Sunday, April 15, 2012

Is Jesus real?

"...But made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:7).

"Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restriction of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile" (Dorothy Sayers, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World).

It is a fact of heaven and earth that Jesus lived on this earth. Jesus' execution is mentioned in the Annals of the Roman historian Tacitus; he writes concerning the so-called Christians, "The name is derived from Christ, whom the procurator Pontius Pilate had executed in the reign of Tiberius." Josephus, a Jewish historian, remarks about the stoning in AD 62 of "James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ..."

Our problem with Jesus is not whether He lived on this earth for history proves it; it's whether we choose to believe it. Our human nature has an enormous difficulty accepting that Divinity would come to us in degraded human form as a Servant, of all occupations. Our human nature demands rights; Jesus requests right living.

If Jesus honored earth today, His family and the crowd would wonder if He was in His right mind, just as they did back in His day (Mark 3:21). The Godhead was His right but manhood he accepted voluntarily. And in this is our hope, for He can exact nothing from us that He has not suffered.

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