Tuesday, 29 July 2014

More Unique Things about Jesus

All other world religions, apart from Christianity, follow the teachings of their founders' moral or religious principles or prophecies. These founders all died elderly, surrounded by devoted followers.

Christianity does not follow precepts, but a Person, Jesus Christ. Jesus is unique among the founders of religions in dying as a young man, deserted by all his male followers except one, hated by the religious establishment who were prepared to torture Him in agony at a public execution, following a rigged trial using false witnesses. What an end! The intention of these leaders was to kill nascent Christianity - stone dead. After such a fate, any religious teacher would be utterly finished - unless they were vindicated by the One who matters - God the Father.

By raising Him from the dead, God vindicated all His claims to be His unique Son and everything He said. Jesus was not resuscitated like Lazarus. He was raised in a special and different resurrection body that could walk through walls, eat and disappear. Even His claim that He will sit on the Judgment Seat on the Last Day and decide the eternal destiny of each one of us, was vindicated by this Resurrection.

His teaching that He will judge us "sheep" or "goats" based on whether we have put Him squarely on the throne of our life, this claim, too, is vindicated by the Resurrection. Of course, the judgment of Jesus is a deep mystery. There are criteria that we are not allowed to know for sure - such as how He judges the mentally ill, or people who never heard the Gospel.

Jesus is also unique in His authority. He did not quote prophets, higher authorities or rabbis to justify what He says. He does not need the authority of any human being. For example, when they asked Him about marriage in Heaven, He said there is no marriage in heaven. Does anyone question that? No, because it sounds both authoritative and right. The Pharisees kept asking him, as if he were an academic, "What is your authority to teach these things?". They got the answer that He was speaking the words given by His Father, in whom they did not believe...

He was the Teacher for all Ages - far above all mere human teachers. “I say unto you….” was enough. No prophet will ever supersede Jesus: He is the First and the Last. His words, He said, when the world passes away, will remain forever.

People noticed His authority: “Did anyone ever teach like this?” the people asked. Have His words passed away from this world? Have His words lost any of their authority today? We can test out a few of His authoritative sayings:

“You are the salt of the earth” One would not have any evidence to argue with Him about who the salt are even today. We do not doubt that they have a crucial mission in the world - if He says so.

“My sheep hear my voice”His voice would control every fibre of one’s being, if one is a "sheep"..

“Your sins are forgiven”No one doubts that these particular sins are forgiven (except the Pharisees who thought this was blasphemy).

As the crowd observed, has anyone ever taught like this, with this level of authority in living words that cut into one’s heart as freshly as if they are being spoken today? As someone else said, “When Messiah comes” ....will he be more convincing - than this Man?


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