ALIVE FOREVERMORE, Bread of Life, Great Man, Great Prophet, Great Teacher, He is ALIVE, I AM, JESUS IS ALIVE, Living Water, my Source and my Goal, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the DOOR, the GOOD SHEPHERD, the LIFE, the LIVING WATER, the Messiah, the Resurrection, the TRUTH, the Way
JERUSALEM: After all the terror brought on by this wandering Jew, and to His own people, it seemed we were done with him. But somehow, he has managed to stir up even more excitement. Some of his devotees went this morning to tend his body, but they found the tomb EMPTY! Graveclothes on the ground, but no sign of the body of this “King of the Jews!” We will have more from the sight on the evening broadcast.
Most Americans, most Westerners are well aware of the story of Jesus’ capture, beatings, crucifixion, and subsequent resurrection. For many, it’s a case of “familiarity breeds contempt!” – something we know but would rather not be reminded of year after year. For a few, it is something so preposterous, it insults our intelligence. Yet, it persists, year after year … song after song … tale after tale of “miraculous” events attributed to this man, Jesus.
That is he lived once, is fact. That he taught a simple, yet difficult morality, fact! That many “wonders” are assigned to his ministry, hearsay. What are the most “unbelievable” issues surrounding this man and his claim of being the Son of God? What’s the problem of belief?
- his virgin birth?
- his un-detailed childhood?
- his various miracles?
- his character?
- his resurrection?
Most people, it seems, even within other faiths, think of Jesus as a “great man”, a “great teacher”, a great “philosopher.” I have a problem with these claims. While much of his “teachings” are in parable form, there are some rather monumental statements or claims made by this very man.
- Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)
- “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” ; “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” (John 6:35-41 NIV)
- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10: 11 NIV)
- Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9 NKJV)
- Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30 CJB)
- Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (REV 1:8) NIV ; “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (REV 21:6 NIV) ; “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (REV 22:13)
- “25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:25-27 NIV)
He made several additional statements about himself, many in the book of John … all of which expand the image of exactly WHO Jesus said he was, but … these claims don’t really fit in with the program. I mean, Either Jesus is exactly who and what He claims, OR He’s the greatest con-man EVER!!! There really isn’t any room in the middle. One cannot be a “Great Teacher” is half of what is said is a lie. One cannot be a “Great Prophet” is the words spoken are not dependable. So, either He is who and what He claims, or he is nothing.
If a man is known for speaking falsehoods, lies, and deceptions, even if he occasionally does good deeds, is he the kind of man that could revolutionize the world even 2000 years after he was reportedly crucified? Why are there people who insist he is alive today? Will there be people 2000 years from now who claim I am alive? I doubt it. I will live and die in my time as will you, dear Reader, and, but for those who remember us, that will be all that is known here. So why, if Jesus was just a man, is he still celebrated the world over at his birth, death, and Resurrection? Oh yea … the Resurrection! HE IS ALIVE!!!
This is the ONLY logical explanation. He is ALIVE. He is still changing lives. He is still healing broken bodies and broken hearts. He is still freeing people from the weight of our sinfulness. He is still freeing people from addictions. He is still providing for those who call on Him for help. He is still rescuing us from ourselves. HE IS ALIVE!!! The TOMB IS EMPTY, but my heart is FULL!!! Is YOURS?