Who is Jesus, is one of those questions that will get you as many different answers as there are people who claim to know him! There are certain things about him that most of us Christians agree on, but after that, look out. If you are searching out answers to whether following Jesus is right for you, I will give you some insights and thoughts of my own on how to decipher who Jesus is.
First, you have to face the fact that Jesus is real and did all of the things that thousands of people saw him do and heard him say. In court, one or two witnesses can get a person put in jail. Jesus had thousands of witnesses to the miracles he performed and much of what he claimed. So, based on the testimony of thousands, Jesus is real. Another fact: most major religions believe Jesus is real. They just don’t agree on who and what He is.
Since you accept that, my suggestion is to get a Bible and read John and Romans in the New Testament for yourself. Many church people take what their Pastor says as gospel and never learn on their own. The truth, as they know it, has been handed down from generation to generation and in some cases, I believe, distorted. Hence, denominations.
John and Romans will give you a good idea of who Jesus is and press the fact that Jesus died for us all and that whoever accepts what He did on the Cross will be saved for eternity. It also stresses that it is by faith ONLY that you are saved, not by any works or deeds on your part (I’ll talk more on this in another post).
Now Jesus made it pretty clear that His purpose in life was to die a horrible death as a sacrifice so that anyone who chooses may trust in Him to give them eternal life with God in Heaven. Because God is perfect and can not be in the presence of sin (sin is anything you did, do, or will do that goes against what God says… lie, cheat, steal, and the list goes on), you can’t do this on your own… it is impossible. However, when you place your faith in Jesus, God looks at you through Him and He is perfect. Therefore, God sees you as perfect and holy through Jesus and only through Jesus!
Now comes one of those stumbling blocks: Jesus was buried after he died on the Cross. Makes sense… however, three days later he was no longer in his tomb! No other religion can claim that one. Rumors ran rampant about how he was removed from his grave, but the truth is, there is not one rumor that makes any sense. Jesus said he would be raised on the third day and sure enough, he was gone.
Since we are basing our exploration on witnesses and not just what I am saying, here’s some more facts. After being killed and buried for three days, Jesus showed up to meet with 11 of his disciples. They talked for a little while and then Jesus vanished into the clouds. Next, He showed up – visibly – to 500 witnesses! Finally, he showed up again to his 12 disciples where he was challenged by one of them…Thomas.
Thomas didn’t believe the others when they said they saw him; and he didn’t exactly believe that the one who showed up this time was really Jesus (This is where the saying, “You are such a doubting Thomas,” came from). Jesus had Thomas insert his finger into the holes in Jesus’ hand and place his hand in Jesus’ side. Thomas responded, “My Lord and My God.”
Jesus said, “You believe because you see me. Blessed are those who do not see me and yet believe.” The Book of John says that Jesus did many more things that were not recorded.
The bottom line: Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are one (I’ll talk about this later, also). God created man to have a personal relationship with Him. He gave us the ability to make choices for ourselves (You can’t know if you are loved unless the other person has the freedom to make that choice). While he has the ability to make us love Him, that would be like programming a computer to say, I love you, every time you turn it on and X-number of times throughout the day.
Since God can’t be in the presence of sin, He created a way for ALL of our sins to be forgiven so that he sees you as perfect and Holy – just like His Son! It’s just like his Son because he is looking at you through Jesus so all He sees is perfection. Because of your faith in Jesus, God promised (He is perfect – He can not break a promise) to forgive your sins as far as the East is from the West.
He gave us this FREE gift – Jesus. Now we have a choice: take this free gift or be a skeptic or non-believer and decline the free gift.
For me it was simple. I had been to churches now and then and heard a sermon or two. I was convinced there was more so I began to read. The more I read, the more I got to know who Jesus really is. The more I got to know Him, the more I wanted to know about Him. What I discovered was that the more you seek out Jesus, the more He seeks you out and responds. He truly wants to be your absolute best friend and take care of you in ways no person could ever do.
He said, “Seek me while I may be found.” Every person is made for eternity in one place or the other! Don’t take your time on this decision to place your faith in Jesus – you don’t know what tomorrow will bring – or even if there will be a tomorrow and it will be to late. Like I said, every person will spend eternity in one place (Heaven) or the other (Hell). It is your faith in Jesus that will secure your place in Heaven and bring you great peace and joy for your raining days on Earth.