Friday, October 17, 2008

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

Which Jesus do you follow? Have you ever stopped and wondered if the Jesus you worship is the same Jesus that died for your sins? It is interesting to listen to people talk about Jesus. I don’t believe Jesus would allow anyone to go to hell, one person might say. I don’t believe Jesus causes us to suffer, he just allows us to suffer, another might say. It isn’t that big of a deal if we get a divorce, Jesus just wants us to be happy, may be someone’s statement. People make many statements about Jesus. It is popular right now to think of Jesus as a buddy who wants our worship and gets it by standing by ready to pat us on the back and say, “I know you messed up again, but that’s alright.” Maybe we will find him out in the woods cooking pancakes. But is that the same Jesus who died on the cross?

What we know about Jesus is what is in the Bible. We can’t just make up a new Jesus because we don’t like the Jesus in the Bible all that much. If we do, all we have done is give someone else the same name. To do so is no better than what the Children of Israel did when they made a golden calf and declared that it was the god that brought them out of Egypt. We can make up a Jesus that we think is better in some way, but our made up Jesus can never save us from our sins.

The Jesus of the New Testament is the same Lord God of the Old Testament who spared Lot for the sake of Abraham and then turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt because she disobeyed. He is the same God who freed the Children of Israel from Egypt and then made them wander in the desert forty years because they didn’t have faith to take the land. He is the same God who set David on the throne and then took his child after he sinned with Bathsheba. Jesus is a God of love, but he is also just. He will not allow sin to go unpunished.

Before latching on to the idea that Jesus is some benevolent mother who laughs at our sin and says, “boys will be boy,” go figure out how the Bible describes Jesus. That is the Lord we are to worship and the Lord who is able to save us.