One of the most obvious and prominent theological contentions unbelievers have is why faith in Jesus is so important: why not just believe in being a good person, or just believe in a Higher Power? What does life have to do with Jesus?
JESUS’S RELEVANT DIVINITY
Following how the Bible teaches that the only way to the Father is through Jesus, we must ask who Jesus is. He claimed to be God in the flesh. He believed He was God, and He performed miraculous wonders that demonstrated He had the power of God. Furthermore, He spoke with boldness, love, authority, and wisdom (John 14:6, John 8:24, Matthew 14:13-21, John 7:15)
Of so many religions, however, Christianity is the only one where a living person claimed to be God (The “I AM”), ultimately became the center of worship, and accepted this worship. Jesus is more pervasively known not merely for His godly wisdom, unconditionally loving nature, and miraculous deeds, but because of the claims that He rose from the dead, confirming everything He’d said during his life on Earth (Matthew 2:11, Matthew 14:13, Matthew 28:9-10).
INTERJECTION OF SIN
A core reason to inculcate Jesus’s eminence into the conversation of human existence, immortality after life on Earth, and how they correlate—is to acknowledge the interjection and ubiquity of sin. Take away the religious connotations and associations and what we’re left with is a word that summarizes a wrongness in the world; a stubborn, rebellious, immoral mentality that tempts us towards selfishness, pride, and entitlement. Sin is the division between us and the perfection that life was originally created to be. The reason we can’t help but wonder why life isn’t better is due to our experience with the inevitable ramifications of sin.
Once we get on the same page about sin, we recognize our plea for that wrongness to be made right again. We watch movies and read books, noticing a common and even repetitive theme of good guy, bad guy, conflict, battle, resolution. This is a metaphorical representation of our empirical reality: within our DNA is the intrinsic yearning for a happier ending than death. It’s in our nature to dislike the irreversible causation of suffering, pain, and loss; it’s unnatural by comparison to the design our species was originally created for: unending paradise with our God. We innately have the desire for what’s “better” because we were designed to desire and enjoy peace, purpose, love, belonging—relationship. We were designed for the Garden of Eden; not war, pandemics, discrimination, or disease.
DIVIDED FROM INTEGRITY, TRUTH, AND GOD
When we see ourselves in this light, it makes sense that sin is the disruption to the natural flow of life and peace. Sin is a rebellion against love, truth, selflessness, and integrity. It’s the divider between our choice to live in the joy and gratitude of God’s blessings, and the blindness of noticing only what is missing in life; driving us to be tempted to want more and more, never satisfied or fulfilled in the Lord.
Sin divides us from God. Ever since the dawn of sin’s entrance into life, we needed to offer sacrifices to God to atone for our sins, to serve as justice for wronging God by choosing ourselves and this world over Him.
FOUNDATION OF SIN
Our question returns: “What does life have to do with Jesus?” Everything. Every human is directly impacted by sin because we all enter a fallen world influenced by the principalities of darkness. Who is Jesus? He is God in the flesh, and our Savior; His death is our atonement, His resurrection is our promise to a life He wanted for us all along. We can’t erase the suffering of our world, but He has overcome the world through His unconditional sacrifice. This world will one day pass away, but His words will not (Ephesians 6:12, John 16:33, Matthew 24:35).
Our choice to rebel against God–mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually—is to deny God. This is sin; wronging and resisting the Giver of life. Only one God has ever manifested into a human body—the God of the Bible. The Bible tells the true, historical story of how God created the world, created people, and we turned against Him. To turn against our God and then reject Him when He invites us back into the peaceful relationship He originally intended for us to relish in—this is the foundation of sin. To our own benefit of course, and from the abundance of His unending love, He has had a plan of redemption all along: glory in Jesus Christ.
Because of our rebellious sin nature to resist God rather than to love and receive Him, God became flesh in Jesus. There was no other way to bring us back to Himself without sin’s interference—this is why Jesus matters more than anything else. This is why it has to be Jesus. By dying and rising again, fulfilling all the prophesies written about Him, He proved He was God and that to believe in Him is to have eternal life. To believe in Him is to turn away from our sin, and to give Him our lives in loving, humbled, grateful surrender. No one else has ever accomplished something so improbable as God in Christ, but improbability does not rescind reality. The living God who gave us life, fought for us to not throw it away, sacrificing Himself in the midst of our sin—so we could receive salvation in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:8).
There is no other joy like what is found through faith in Christ Jesus when we believe in what He’s done for us, and what it means for our eternity. I encourage you to choose Jesus above all else, and experience the riches of His love.