A few weeks ago, a student was asking me a lot of theological questions about the veracity of the Christian faith and the Bible. I attempted to distill a lot of theology into simple statements that non-theology people can understand with ease. Questions such as: Did the exodus actually happen? How can the stories in the Old Testament be true when so much evidence points against them happening? Aren’t the stories mostly exaggerated? Do you really think Jesus is God, Divine or was he just a human?
This got me thinking about my belief in God and Jesus. I’ve made a startling discovery about myself– even if none of it is true, Jesus will still be my Lord and my King! This was startling because it goes against my skeptical nature. I tend to look for solid facts and ideas that can be proven to some degree. Yet, I am discovering that I do not believe in Jesus because of the miracles he performed, or because of the virgin birth, or because he is omnipotent, omniscient, or omni-anything else. These things are all extras for me– not that I don’t believe in them because I do. But they are not the reason I believe in Jesus.
I believe in Jesus because of the way he lived. I believe in Jesus because of the reasons for which he was crucified. I believe that his way will change the world if we imitate it as well. I believe that what he did forever changed the world– that much is obvious from history! For me, its about not serving Caesar or any other empire’s emperor. For me its recognizing the anti-Christ that exists in our world systems and how its systems do not work. For me its recognizing my natural, selfish desires and realizing that those actions that proceed from it (ie. sin) are destroying my life and our whole world. And I believe and trust in Jesus– his ways, his life, his death– to provide resurrection. To provide new life for me. To provide new life for the world. To spawn a new creation.
In conclusion, a hypothetical example–
Student: Do you believe Jesus is God?
Me: Yes, I do.
Student: If Jesus was not God, would you believe in Christianity?
Me: Yes, I would.
Me: I think the person of Jesus Christ is the only hope for my life and a world gone wrong.