Jesus claimed to be sinless.

John 8:46 “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?”

2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

This is a central hallmark of Jesus: he lived as we did but did not sin. Jesus was born to a virgin (Mary) and was distinctly different in that while he was human he was not subjected to the brokenness of humanity. Jesus was tested in every way that we are; this should be encouraging for us because he gets it! He gets us! It could have something to do with the fact that he is…GOD. Which leads us to line number two on Jesus’ resume…

 

Jesus said that he is God.

Many other faith groups provide answers to questions that in some cases actually work. Muslims have ways to resolve conflict within their people groups; it is called Sharia Law and has proved to be successful in the governance of their own people.

Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexuality, hygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting. Where it enjoys official status, Sharia is applied by Islamic judges. (Wikipedia)

What Sharia lacks and what other worldviews lack is something greater than themselves for those times when things get too escalated and go beyond what they can handle as human beings.  When you have a conflict with another student at school, who does it go to? It goes to the Vice Principal, someone with a greater position, authority, age, and direction.

So, what happens when the greatest, oldest, most authoritative person on the earth encounters things that he/she cannot resolve on their own?  What happens when even Buddha and Mohammed do not have it all together? (Mohammed had to repent of several sins committed against the words of the Qur’an) What hope is there then?

The message of God says that there is hope in something greater than us…and that hope is in Jesus Christ.

John 8:19 “Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.””

John 14:9 “Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

Because Jesus is God and is greater than us, he can therefore do things that no human could ever do…like this:

 

Jesus can save us from sin and death.

We read the bible that sin leads to death. Imagine if God was the life giver and turning away from him was death. Imagine Rapunzel in the recently released movie TANGLED…her hair was the life giver and so losing access to it was tragic.

Jesus not only pointed out the fact that life apart from God is death, he showed us that God had the ability to overcome death! Jesus returned to the living after three days dead!

John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

Notice something interesting here; Jesus refers to himself and not just a group of teaching….he always say I!

 

Jesus points us to him, not just his teachings.

Jesus does not say that you need to be good people to earn his favor; we talked about that last week. Jesus does not say that there are rules that you have to do all by yourself in order to make him happy. In actual fact, he points to himself and not a list of teachings.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus presents himself and invites people to get to know him. Jesus says that there is a spiritual part of you the needs to be fed; he wants you to feed it with him.

So, embrace and feed that spiritual part of yourself. Feed it with Jesus, the one whose resume has shown that he is greater than us and therefore can be there to do the things that we cannot.

 

p.s. Next week I will endeavor to be more prompt!

 

 

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