encountering Jesus (Part 1)

Today there is such a fascination with Jesus.  People from all walks of life have probably owned or worn some sort of cross that symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus.  Two of the most grossing box office movies over the past few years have been the Passion of Christ and the DaVinci Code.  There are surpluses of songs and books that have been written and sung about Jesus. 

But who is Jesus Christ?  Why all the fuss?  Why is He so important?  Why should I “encounter,” that is, meet Him?   

Is He a blond haired blue eyed white European male that wears hair product and sings and dances in a boy band?  Is He a corporate executive that wears a suit and tie to work and church services?  Is He a spokesman for the NRA (National Rifle Association) or some other political agenda?  I do not mean to be irrespective of the Lord Jesus, but it is important to address such beliefs.  Why?  Because anyone could get the impression that He is any of these things or people by attending any given worship service, or watching any particular Christian program.

So why all of this talk about Him in the first place? 

Well, that’s easy.  As we continue through the Book of Romans, as found in the New Testament, we read that our right standing before God is through faith in Jesus Christ (read Romans 3.22). 

What do I mean by our right standing before God?  Earlier in the Book of Romans, as well as other numerous places in the Bible, we come to understand that each and every single one of us have sinned by breaking the commandments of God,, such as lying, cheating, lusting, and dishonoring our parents.  Since we have done such wrongs we deserve to be punished for them by a God who is holy, that is, morally perfect, and just, that is, God acts fairly with each person and shows no favoritism, even if you attend a youth group and your dad’s cousins, locker roommate at the local YMCA is a Pastor of a Church.   

We read in Romans 3.23 that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory God, His perfection, and that the wages of these wrongs is death (read Romans 6.23). 

However, “the righteousness of God” (His act of saving people and making them right before Him for their wrongs) has been revealed apart from the Law (like the 10 Commandments) (read Romans 3.21).  So, God forgives people and makes them right before Him apart from their obedience to the Law.  How and why does He do this?  I thought that God was some sort of mean old man with a long white beard and a paddle waiting to send down a bolt of lightning every time I did something wrong?     

How God did this was by sending His Son Jesus Christ to live, die, and rise again from the dead for us.  As we read in Romans 3.22, if we place our faith in Him for who He is and what He has done for us, then we will be made right before God and forgiven of absolutely every wrong that we have ever committed.  This is for everyone, regardless of your past, regardless of your current situation, regardless of your ethnicity and what neighborhood you live in. 

Now, if we are made right before God and forgiven of the wrongs that we committed against Him and others, through faith in Jesus Christ, is it not important to know who is Jesus and how we can encounter Him? 

Who is He? (check back later to find out)

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