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Who Is Jesus? Why Did He Come?

April 3, 2023

This week is Easter week: Christians call Easter, “Resurrection Day.” Easter is about how Jesus was crucified, dead, buried, and rose alive again after three days on the Jewish calendar. It was like, "Will the real Son of God please rise from the dead?" Jesus did, and it reset the world. What was going down now came up.    

When Jesus visited this planet 2000+ years ago, He created quite a stir. Everyone was talking about Jesus. Who is He? Why did He come? How does He heal the sick and raise people from the dead? Where does He get that power and wisdom? No matter what you think about Jesus, it’s evident that someone different was on the scene. Jesus didn't run from the 'mess' humanity was in like the others did. He embraced the 'mess' humanity was in. Jesus did something about it.

So, it might be good to ask this Easter, “Who is Jesus? Why did He come?” 

Some people say that Jesus was Jewish. They have compelling arguments for this: 1) He worked for His father's business. 2) He lived at home until He was 33. 3) He was sure His mother was a virgin, and his mother was sure He was God. Not bad. Yet, there are equally compelling arguments that Jesus was Italian: 1) He talked with His hands. 2) He had wine at every meal. 3) He used olive oil. 

However, other evidence suggests that Jesus was from California or Oregon: 1) He never cut His hair. 2) He walked around barefoot all the time. 3) He started a new religion. Others are convinced Jesus was Irish: 1) He never got married. 2) He was always telling stories. 3) He loved green pastures. That’s food for thought.

Many women suggest Jesus may have been a woman. Why? 1) He fed the crowd at a moment's notice when there was no food. 2) He kept trying to get the message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it. 3) Even when He was dead, He had to get up because there was more work to do. And all the women say, "Amen." 

One time, Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" He wanted to know what people and pundits were saying about Him. So the disciples gave Him the latest reports from mainline news, newspapers, university professors, and religious scholars. "Some say you are John the Baptist; some say Elijah; others say Jeremiah; and even others say You are one of the prophets." All those pundits had different opinions about Jesus. Why? They all made Jesus in their own image. Notice none of the pundits answered the question correctly.

Then Jesus asked His disciples, "But who do you say I am?" In effect, He was saying, “You disciples have walked with me, talked with me, eaten with me, ministered with me, prayed with me, learned from me, and traveled with me. You have a two-way relationship with me. Therefore, you should have a more accurate assessment of who I am than those who have just heard about me. By now, you should have grown past being influenced by others unqualified to assess who I am because of their lack of relationship and competing agendas.” 

Suddenly, the disciple named Peter connected heaven and earth. "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Allow me to paraphrase Jesus' response to Peter and us today. "Peter, you are blessed because the opinion polls, media, and pundits didn't reveal this to you. My Father in heaven spoke to you. Peter, you heard and received the revelation of who I am. I was sent to earth by God to embrace the mess that humankind was in.”

Let's answer those questions at the beginning of this article. 

Who is Jesus? Jesus is the Son of the Living God. 

Why did He come? The first reason was to take away sin, and the resulting bondage sin creates. (1 John 3:5). Secondly, Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one. (1 John 3:8). Lastly, He came for the sake of you, I, and all humankind. (1 Peter 1:20).

Author Max Lucado explains who Jesus is and why he came in the following narrative. “Jesus came from a faraway kingdom...went uncover as a man...started His universal ministry as a baby...had a low paying blue collar job...did not have one religious person on His Board of Directors...became a friend of the crowd on the other side of the tracks...spurned the educated and religious elite of the day...afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted...died as a criminal among criminals...had quite a dramatic recovery...first appeared to a bunch of outcast women after His resurrection and then to others...started a movement with twelve unknowns...and His movement is still going and growing today.” That's what I call embracing the mess. 

Did you see that last reason for Jesus coming to earth? “For the sake of you and I.” Jesus took what we deserved so we could get what he deserved. Incidentally, the best this world can get is you, being you, with God all over you. 

Happy Resurrection Day, or Easter, whichever you prefer. 

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
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