I have asked that question a lot lately. Why Jesus? And as I prepare to go to a small group of middle school girls.. I have myself thinking why Jesus? Why choose and live for Jesus?
Now tons of people have written books, preached sermons, sang songs and even devoted their life to this question. From the Case for Christ to Velvet Elvis and everything in between, on the book side, I’ve read a lot of them. Lots of them fantastic. And really the Bible is probably the best source for the answer to this question. And as a disclaimer.. this is not a post of debate or argument. If you feel differently – that’s you. I am not a scholar by any means but this is how I believe and how I work out my own doubts and questions.
The real question is why of all the ways you could believe or not believe and ways you could choose to live your life, why live for Jesus? Why call yourself a Christian? Almost ten years ago I made a line in the sand for myself that I was going to choose to believe in Jesus. I had some pretty personal reasons for turning to Christ but when healing progressed and life became a little easier, why did I continue to have a relationship with Christ? I truly believe that there is no other way I would want to live my life. So why Jesus?
I have to first start by saying that I use the Bible as how I measure the standard for my life. In order to do that, I need to know what it says, not blindly follow my senior pastor (but he is pretty cool) or a DVD Bible study series (and those are good too), which means I need to open it up and read it. As I read it I find out who Jesus is. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that what says is true not only because it says to but time and time again the promises of God have been confirmed in my life. He has done some amazing things that have me going, am I really this special? To God, yes, I am. So I can truly say that the God of the Bible.. is my God. Father, Son & Holy Spirit (but we can get to that later)
Jesus came to the earth so that our sins could be wiped clean. He felt everything we feel on earth and yet he is fully God. He is our redeemer and restorer. He came to show us the character and nature of God the Father who loves us and created us. He intercedes on our behalf. He is compassionate and all loving. The Gospels are all over this. Isaiah professes that Jesus would be our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. He offers salvation graciously. He brings light to darkness and hope in the face of uncertainty. Because of all of this, I listened when Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” and followed him. I haven’t chosen to follow Jesus because I am afraid to go to hell but because I can’t imagine life without Him. It’s not about rules or restrictions, just a desire to please God.
10 years ago I was deeply insecure and was looking for anything to make me feel like I belonged in this world. That caused some tragedy. Like many I have faced some pretty awful realities and lost people I have loved. I walked in false striving perfection and feared anyone really knowing me. It sounds pretty dramatic but when it comes right down to it this was who I was.
Now I am far from perfect at this point of my life.. but I know where I stand with God. I know He loves me- the real me. The one that gets worked up about weird stuff. The one who loves shoes and pretty things. The one who has always wanted to do everything when she grew up. The one who just needed someone to fight for her.
So I as I go to ask lots of questions of a bunch of 6, 7, 8 grade girls.. I’ll hold this in my back pocket. Not terribly scholarly or well read but filled with heart.