Good News for Dead People – 6 The Right Jesus

RisenThe gospel is not just the good news that we can be saved from Death. It is the good news that Jesus Christ can save us from Death.

The thing is, we often think of Jesus like He is an idea or a character. We talk about His teachings and His miracles. We refer to Him like we refer to famous writers: “Have you read Frost?” Or like we talk about actors: “Did you see the latest Tom Cruise movie?”

What I am saying is that rather than thinking about Jesus in terms of who He is, we think about Him in terms of what He said and did. And, I am also saying that this is not surprising since we also think about authors in terms of what they wrote, and actors in terms of characters they play (likewise with musicians, politicians, and even members of our communities: what people do defines, in our minds, who they are). But, an author is a person, not a collection of writings. An actor is a person, not a portfolio of roles played. Robert Frost is not Mending Wall; he wrote Mending Wall. Jesus Christ is not a baby in a manger, a teacher, or a healer; He did all of those things, but He is the Son of God and the Son of Man.

This has incredible Gospel significance because Jesus cannot save if He is just another teacher, healer, or baby in a manger. But, He can save if He is the Son of God and the Son of Man.

John makes this important point in his first two letters when he first says that anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ or the Son of God is anti-Christ (literally opposite of, or against Christ):

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. (1 John 2:22-23, ESV)

He continues later by adding that anyone who denies that Jesus is human (i.e., Son of Man) is also anti-Christ:

…every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist… (1 John 4:2-3; see also 2John 7)

The point is that the Good News is not that a guy named Jesus lived, taught, performed miracles, and died on a cross. The Good News is that Jesus is God in the flesh, and, therefore, He is strong enough to save us, but weak enough to die for us.

The Good News is that Jesus is a person with a particular nature and personality, and that His nature and personality are divine.


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