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Who Is Jesus?

'The Incredulity of Saint Thomas'
34thomas.jpg
by Carravagio (1601-02) accessed at http://www.wga.hu/art/c/caravagg/06/34thomas.jpg

After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."  Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."  Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"  Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." 
(The Gospel of John 20:26-29 NASB)

Who is Jesus? This question has been on the human mind for two thousand years. In short, Jesus is the person that God sent to restore creation to himself, to enact his kingdom here on Earth, and who now reigns as Lord over all.



In the beginning, God created the first humans to have intimate fellowship with him and to represent him by having dominion over all of creation. God made these humans in his own image; he breathed his very breath into them. Unfortunately, humans rejected how they were created and broke their unique fellowship with God, which resulted in their own death since they rejected the one who gave them their very life. All humans afterward have committed even more terrible acts; and evil has spread throughout the entire world.

Motivated by love, however, God made a way for humans to re-enter into the fellowship that he had originally intended and he made it possible for all of creation to be restored back to himself. Jesus is this way. God sent Jesus, his representative who is the very image of the invisible God, to bring God's healing love and power to bear upon all of creation, to restore all humans who are willing to be restored, and to begin the process of renewing the entire world. Fulfilling the entire story of the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus suffered a horrible death on behalf of humanity and, through his crucifixion, he took upon himself the full force of sin and death, the entirety of pain, evil, and suffering in the world. But thankfully, the story does not end with Jesus' death. God resurrected Jesus after his death and through his resurrection, God declared Jesus Lord over all. Why? Well, the resurrection of Jesus was no mere resuscitation of a lifeless body. This resurrection was an entire new mode of being, a new kind of life the likes of which all of those who hail Jesus as Lord will share in one day when he finalizes his kingdom once and for all and all of creation is renewed and restored. The resurrection of Jesus was the beginning of God's New Creation and the beginning of God ruling the world in an entirely new way. Thus, Jesus is Lord.

Those who accept the fact that Jesus is Lord are immediately thrown into this amazing story. But, again, the story does not end there. When someone puts their trust in Jesus and accepts his death and resurrection, God sends his Spirit, his personal empowering breath of new life, to live in that person. When that indwelling of the Spirit happens, the individual becomes part of God's New Creation, and God will empower him or her to live out the New Creation life with God and with others. Through his amazing love for us, God has paved the way for us to enjoy him, and the rest of creation, in a wonderful and intimate relationship -- just as he originally intended.

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