Who is Jesus?
Who is Jesus?
This is a great question! At Calvary we want to be all about Jesus and following Him. Every failure of the church in history is the result of a failure to follow Jesus and, whereas people are imperfect, we believe that Jesus fully represents what God intends for each of us.
The Image of God
We believe that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 2:9). This means that, if we want to discover who God is and what God is like, we look to the character of Jesus. Jesus fills our experience of God with factual content about God. Jesus actually claimed to be the unique Son of God; he consciously spoke and acted in the place of God throughout his ministry by forgiving sin, healing diseases, and overturning or fulfilling centuries of religious observance that were originally instituted by God in the Jewish Scriptures (Matthew 5:17, 8:13, 28-34, Mark 2:8-11, John 5:39, 8:58, Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13 etc). As a result, the teachings and actions of Jesus have led Christians to conclude that he is either the Son of God, the embodiment of God’s character, or he is a bad man; he is morally bad because he is a liar or he is mentally bad because he is crazy. Because we don’t see evidence for him being a legend, a liar or crazy, we believe that he is the Son of God who went to the cross for our sins.
The cross is a startling logo for a religion that espouses hope and love, especially since the cross was used as a device of torture and execution in the 1st century! Why do Christians' celebrate Jesus' death on the cross? To give a short explanation that, in a sense, attempts to tame an untamable mystery, we have to begin with our sin and wrongdoing.
Sin and Salvation
The Bible says the penalty for sin is death not because God is mean but because sin unplugs us from the living God and the life that flows from Him. At its core, sin is saying no to God and the result is no God and no eternal life that comes from God (Romans 6:23). The Bible also says that Jesus never sinned (he was tempted in every way we are yet without sin) (Hebrews 4:15). So if the penalty for sin is death, and Jesus never sinned, why did Jesus die? The answer is that he died for our sins, in our place, to remove the barrier that separated us from God, so that we could be plugged back into the source of spiritual life (1st Corinthians 15:3).
God did this, not because we are lovely, but because He is love (1st John 4:10).
Jesus' death, however, was only part one of God's saving act. Part two involved God raising Jesus from the dead as the ultimate act of approval regarding Jesus’ teachings and the forgiving significance of his death; this miraculous vindication of Jesus’ agenda separates Christ from every other religious teacher or would be prophet. In the resurrection of Christ God pressed His signet ring into the wax of Jesus’ worldview, lifting it out of the realm of religious guesswork and speculation, infusing it with a divine stamp of approval (1st Corinthians 15).
I know this may all sound crazy to you. That is okay. Wherever you are at in your journey with Jesus we invite you to come explore with us at Calvary. We welcome your questions and your insights as we all discover together what it looks like to follow Jesus in the sacred spaces where God has placed us.