The Way of Jesus is the Big Story of The Bible. It is God's Story that we call Good News or Gospel. It is the story of God’s relationship with the world and with man. It was written down by men who received The Word from God. It was compiled by men who heard from God. Here is its summary:
First, we learn that God created all things. All things includes the earth and it includes you and me. He said it was all ‘good’ and that we were ‘very good’. We were created for a perfect relationship with God. A relationship based upon pure love. This pleased God to create us to experience His love and to return His love. In order for us to be able to love God with our whole heart, God created us with the ability to choose to love Him or not. It pleased God to create us this way. We can follow Him or follow our own way. When we choose to follow our own way it is called sin which simply means to go opposite of God’s Way and direction and to move apart from His love.
God and man where in perfect relationship as was all of God’s Creation...except for one angel. God created angels to worship and serve Him. They all did until one of them named Lucifer decided he wanted to be worshipped and served (yup, the angels had the ability to choose to love God too). Lucifer rebelled against God and led many angels in that rebellion. He then led the first man and woman (Adam and Eve) to rebel against God as well. Sin entered the perfect world and God's creation fell out of the perfect relationship they were designed to enjoy. This was bad in every way.
Not only did this not catch God by surprise but it did not catch God un-prepared. He knew we would be separated from His love due to this sin and that the first sin would lead to many more. We literally fell away from Him sin by sin. All of us have done this. Everyone!
God’s love allowed us the ability to choose and man chose poorly. God could have scrapped the whole deal and started over but He didn’t. It pleased Him to show us just how much we are loved. It pleased Him to make a way back into that perfect relationship.
First, He had to show us where we went wrong. After all, if we don’t know where we mess up how can we ever get it right. To show us this He created The Law to show us what it would take to do right. However, there was a big problem. With our newly found sin nature, we couldn’t keep God’s Law. We might get it right some of the time but we could never get it right all the time. Over and over humanity had to learn this lesson so we could understand that without God’s help we were lost.
It turns out that admitting we have lost our way is the first step in finding The Way. Part of God’s Law taught us that when we realized we had lost our way (sinned) we must sacrifice something to show we were sorry. An animal must die to pay for our sin. God didn’t just want us to needlessly execute animals but He had a purpose in this. He wanted to show us that our sin led to our own death (separation from God) and that it would take death/blood to pay the price. Needless to say, there were many sacrifices!
We weren’t supposed to be ok with just sacrificing an animal and going back to being lost again...we were supposed to turn around. We were to realize we had gone the wrong way and repent (literally to realize we have gone wrong and turn the other way). We would turn back to God and His Way.
So, lost man would turn to God but we would still have this problem of sin that faces us and now separates us from that perfect love relationship. How can we ever get it right? How can we stay on the Way? Why would God ever allow this? God knew that these are the questions that would haunt the lost man. He knew we would doubt that He could and would still love us. After all, why would He? You and I wouldn’t. Thankfully, He feels differently!
To prove how big His love is He chose the most drastic means of rescue for lost man. What is the greatest expression of love you can imagine? God’s Word teaches that no man has greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Search your own heart and you will realize that it just doesn’t get any better than that. That would be the greatest sacrifice ever!
Man had become used to having to sacrifice animals to pay for our individual sins. We would try and follow God’s Way but would always fall away. We were desperately in need of being found.
Then it happened! God sent Jesus to make The Way for us. God came and dwelt among us as Jesus. Fully God and Fully Man. Born of a virgin girl named Mary so that the sin curse of man (Adam) was not passed to Him. Jesus lived perfectly on this earth. He fulfilled a perfect sinless life. He followed God’s Law and showed us God’s Way. Then, at just the right time He did the unthinkable.
Jesus showed us how Great God’s Love is for each of us. He became the perfect sacrifice for us so we could come back to God. He actually took all our lostness and all our sin and carried it with Him to a horrible Cross where He laid down His Life for His friends - you and me! He paid the price that a billion animal sacrifices could not and showed us how big God’s love is at the same time.
I suppose a decent fellow could live a pretty good life and then choose to die for you and me...it is doubtful but I guess it could happen. It was not the death that completely proved that Jesus was who He said He was and that His Way was The Way. His death was only half of it. He chose not to stay dead. Yup. You read that right. God sent Jesus to lay down His life to pay for our lostness and sin and then He had Jesus pick His life back up. Why? To prove that He was who He said He was. Maybe some fellow might die for us but no fellow could come back to life for us. Over 500 people witnessed His resurrection. The proof was so astounding that it has changed the entire course of human history and even the calendar!
Then he gave us the commands for living an abundant life. We were to follow Him. We were to grow closer to Him. We were to love God through Him. We were to live in His power through this amazing gift of God’s Holy Spirit that would actually live within us and guide us.
We were to do more than just love God. We were to love others. We were to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. That’s a whole lotta love! By this love, others would know that we were following Jesus. We were to do this for all of our life.
To top it all off, our life wouldn’t have to end like it would have if we had stayed lost. We wouldn’t have to rot away in our sin and separation from Holy God. When Jesus came back from the dead He promised that we could do it too if only we would follow Him in this life. Now that is a pretty awesome future.
Now, either you have read this and say 'yup, that's how it was and that's how it is' or you have read this and are saying 'did it really go down like that' or you have read this and have tons of questions. Wow, would we like the opportunity to talk to you! Just fill out the form on the front of our website or email me at email@example.com to take the next step!