Why Jesus Stands Out
Growing up, I always found it tedious and even unnecessary being forced to go to church. I never liked it. I hated to have to wake up when I just wanted to sleep in and to top it all up I never even fit in with the sunday school kids.
Church became to me so routinely wired that I found it an inconvenience. I never benefitted socially (no friends) emotionally or even spiritually (noting I would sneak out during mass to play at the swings). I came to really despise going church.
However, things eventually come to change when we grow up and have to start making life changing decisions because this is where we really mess up our lives and start calling out to God. You see, when you are living under your parents or guardians, chances are high you follow the rules of the house but when you are on your own, nobody can really tell you what to do.
The reason why I began by shedding some light on parts of my childhood growing up is because as a child, I never really related to any church activities. It was more of a routine and I never truly understood the concept of why Jesus had to die. Therefore, it felt fraudulent to me – attending mass – since I never connected or made much sense of anything.
I honestly believe this is what happens even with most religions today. We view going to Church, the Temples, Mosques, etc., as an important and vital part of our lives but for many, that is as far as it goes.
Speaking for Christianity, this as well, has caused Jesus to be reduced to just another religious man.
For many, they view Him as one of the many ways to God; sadly even some christians believe so. In fact, I was guilty of this as well. It is not like I am some rare exception.
I had once even written on religious beliefs at some point before I began understanding by the help of the Holy Spirit what the sacrifice on the cross really meant.
Thus, I no longer judge people based on their beliefs but only seek to reason with them from the scriptures.
This post therefore, intends to expound why Jesus is above all things: the only way to God.
A high percentage of religions incline towards theism, that is, agreeing to the existence of an infinite God or even gods. However, every religion in the world as well, also claims to have their own way to reaching God or this Infinite Being.
Delving into each and every one of these religions we soon recognize something interesting. Let us review a few examples:
✓Take Buddhism, you have to practice the eight noble truths diligently and have regular meditation with the hopes of one day attaining the state of nirvana (meaning to touch the infinite).
✓Islam teaches about daily prayers (salat); giving to the needy (zakat); declaration of faith in one God and belief in Muhammad as a prophet (shahada), fasting during Ramadan (sawm); having your good deeds outweigh your bad ones and if possible, a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in one’s lifetime if one has the means (hajj). According to Islam, there are no intermediaries to God. They hope to attain paradise by diligently and faithfully following these five pillars mentioned above.
✓Hinduism teaches about reincarnation and karma, in that, you experience rebirth in the next life as a better or worse state of existence depending on what kind of life you previously lived. Also believes you can be reincarnated to animals. Salvation can be attained by either works, way of the knowledge or devotion to the way.
Their doctrine teaches that the soul never dies, but instead passes from one kind of body to another. If the life has been good, the soul may move up to the level of a holy man; if it has been evil, it may sink to the level of a rat, a dog or an insect.
✓Some christian churches also preach working your way to God. Things like: being a good person, faithful praying, intercessions through saints, kindness, tithing, helping the needy, doing many good deeds etc. (Sadly, all of these deceptive teachings are done in the name of Jesus.)
Do you notice a pattern here? At some point, to reach to God in all these religions, there has to be a form of works needed. We could go on with all the different belief systems in the world and still end up with – works.
Additionally, none of these solve the problem of experiencing God’s forgiveness for all our sins (reconciliation with God), without receiving perfect justice for our sins.
Because if we argue that for men to have a right standing with God, their good deeds should at least outweigh the bad; or they should give to the needy regularly, or they should have good hearts and be kind, we are still left with the pending issue of perfect justice for the lies we tell/have told, the evil thoughts we think/have thought, the things we steal/have stolen, the unfair ways we treat others sometimes and so many other things.
Surely, these evils cannot be counteracted by the good deeds we do, or kindness we show to others no matter how good the intentions are or how many times they are done. Even if we did good deeds only all of our lifetime, but we steal/have stolen or lie/have lied, at some point in this life, those evil deeds demand and deserve: perfect justice.
Now, I would like to direct us to the story of the tower of Babel. This story is actually a clear depiction of what is happening with all the religious systems of the world today. The tower of Babel was also man’s attempt to reach God and if we observe what God did, He confused their languages.
That is interestingly odd right? Why would God do that?
