Who Is Jesus?
Defeat at Waterloo and the second loss of his empire fresh on his mind, Napoleon was exiled to the island of St. Helena where he would live until he died several years later. Here, he considered life’s meaning and his purpose. His loyal follower General Bertrand recorded a conversation with him.
“Who is Jesus?” Napoleon mused. It was rhetorical. He didn’t want an answer, he was pondering a deeper thought.
“I will tell you,” he continued. “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded his empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for him. I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man; none else is like him: Jesus Christ was more than a man.”
Jesus called himself the Son of Man, which really meant I am human, like you.
He also called himself the Son of God. He said he and God were one, and when you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen God..
He proved it by performing countless miracles, healing countless people, repairing bones and eyes and deformities. He even brought his friend, whose lifeless body had already begun to stink from decomposing, back to life. These things were seen in front of countless witnesses and he was documented historically, beyond the stories and letters we collect and preserve in the Bible.
But Jesus didn’t come to perform miracles. He only proved that he is God by them.
Everything Jesus did was to send these messages to us:
“I Love You.”
The fundamental difference between Jesus Christ and all other personalities, worldviews, faiths, religions is love. His message to the world is that he loves the world. He loves everyone in it. He loves you. Throughout the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – we see story after story of Jesus taking radical stand after radical stand.
Jesus had followers called disciples and apostles who continued taking radical stands. Many of them went on to write letters to church plants, sermons, and documentary of the first activities of the Church of Jesus Christ. These were people who were different, very different, before they met Jesus. And even after they first met him, they knew something was different but they were mystified. They didn’t understand the radical love of Jesus until after he died.
“I Died For You.”
No one really understood what was going on until after Jesus died. They thought that their movement was over. They wanted political change in the ancient near east, but they also wanted to believe in the ideals Jesus expressed. But with his death, they lost hope in the concept of radical love and acceptance.
Three days later, stories began spreading around. People who had long since died and been buried were walking around, alive again. A huge piece of cloth in the Temple’s Holy of Holies – that only the high priest could go into – was torn in half from the top down. The tomb where Jesus was buried was empty. Reports of angels talking to people. Reports of Jesus himself talking to people! All told hundreds saw Jesus after he came back to life.
Jesus died. But then he came back to life. For you.
“I Want a Relationship With You.”
Before Jesus left his disciples behind on earth to return home, he told them to spread around the world the message of hope he had given them. He told them to not just go and tell of Jesus’s love, but to be that radical love. To walk with people and help them know how deep and unconditional his love for them is.
Then he gave his disciples a gift so they could carry on his great commission to them. He gave them his Spirit. He said his Spirit living inside of every man and woman who accepted the truth of who Jesus is would be more powerful to the world than just one Son of Man could be.
After Jesus rose to heaven, when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, they were dramatically changed. Suddenly, they had strength they didn’t know they had before. They understood the things Jesus had taught them. Everything finally made sense.
For the first time, these men and women felt a connection to God. Supernaturally, it was God himself, the Spirit of Jesus, living inside of them.
Jesus is Freedom. For You.
Your life has a unique story unlike any other person’s. God is intensely interested in your story. He wants your story to become part of his story. Thing is this. Your story is broken. You are broken. You make mistakes. You do things that are hurtful to others. You have pains and hurts. You have trauma. You are struggling to cope or at the bottom of your life. Maybe you’re numb. Or maybe you feel like you aren’t broken at all – which is one of the worst places to be.
No one can be perfect. We’re all broken. We all have done wrong.
These things keep us from God. From the supernatural joy we can have in him. And, try as we might, we can’t stop from making mistakes, sinning, or going from one place of pain to another.
And that’s okay. There isn’t a single person who’s perfect.
Jesus came because he wants freedom for us. He wants us to stop the cycle of brokenness. He wants to free us from the distance that we create between us and God. He wants to take us from people who fumble around in the dark to people who turn on the lights and can see him.
A Simple Start.
It doesn’t matter where you are in life. Who you are. How you live. What you think. What others have told you. Your decisions.
There is only one thing that’s important: YOU.
God made a promise with you. If you say that Jesus is Lord, if you know he died and rose again for you, if you want a simple new start to your story…it’s yours. All of it. You can have freedom from your brokenness, your sin, your shortcomings. Don’t think they’ll go away – they won’t. Instead, God says they will not separate you from his love.
He promises to send the Holy Spirit to you. He will adopt you into his family. You will discover that you, at your ugliest and worst, are still the masterpiece of God’s creation. And that will free you from the prison of brokenness in your life.
Read this prayer. If this feels right to you, if you’d like to become a child of God, you can repeat the words below.
Dear God, I am broken and I have failed. I have sinned and done things that hurt myself, others and you…and I am sorry for them. But I trust that what you said is true about Jesus Christ. That your Son died and rose again to put an end to brokenness and death. That you have promised freedom. That you’ll bring me into your family and into life that will never end. Walk with me in life and help me to grow to learn more and to love you. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Congratulations! You are part of God’s family. Anyone else who has accepted Jesus Christ is now your brother and sister! So that we can help you on your new journey, please let us know you’ve just prayed this prayer. We want to celebrate with you! We will also help you with resources, guidance, and prayer.