When Jesus died He was relatively young, compared to other potential world-changing figures. At their respective deaths, Muhammad was sixty, Socrates was seventy, Plato and Buddha were both more than eighty, and Moses was one hundred twenty! Christ’s death came so comparatively early in His messianic career (probably in His early thirties) that we really only have about three years of His adult life on record. It is amazing that He left the impact He did on human history, more than any other figure that has ever lived.
What we know about Jesus’ teaching is as bizarre as it is beautiful. Jesus didn’t just teach about God, life, and salvation; He taught about Himself, and how He could help us connect with God. Jesus saw Himself as a conduit to the divine. Specifically, He taught that His death would somehow be the key to making that connection real (see Matthew 16:21-25 and Luke 18:31-34).
As we read the Gospels, which contain His life story and His three years of ministry, we are reading about Someone who is different than all others before or since. He is God born as a man who came to live as one of us and to reveal Himself and thus show us the heart of the Father for the height of His creation – the ones made in His image – humankind. He became one of us to reveal Himself and thus, in His life and ministry, He did not just talk academically about God – He revealed Himself to us in every aspect of His life and mission; His birth and His death and especially in His resurrection.
He is not just another great teacher. He did not just teach a bunch of principles by which to live a life pleasing to God as other moral teachers did. He did not point to God – He was (is) God and pointed to Himself while making a way for us to come to Him and find rest for our souls and passion for life – both at the same time. Soul rest and soul fire were and are available by coming to Him and trusting in Him. I believe we are missing both in the church today. I also believe both are still available today if we are willing to come to Him and then pay the price. The price: total trust, total surrender, and total availability.
How badly do you want rest? And passion for God and life? Willing to pay the price?