Continuing a series presenting our beliefs in plain English.
This time we’re going to have a think about Jesus being God.
Christianity is based on Jesus, but there are so many ideas about who Jesus was. You’ll know some – that he was God’s Son who offered to come here to sacrifice himself to bring God and people back together…or that he was a man who was so good he became Divine…or that he was always just a man…or that he could never have been tempted or sinned because he was pure, and so on.
Our view on Jesus starts and ends with God, with Jesus actually being God. Don’t think about who was running the universe if God was here as Jesus, because if you shine a torch, you’ve got the full idea very well; you see the torchlight and it doesn’t lessen or change when its beam hits the wall. The torch is God – the light on the wall is Jesus.
God had to come as a person and go through what a person usually goes through – struggles, doubts, feeling fear, feeling alone, being criticised, and keeping on going in spite of all this. God had to do this basically to overcome a growing darkness in peoples’ minds that was building up.
And God had to do this by taking on a normal human nature which could be got at and could give in or give up if it came to it. And because he was also God he was got at by evil spirits in his head far more than we ever are, because they knew the stakes. This Jesus could take their power away.
So that’s the reason for Jesus. But there are two really key things to know: Jesus could not simply snap his fingers at temptations because he was God. It was never automatic or inevitable that he won. He had to do that as a man with human limitations every time he made a decision. And the other thing is that he had to win every time, without fail, including the crucifixion, or else it would all be for nothing. What a combination on him – to be a man and to act as God. And what was really at stake was our freedom and ability to choose between good and evil. He knew that and it filled his heart.