The problem begins at the Genesis; sin: act of evil doing, trespass, disobedience to God.
God is Holy and we have fallen short of His glory, thus, we cannot have a relationship with Him in sins and trespasses.
We lost that relationship when the first man Adam disobeyed God in the garden of Eden and fell into sin.
When God confused their languages, it is highly likely if not definite that they disintegrated and went about their own ways; eventually coming up with their own cultures, beliefs and subsequently, ways of trying to reach God.
Today, there are roughly 4,000+ religions in the entire world; all trying to reach God in their own way. And with all these religions, each of them has their own way to reach to God (as we have broken some of these ways down in the examples above).
And they all end by each and every person working their own way to salvation.
Then Comes Jesus Christ
The Way — Jesus claimed to be the only way to God.
This was a bold claim!
This is a truth claim made by all other religions as well.
So, as an interrogative researcher, I will not let Jesus off easy. How did He corroborate His claim?
Before we even dive into any Bible verses, let us try logic. We have seen that men have attempted to reach God and failed miserably. In fact, we are almost at 5,000 times of repeated failure. So what is the problem? Doesn’t God want us to know Him? Doesn’t He desire we reach to Him and even know Him?
He does. But not on our terms; on His terms only.
God is not a God of confusion, I believe we would all agree here. And because He loves us infinitely and desires that we should reach to Him, He reached out to us first – but on His terms.
Notice: He initiated the reconciliation process first; because it was impossible for a finite being (man) to touch the infinite (God). But very much possible for an infinite being (God) to touch the finite being (man).
We cannot touch God as fallen men, but through Jesus Christ we have direct access to Him. After centuries of misunderstandings about who God was, God Himself revealed Himself to man in a way that man could grasp. This is a mystery that baffles me even to date: that God became a man.
The one man Jesus Christ.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6)
Making all other attempts to reach God void. Also, offending many who would try to claim that there are other ways to God.
However, I do believe that there are many ways to Jesus because people encounter Christ differently as He reveals Himself in many ways to those who desire to know God personally.
The Truth — now this is where most people get mixed up because there has been a great misconception and misinterpretation with this statement “I am the truth.” Most people believe by Him saying that he was the truth He actually meant— ‘His actions were true.‘ Not so.
If we believe that truth is absolute, then there cannot be two truths. It is simply impossible. People all over the world are always asking the question: “what is truth?” Even the courts of law where men seek justice, also demand to get to the bottom of a matter; they demand truth, fairness and justice.
Pilate too, asked Jesus, what is truth?
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
And the answer to that question stood before him. In front of him was a man claiming to be the embodiment of all truth. And He not only claimed it, but proved it by speaking of His death and resurrection before the events occured. And subsequently, dying and resurrecting just as He said He would.
He was the truth. Note: He never said, “my words are the truth.”
He said, I AM THE TRUTH.
So let us replace the word truth with Jesus, not in scripture but just for understanding this point.
And ye shall know Jesus, and Jesus shall make you free.
Every single man under the sun is a slave; a slave to sin. We are all bound to sin and struggle with fleshly desires.
But God initiated the reconciliation process through His son Jesus Christ, that all those who would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life.
Because the wages/payment of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus – Romans 6:23
Meaning, God declared the wages/payment for our sins was death. However, if anybody would believe in Jesus Christ, He would give them a free gift: eternal life.
The life — Jesus also claimed to be the life. So let us break this down. What does it mean to have life?
To actually be/exist
Going back to the genesis of all things (because there are many who claim that Jesus never existed until His birth about 2,000 years ago).
We find He existed in Genesis 1:1, 26 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Who is God refering to as Us? And why does He say ‘Our Image‘ or according to ‘Our likeness‘?
God as being one existing in three persons: coequal, coeternal, consubstantial divine persons — God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons sharing one (essence).
Trinity in Unity: neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
Now, if Jesus is the life, and in Him all things come to life, then doesn’t Genesis 1:1 say that He created all things?
Okay, let us go a bit further and be skeptical for those who say “it does not say Jesus created heaven and the earth but God.”
Then let us go with God.
Who created the heaven and the earth? God. What created the heavens and the earths? The Word of God.
John 1:14 — And the Word was made flesh [Jesus], and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus told the Pharisees, before Abraham was, I AM.
He brought life into all things; He healed, restored and resurrected the dead. That’s is why He is the life.
