3/18/2015

Why Jesus Is Still Relevant In the 21st Century



It's been 2,000 years since Jesus Christ last walked the Earth.  

As a result, many find Him and His teachings completely irrelevant for the 21st century.  "The Bible is a good book" they say, "but it can't really speak to our lives today.  It's full of old ideas that need to give way to modern times."

Sound familiar?

Perhaps the critics are right.  Perhaps the Bible is out-dated.  Once upon a time, it may have served a useful purpose.  Though full of fanciful stories and superstitions, it provided a simple ethic and moral framework that generally gave ancient man a sense of right and wrong.  While we might not like much of what is in the Bible, we recognize that it has been, generally speaking, a useful tool that has helped shape the Western world today.

Unfortunately, I can't buy into such a limited and narrow perspective.

So, why does Jesus Christ still matter?

I believe that Jesus Christ and the Bible are still relevant for today for one very simple reason:  They are relevant for today, because Jesus Christ is still alive today!

The only question is then, do you believe that Jesus Christ is still alive and well?

If you do, then that changes everything.

If Jesus Christ was really crucified, buried, and resurrected, and still remains alive after 2,000 years, then of course He still matters, because He is still alive.  If Jesus Christ was really resurrected, then we should find such a claim absolutely astonishing, and that should change our lives.  Nobody else in the history of the world has ever done that.  Therefore, it seems only logical that we should strongly consider taking the advice of a guy who managed not only to come back to life after being brutally murdered, but has managed to stay alive for a few thousand years since then.  And best of all, Jesus Christ shows no signs of every dying again.

Apparently, Jesus knows a thing or two about living life, and living it well.

However, if Jesus Christ is still dead, or never even existed, then His teachings are as relevant as any other character from the chronicles of history.  That is to say... not very relevant.

As for me, I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was brought back to life.  As a result, I want to know everything He taught, and I want to apply it to my life.  I want to live as He lived before He was killed, and I want to live life like Jesus Christ has every moment since He came back to life.

But why do I believe that Jesus Christ is alive today?  Because I read such in the Bible?  That would be circular reasoning, and an illogical fallacy.  That's like reading a book, and believing everything in the book is true because the book says its true.

And I admit, some good Christian friends of mine try to employ such reasoning.  God forgive them, they mean well...

But the truth of the matter is, I believe that Jesus Christ is alive today entirely apart from the Bible.  This is a claim that Christians have been making for over 2,000 years, and is a claim that has existed long before the writings of the Bible were completed, and bound together in an organized volume.  It is a news story that men have been sharing ever since they first saw that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, and it is a news story that continues to be told even down this day.

While the Bible affirms my belief that Jesus Christ is alive, it is not the reason I believe He is alive.

I believe that Jesus Christ is alive simply because one day as I sat in a church service, I heard somebody share the good news about Jesus Christ overcoming the grave.  And in that moment in time, I felt like Jesus Christ was alive, as He became alive to me.  It's as if I encountered Him myself, and from that day forward, I continue to experience His ongoing presence in my life every day.

And ever since that moment in time, when I heard the good news about Jesus Christ proclaimed, I've come to realize that I live in a world where Jesus Christ is alive too.  And out of an awareness of Jesus Christ still being alive, I try to live according to His teachings, and to the degree I can, I share those teachings with others.  I want them to be able to truly live too.

As a result of Jesus Christ being alive today, I turn to the Bible as the definitive depository and source of all His teachings.  

Why?  Because of all the lofty claims that can be made about the Bible?  No.  As great as many of those claims are (which I believe to be true), that's not why I read the Bible.

Rather, I read the Bible, because in getting to know Jesus Christ for myself, and having a personal relationship with Him, I feel like the Bible is the place He wants me to go to learn more about Him, and the way I ought to live my life.  As a result, I turn to the Bible, and I find its teachings just as relevant for today as they were 2,000 years ago.

And if you believe that Jesus Christ is still alive today, then you ought to find His teachings relevant too.  The only question remains, do you ultimately believe that Jesus Christ is really alive?  Or do you think He is dead?

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