What about Jesus?

Jesus is still the most compelling figure in history – he either fascinates you or repels you.

Author and pastor Bruxy Cavey said something at a Promise Keepers men’s conference a few years ago that has stuck in my mind ever since.

Cavey said non-Christians often tell him how terrible the Christian church is.  They talk about sexual sins, violence, and theft committed by people who call themselves Christians.

Cavey does not deny or debate what he hears.  Instead,  he asks: “But what about Jesus?”

Great question!

I remember asking that question when someone was raising a number of arguments against Christianity with me.  He didn’t know quite what to say.

Why is that?

I think it has something to do with the character of Jesus – loving, compassionate, and – most of all – self-sacrificing.  He was God but did not consider his shared glory with the Father something to be grasped, but became a man so that we might be redeemed.

That’s hard for us humans to understand.  We are born sinful and are far from the perfection of God.

So, we react to Jesus either by being drawn to him and falling at his feet or rejecting him in fear.  If we believe that he came to die for us and our sins, we can’t help but give ourselves to him.

Jesus had that effect on people in his time.

The Pharisees and Saducees debated with him and sought to kill him because he challenged what they stood for.  They rejected his claims.

But some leaders were touched – Nicodemus among them.  A Jewish leader, he came to talk by night with Jesus.

Nicodemus was trying to hang on to his position while half-believing Jesus.  In John 3, Jesus tells him he must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven.

It’s clear later in the gospel of John that Nicodemus becomes a believer, helping Joseph of Arimathea prepare Jesus’ body for burial after the crucifixion.

This is still true today.

People of all walks of life are struck by Jesus’ love and his self-sacrificing mission to draw them into the kingdom of God as his brothers and sisters.  They surrender to him.

Others reject him.  They don’t want to give up what they have – money, position, anger against others, ideology or whatever.

Unfortunately, it is easy to criticize Christians.

But, to argue against the God who loves you?

That’s hard.

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