Perhaps it was the close proximity to Passover, or the recent buzz about digitally remaking the face of Christ from the impression left on the shroud of Turin, but this past week I had two almost identical and protracted conversations about Jesus with two individuals who held to the same position.
The position they held to was what I have dubbed ‘the safety lane argument’ or the copout, wherein they believed Jesus was a good man even a prophet, but by no means the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God come in the flesh to redeem mankind.
Those of you who are familiar with my writings know that I will leave the hatchet in the toolbox when a scalpel will do, so if the following seems controversial, know that it was necessary.
Either Jesus was and is everything He said, either He was and continues to be the Son of God, the Truth, the Way, and the Life, or He was a monster on par with some of the cruelest villains to ever grace the pages of history.
If He was not the Son of God, then He was not a good man. If He was not the Messiah, then he was no prophet. If He was not the Christ, then He possessed not one ounce of love or compassion in His heart.
There can be no safety lane argument when it comes to Jesus. There can be no middle of the road philosophy when it comes to Christ. Either He was everything He said He was, or He was the embodiment of cruelty, with not an ounce of compassion in Him.
Just consider that twelve men who were His closest friends left their families, their businesses and their homes to follow after Him for three years, all the while being persecuted, mocked, heckled, and despised. Eventually all but one of these twelve men were martyred for the sake of Christ. Would a good person allow such a thing to happen to those he considered friends if he knew that the entire thing was a gigantic hoax?
If Jesus was not everything He claimed to be then by the very fact that these men forfeited their lives for Him disqualifies Him from being a good, decent or noble person. Most men, flawed as they might be would not wish such a life upon their enemies, never mind those he considered friends.
When men are confronted with absolute truth, they are forced to make a decision; they are forced to pick a side. Either Jesus is Lord, in which case we must worship Him as such, or His cruelty and heartlessness knew no bounds. One or the other! We can’t have it both ways, and there is no third option. This fallacy that Jesus was a good person but not the Son of God, are merely excuses and justifications for man’s own unwillingness to face the truth.
A man who once persecuted the followers of Christ with the ferocity of a wild beast was once confronted with this truth on his way to Damascus. Later he would go on to write some of the most moving and challenging words concerning the deity, nature and sovereignty of Christ ever to be penned.
1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain.”
Paul did not pen these words from a position of doubt, but rather from a position of full assurance, that Christ is risen, that He conquered death and the grave, that He was and is and forever shall be the Son of the living God, who came to this earth and hung on a cross for the sins of mankind. Christ is risen! It is the unshakable hope we carry in our hearts, which extends beyond this present life into eternity. Christ is risen, and knowing that He is risen, may we worship at His feet, may we obey His voice, and may we praise His holy name.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.