“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
It has been a while since I have written a post about my faith and in all honesty there isn’t really a good reason why, but for this week’s post I want to share something profound that that hit me from a sermon our Pastor shared this past weekend.
My church is currently doing a series entitled “Explore God”. This series is being covered by a number of churches across the Richmond area who are all looking at some of the big questions regarding God, Jesus, the Bible and the Church. These questions include;
- Does Life have a Purpose?
- Is there a God?
- Why does God allow Pain and Suffering?
- Is Christianity too Narrow?
- Is Jesus Really God?
- Is the Bible Reliable?
- Can I know God personally?
This week we were looking at the topic, “Is Jesus really God?”
Pastor Shane had 4 bullet points he wanted to look at across the sermon that he believed we needed to consider when it came to finding an answer to whether or not Jesus is God. These were;
- Consider the odds of Jesus being God
- Consider the the Words of Jesus
- Consider the Actions of Jesus
- Consider the Love of Jesus
I’m not going into every part of the sermon in this post, I just want to focus on the part that hit me the most, while Pastor Shane was speaking on the 4th Bullet Point, The Love of Jesus.
During this topic, Pastor Shane began to question why would someone not only say the things that Jesus said but also back them up with his actions. Why would someone claim to be God and hold onto that belief, even if it led to his public execution?
Pastor Shane began to pose questions to himself that he may be presented with by others in response to this; ‘well, wouldn’t you give up your life if it meant saving the world?’ To which Pastor Shane replied ‘Maybe, if it was the whole world, then maybe I might.’
He challenges us to look at whether we would give our lives to save the world if we were in Jesus place and if it meant saving the world then a number if not most of us probably would do it.
But Pastor Shane then takes it a step further and asks; “Would you offer your son’s life? You just have to be a parent to know that answer.”
But you see, since I last really thought deeply about God giving up his only Son to save the world, my perspective has radically changed. I have a son that is only about 2 months from being born into this world.
And when Pastor Shane said this I started thinking about how much I already love my son, how much he means to me and I have yet to see his face or hold him in my arms. And I already no that I would do anything in the world to keep him safe.
I feel a deeper love than I think I have ever experienced for another person before and it brought me to tears the thought of being in a situation where I would need to give him up, even if it meant saving someone, saving the world, and I honestly don’t know if I would be able to do it. In fact I am fairly certain that I wouldn’t be able to do.
Pastor Shane echoed this himself when he continued posing questions that he may be asked in argument, question what if it was to save the whole world and stop them going to hell, to which he replied “I’m Sorry.”
Honestly it would be easy for me to say before this year that if God had asked me to give my Son or I had to sacrifice him to save the world , I wouldn’t have said it would have been easy, but I had no idea that the thought alone of having to do that could have been so difficult.
As I was overcome with tears I began thinking about God giving up his Son, Jesus. I began to think about him choosing to sacrifice his Son in order to save the world. I began to have a new appreciation for the verse:
“At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock… Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people
– Matthew 27:45, 50-53 (NLT)
I can scarcely imagine the anguish that I would experience watching my own son die such a brutal and horrendous death, so I can only imagine that what is described here is the anguish of God the Father in response to the nearing and eventual death of Jesus. The love that an all powerful God can feel for his Son must dwarf the love for my son so much and yet He was still willing to give him… for us.
I found myself asking God, “Why did you do it? Why did you have Jesus die just to save me? I’m not worth it, I’m not worth you giving your Son.” But that is how much God loves me. That’s how much He loves you. That’s how much He loves us. I will never ever understand why, but I know that it was done out of the most sincere and passionate love that anyone ever has, does or ever will experience.
The love and passion I feel for my son, that he feels for His Son Jesus, God also feels for us… enough to call us His sons and daughters if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and follow Him.
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