Who is Jesus?
Jesus is the Son of God. He also is God. He existed before time began. With God the Father and the Holy Spirit, he created the universe and everything in it.
Jesus is the promised Messiah of the Jewish people, the one prophets knew would come centuries before his arrival. He broke down the barrier between God and people when he came to earth as a man. The invisible God took visible shape in Jesus so that you and me could know God.
His mother was a virgin when she gave birth to him, showing us that this child was not made by us, but by God. Even though he grew up with the same struggles we have, he lived a perfect life.
For three years, Jesus travelled among the Jewish people, showing them the way to God. He healed the sick, raised the dead, turfed out demons and did great miracles. He stood up for the underdogs, the abused and the disadvantaged. He demonstrated what the kingdom of God looks like: freedom from sickness, death, evil and poverty, and instead God will give all good things to all of his people.
He announced the good news that God’s kingdom has arrived – that people could turn away from their failure and brokenness and live under a new king. Instead of being ruled by oppressive sin and its effects, they could be ruled by God, who is always good.
And then came the twist his followers didn’t see coming: Jesus surrendered his own life to make it possible for people to follow this new king. He was willingly crucified on a Roman cross, dying a slow and brutal death. It was the punishment of rebels and outlaws, the punishment we should have had but he took instead. In one perfect, infinite sacrifice of the perfect, infinite God as a human, Jesus paid for all of our sins so that we don’t have to.
But even more shocking was Jesus’ return to life three days later. In defeating death, Jesus showed that he is the new king – that he is God. Even though our bodies will pass away like this world, his resurrection shows us that he will give us new bodies and new life in his renewed creation.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and over 500 others. People talked with him, touched him, and ate with him. He had the same body that people knew, still carrying the wounds of crucifixion. But he was also different. He could miraculously appear in locked rooms, and ascended to heaven in front of his followers.
He now lives in heaven, apart from us for now so that his Holy Spirit can work in us. But he will return and reign as king not just in our spiritual lives but in the physical world that will be restored.
Before he left, he told his followers to share what he had taught and showed them with the world. And that was the beginning of Christianity, a following of Jesus that has spanned more than 2000 years. It’s the reason you’re reading this right now.
And Jesus wants you to be a part of this good news. God came to earth and changed everything 2000 years ago, and today he stands at the door of your heart and knocks. Will you let Jesus in?