Jun 14, 2009

Nice Jesus - A Christ Without A Cross

Very few people object to Jesus. It's just Christianity most people object to.

I think there are at least a couple of reasons for this.

First, the reason why so few people object to Jesus is because to many Jesus is such a nice guy. He loved people. He healed people. He was wise. What's there not to like about Jesus.

The problem with this Jesus is that this Jesus is no different than Mr. Rogers. We could say all the same things about Mr. Rogers.

Nothing wrong with Mr. Rogers. I think he's pretty cool too. But, while Mr. Rogers was a nice guy and he represented Jesus well - even though many people may not know that Mr. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian pastor - Mr. Rogers never pretended that he could save people from sin and its consequences.

Only a Savior who died, descended into hell to rise again could do that.

But in order for the Savior to do that, there must be a holy God who holds everyone accountable, and a Savior who would take the place of sinners to pay the penalty of sinners.

And that is the gospel. That is the good news.

But this is the Jesus many people have problems with because this Jesus confronts all of us as sinners. And we don't like to think of ourselves in that way.

Whether we like it or not, that is simply the truth.

The second reason why so few people object to Jesus is because Christians and churches have moved away from proclaiming this simple gospel truth. We would rather talk about only about a loving God who wants to make us better people.

While this message may not be popular, it is true. And because this is true, the message of the cross of Jesus is truly amazing good news.

Richard Niebhur criticized the church's movement away from this simple gospel truth. He said, "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a world without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross."
And such a Jesus is not good news at all.
James <><
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