I’m certain this won’t be the first time this concept is presented to you. But it needs to be addressed over and over again because it is vital.
Jesus was – is – fully God. And fully man.
He was not “a good man”.
It’s Easter week and that means there are numerous documentaries and made-for-television movies lined up for us that outline the life of Christ. Some will be awe-inspiring.
Others will completely miss the mark.
Over and over we will hear the confirmation that Jesus was a “good man” a “world changer” a “man who stood up for the poor and oppressed” etc, etc, etc.
And, yes, we can argue for those aspects of Christ, certainly. But the problem is, if we put Him in that box, that He was just a “good man” or even elevate Him to just a “prophet”, we greatly diminish Who He Is.
He is God incarnate. He is God with us.
He came by choice for our sake.
He came with more of a purpose than preaching “a good message” or shaking things up politically.
Did you know the Sermon on the Mount wasn’t for everyone?
“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them…” (Matthew 5:1,2 emphasis mine) His message is for His followers. Perhaps because unless you follow Him, abide with Him, and obey His commands, you can’t possibly love your neighbor as yourself, or turn the other cheek or forgive seventy times seven. We need the strength and power of God Himself to overcome our sinful nature.
Here’s the deal: Jesus wasn’t a good man. He was– He IS–God.
If Jesus was only a good man — He was a fraud.
He claimed to be God, claimed to be the Son of God, claimed that He would die and be raised to life, claimed that He would go to Heaven to prepare a place for His followers, claimed that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one–no one–could come to the Father but through Him.
If Jesus was only a good man…He was a liar and a fraud for none of the things He claimed could be true.
And if He was only a good man, His followers are fools.
“…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in you sins…If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
But now Crist has been raised from the dead…” (1 Corinthians 15: 17,19,20)
No matter how much some want to say nice things about Jesus, that is not an option: to only respect Him for His “political stance” is not right.
Jesus was not political. Jesus was God. The Word of God made man and come to save our souls.
We–all of us–must choose. You either believe Him or you don’t.
You’re either for Him or against Him. There is no middle road; there is no neutrality with Him.
Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. On that day the crowds treated Jesus just as He deserves. They worshipped Him, welcomed Him with great joy! They asked Him to save them (Hosanna means please save!)
But they misunderstood what He had come to do. They thought He would rescue them from Rome which would have been a great relief…but only a temporary relief. For everyone dies. And Jesus came to save our souls.
The crowds turned on Him days later. They shouted for Him to be executed. They mocked Him as He hung on the cross, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” (Luke 23:35)
If only they had understood: He didn’t need saving. He was saving them…just as they’d asked. He was the Lamb on the altar, sacrificing Himself –spilling His spotless blood for us.
No good man could do that.
No politics can do that.
There is no good man.
Only a good God become man for the sake of His people.
Amen and Hallelujah.
How Deep The Father’s Love for Us (listen here)
“How deep the Father’s love for us
How blessed beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
and make a wretch His treasure
How deep the pain of searing loss
the Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon His cross
my sin upon His shoulders.
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
no gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.” –Stuart Townend
B.D. Riehl is the author, by God’s grace, of The Earth is Full and The Heavens Are Telling, both available here.