WhyJesus? History tells us that Jesus lived in Israel just over 2000 years ago. The Bible records many of the things He said and did in the four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament. Jesus made a number of controversial statements about Himself including: He claimed to be God (John 10:30); He said that He was the only way to God (John 14:6); He predicted that He would rise from the dead after three days (John 2:19 - 22). We need to evaluate what Jesus said and the impact that He had on those around Him.
There are three options that are open to us as we evaluate the claims of Christ. The first option is that He knew that He was not who He claimed to be, in other words he was a liar. This is highly unlikely, as Jesus died a most painful death simply because of who He claimed to be. Had He been lying it would have been quite easy for Him to denounce His claims and escape the horrific death of the cross. Our second option is that Jesus sincerely believed that He was God when in fact He wasn’t, in other words He was a lunatic. The disciples lived with Jesus for three years, they would have been able to tell if He was mentally unstable in any way. Not only did they live the rest of their lives according to His principles but also many died violet deaths because of their devotion to Christ. Had there been any doubt as to His sanity they would not have chosen to follow Him to the extent that they did. The third option is that Jesus is who he said He was, God living as man, who died for our sins, was raised from the dead and made it possible for us to have an intimate relationship with God. If Jesus really is who He claimed to be what difference does that make to us living over 2000 years later?
Jesus is proof that God loves us and wants us to know Him. It was sin that originally separated mankind from God (Genesis 3:1- 24). Because God is holy and He does what is right, our sin separated us from God’s original design for our lives, to know Him and be like Him. It was in Jesus that God made a way for our sin to be taken away. Jesus, who was sinless, died and took the sin of the whole world on Himself. In doing this He was able to bridge the gap that existed between mankind and God. The good news for us today is that God has already forgiven us, He is simply waiting for us to accept His free gift of forgiveness.
The big question is “How?”
We should not be fooled into thinking that we can do anything to earn God’s forgiveness, God has given us this gift of forgiveness, He is quite clear that it is not something to be worked for (Ephesians 2:8 - 9). Each person needs to accept God’s forgiveness for himself or herself. This process is what the Bible calls being born again (John 3:3). We become born again when we say to God that we accept His forgiveness through Jesus Christ and that we want to start a meaningful relationship with Him. You can do this right now if you repeat this prayer and mean it from your heart - “Lord Jesus, I know that there are many things that I have done that have been wrong. Thank you for dieing on the cross to take the punishment for my sin. I believe that you are the Son of God and I ask you to please forgive me for my sin. Please come and live in me, be my friend and help me to do what is right. Thank you. Amen.” (Romans 10:9 - 10).
Whether you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you are re-committing your life to God it is important for you to link up with other Christians. You need people who will help you to grow in this relationship that you have just started. The Bible teaches that once we are born again we need to keep growing and maturing in our relationship with God (1 Corinthians 3:1 - 4). If you want to know what God is like you can read the Bible, it is His letter to us, telling us who He is, what He is like and what we should be like. You can also talk to God, and He will talk to you. As a born again Christian God’s Spirit lives inside of you (1 Corinthians 6:19) and He will lead and guide you (John 10: 4 & 5).
Jesus made it very clear that life as a Christian is not an easy life (Matthew 10:38) but it is a life full of meaning and purpose (John 10:10). It is our prayer for you that your relationship with Jesus will continue to grow until you reach spiritual maturity in Him.
If you have prayed this prayer for the first time and would like to speak to a counsellor, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011 796 4269 / 4014.