Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Choose Jesus


Have you ever had someone ask you why you chose to become a Christian? I always tell them I didn't. I chose Jesus, not some religion. They usually get frustrated with me and say okay- then Why Jesus? I usually manage to make them even madder by then telling them that actually Jesus chose me. But I digress. How did I come to be a Christ-follower when there are so many options to choose from in this world? I thought I would tackle that very question here today. My initial thought was to go all theological on you, but then I remembered how much I hate theological arguments and how seldom they convince anyone of anything. So instead, let's look at these three things that have impacted my faith in Jesus.

The first factor is history. Because his life was recorded in so many different places in so much detail by so many different witnesses, even the staunchest of atheists cannot argue that Jesus never existed and taught. His death by crucifixion is a historical fact, which proves his teaching had aggravated the leaders of the day, be they Roman or Jewish. And there were hundreds of people in Jerusalem who claimed to have seen him AFTER he was supposed to be dead, and who witnessed the ascension. We know that he was here. The question then becomes whether or not we believe he was the Son of God. I grew up in a church in which many people believed that Jesus was an awesome teacher, a great man- but not necessarily the Messiah. I know now that that those beliefs cannot be accurate.  Jesus was either who he said he was- the Son of God - or he was one of the greatest liars in all of history. And I believe history itself shows him to be the Holy Lamb of God, sent to save me from my sins.

Secondly, Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise that God would never stop loving his people. The entire narrative of scripture, from the Garden of Eden in Genesis to the New Jerusalem in the Revelation of John, is about God's search to connect with his creation. In every other religion, the story is about man's search to find a god. It's about trying to be good enough to deserve a god. You can earn your way to god. Jesus came because humanity had proven over and over again that we were no good on our own; we needed a savior. Yaweh came looking for us. Other religions ask, "what have you done for me lately?" In Christianity, Jesus announces from the cross that "it is finished" It's done. I took care of it for you. God has found YOU. Awesome.

Finally- and most importantly- I choose Jesus because I KNOW him to be real. He's not just a character from an old book, he (in the form of the Holy Spirit) walks with me every day.  I speak with him often. And he talks back. Not in a booming voice or through burning bushes, but through the silence and the people in my life.  He saved my life through his redemptive love and amazing grace. To quote the band Newsboys"that's why Jesus is the final answer to who I want my God to be." So why Jesus?  Because- that's why! Blessings to you all!

Because of Jesus,

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