Column: The only thing Jesus ever was
We Christians believe Jesus is everything: life, love, joy, truth, knowledge and good. He is trustworthy, challenging and unchangeable. He is yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever.
Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is eternally present in the Kingdom, and eternally present tense when spoken of. Jesus is today’s news, whatever day it is.
A sermon on the radio recently offered an interesting point. Of all the things Jesus is, present tense, there is only one thing that Jesus ever was, past tense:
He was dead.
That struck me as a great thing to remember, containing great perspective, and a great way to explain our Christian faith.
We often hear in our churches that the thing that makes Jesus Christ different from every other philosopher, theologian, priest, king, poet, pastor, hero or religious leader in history – and “in history” means they lived as a human being – is that all the rest of them are dead.
Are dead. Still dead. Gonna stay dead. When we humans who are alive today pass on – and that’s all of us – we too will stay dead to this human realm.
That’s the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. He didn’t stay dead. Jesus died for our sins. He died to defeat death. He died to assure the eventual and eternal fellowship of all believers in Him to join Him in Heaven – alive – with God Almighty. Jesus died and was resurrected so we could share, trust, and have firm hope in God’s promise of our eternal relationship with Him and our adoption into His Kingdom. Jesus Christ is the way and the reason – “the way, and the truth, and the life” says John 14:6 – that God’s glorious Creation, now fallen, can return to God in glory forever.
When someone, perhaps our child or our neighbor, asks why we believe in Jesus, we can say with full confidence, “Because He died, but now is alive.”
When the world urges us to believe that “all gods are the same,” we can assert truthfully, “No, Jesus Christ – God and man – did what no one else has done: died and returned to life. He lives forever with authority over all things.”
When the libertine insists he must “believe in Himself,” with gracious tact we must affirm that when he, the libertine, dies, he will stay dead.
Only in Jesus Christ will man find life eternal, because Jesus is the only man with eternal life. Yes, Jesus was dead. That He is alive is the best news of all time.
Be sure to tell a friend, and to forgive an enemy. Jesus is alive and watching.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) notes that our faith can die, but Jesus cannot. He’s been there, done that.