All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
We have looked into all Jesus’ claims— I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me.
Now, we are left with a conclusion to make.
Was Jesus a mad man or was He exactly who He claimed to be?
This point here is where the rubber meets the road for most people. Because if He spoke the truth, then all humanity MUST come through Him to get to God. But, if did not speak the truth then those who wrote down these first-hand accounts of his life (his disciples) were deluded and our faith is a sham; meaning that all His disciples/followers have been lying about God.
And if then He is a liar, we still have no truth, no life and no way to God, meaning we are in actual sense like those people of the tower of Babel; dead beings because after death there is no hope. We are still striving to reach God as every other religion.
1 Corinthians 15
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
This is the harsh reality of the world today and that is why many people do not accept Christ or pretend to accept Christ but deep down they know they are living in falsehood. Jesus speaks the truth about man. He knows what lies inside the heart of man and He says to that effect: that men love darkness. For if they loved the light, they would come to Him so that their deeds would be reproved.
Jesus shows us a reflection of the true nature of man and man resists; so man stays in his sins saying: “there is no God, and if there is a God, He wouldn’t damn men to hell simply because they do not believe in Him.”
But Jesus says to me, “you are a sinner Agnes and unless you come to Me you will die in your sins. In Me there is a change of heart, the Holy Spirit power to give your life meaning and an abundant life; power to help you overcome the world and its desires. But for you to be My disciple, you must deny yourself and follow Me.”
23 And He said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.
And so, Jesus died in my stead, taking my sin upon Himself, making it possible for me to have a relationship with God because He paid my debt to God in full.
That is grace. Receiving something I totally did not deserve. But because God loved me, He sent His son to die in my place.
And not only that, He grants eternal life to all who believe in Him. For He has the power to resurrect and to give eternal life.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies. — John 11:25
Now, imagine all the people in false religions, false Christianity, false ways and believing false truths. Those are souls that Jesus desires to save, because He bore the sins of all men, the sins of the whole world. He died for all men regardless of tribe, gender, nation or race.
God’s terms were, I will meet all humanity at the cross.
Jesus’ sacrifice was final; but many reject His offer for salvation. They prefer soothing lies more than truth. They prefer having religious pride more than truth; they prefer the comfort of their sin more than the truth.
The scriptures say,
Hebrews 10:29— How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
By not accepting salvation through the finished work of the cross and dedicating our lives to Jesus as Lord and saviour, means that we are counting on something else other than Him to save us.
Isaiah 64:6— But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (God’s view of our good deeds/good works)
Therefore, when God judges the world on that judgement day, all the sins one has ever committed and never placed upon the account of Christ, one will have to account for.
For He is God of perfect justice and must judge all sin.
But the amazing thing is that, we can call upon on Him now while He is still near and He will wash us clean and give us a new heart. Jesus said,
John 6:37— All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out.
Believe it or not, the reason for all humanity’s existence is to know God and do the will of God. And He has made that possible through Jesus Christ. We only have to turn to Jesus and He will do a work in us that only the Holy Spirit can accomplish.
He is the only one who can give us a new heart, a purposeful and fulfilled life, identity and hope. No works needed but a truly repentant heart and a total dependency and surrender to Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords and indeed, the only true way to the Father.
Featured image: BestHdWallpaper
Love this Shiko!!… It is well written and the Way, the Truth, and the Life is JESUS being the focus for HE is the One who provides for us to enter Heaven -HIM and HIM alone… We all need forgiveness from GOD and we are accepted based on what JESUS accomplished on the cross for us to receive HIM through Whom forgiveness comes… Because of JESUS, we become a new creation with a new purpose and vision… The flow of your writing in this piece is exemplary and you’ve taken the time to explain the important Truth needed for every person to obtain new life… So good!!…
Thank you Jeff!:) As always all glory
So true, we all need forgiveness and only God can offer us forgiveness and a new desire to live a righteous life filled with purpose and abundance through the finished work of Christ.
Thank you so much for reading and for the encouragement 🙂
There’s so much to unpack from this well written piece. Thank you for this! May God continue using you through your words and writing. 🙏🏾
Thank you Mark:)
I am truly humbled you read. Amen! For that prayer. All I desire is that people only see God and His deep love for us in all my writing.
God bless you 😊