Hi! We at RICE want you guys to know as much as possible about the guy at the centre of our movement. And that person, is no another than Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus was the most radical person in history, preaching the most revolutionary ideas and bringing the kingdom of God closer to sinners. The love He showed for each one of us, by dying on that cross, is a testament to the hope we hold in the future, to one day see His awe-inspiring face.
So please enjoy a few Q&A’s which we have pieced together.
What was Jesus like as a person?
Reading the Gospels introduces us to Jesus, an amazing man. When false religious people tried to trick Him, He corrected them. When broken-hearted sinners came to Him, He offered them love, forgiveness and acceptance. Even more than that, He is the only person who has ever lived who reveals what God is like. When He died on the cross He showed that God loves the world, and wants restored relationship with you.
How can an ordinary guy who appeared long ago understand what I’m going through?
An ordinary guy can’t. But don’t worry, Jesus isn’t an ordinary guy. Jesus is God’s Son; He lived the life we should live, died the death we should die, and rose to life to bring us salvation. That means He’s still alive now, and He says that He has faced everything you have faced, and that He still hears your prayers, and that He will give you everything you need to meet the challenges you are going through right now (Hebrews 4:15, 1 Corinthians 10:13).
Wasn’t Jesus just another good religious guy who taught good stuff?
No. Jesus is different from every other human who has ever lived. The Bible says that Jesus was equal to God Himself, come as a man to save His people (Philippians 2:5).
Did Jesus ever sin?
No. The Bible says that Jesus is the only ‘righteous’ person who has ever lived. More than that, it is His righteousness which has saved us, not our own, since we are unrighteous and don’t deserve salvation. 1 Peter 3:18 says: Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
Why does it even concern me that Jesus was alive?
Because of who He is and what He did. Jesus is God’s son. In the Bible we see that He was amazingly fair, He corrected the people who needed it and cared for the people who needed that. He lived the life we should live, by never sinning against God or any person.
Is there historical evidence of Jesus?
Yes there is, and the best sources of it have been put together to make the New Testament. The New Testament was written by people who spent time with Jesus, who saw Him live, die and rise again. The Gospel called Luke was written by a historian who gathered the evidence together to present an account so that people could be sure of what happened (Luke 1:1-4). Many of the letters of the New Testament are written by Paul, who saw the risen Jesus and was given a mission by Him.
Did Jesus really die?
Yes. Before being crucified He was whipped with a ˜cat-of-nine-tails’, which was made to tear flesh apart. He was beaten, He was dehydrated, He was deprived of sleep, He was made to carry a heavy wooden beam through the town, and then He was hung up on a cross to die because of blood loss, heart failure and suffocation. To make sure, a soldier even stabbed a spear into His heart. Jesus really died.
People live and die all the time. Why should it concern me that someone died over 2000 years ago?
Firstly, because of who it was that died: the king of kings, who loves us and deserves our worship. Secondly, because He died for our sin, not His own so Jesus’ death can make you friends with God. Thirdly, Jesus’ death should concern us because He didn’t stay dead. Jesus rose again, and He promises that people who trust Him will rise again to be with God, and each other, forever.
I understand sin needed to be dealt with but why would God use his Son?
Only God’s son could live the perfect life we should, and only His son could willingly lay down His life for us. Jesus knew what He was doing when He went to the cross; He wasn’t used. Jesus chose to lay down His life for you, and only His life was good enough to pay the price for your sin (John 10:17).
Who was responsible for Jesus’ death?
Me. And you. Jesus died for sins all the sins anyone has ever done and ever will do, which means that we are responsible for Jesus’ death. But there’s more John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. That means that God gave Jesus, and Jesus gave Himself for you.
How does Jesus dying deal with sin?
Jesus took the punishment we deserve. He lived the life that we should live, and He died the death that we should die. We are sinners, but Jesus has defeated sin and death He proved that by rising to life. Now, if you are a Christian, you can face God confident that your sins are covered.
Did Jesus really come back to life?
Yes. Jesus wasn’t a ghost or a spirit; He was resurrected. When He appeared to His followers He ate with them, and showed them the wounds in his body to show that it really was Him. You can read about it in chapters 20 and 21 of John.
I’ve heard of miracles happening before, why is the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection so important for Christians?
Jesus’ resurrection proves that Jesus is the king, God’s own son. It shows that sin and death are really dealt with. It shows that God is at work making everything new, just like He made Jesus’ body new. And it shows that one day we will be raised, because Jesus is the ‘first fruits’ of our resurrection. You can read about it in 1 Corinthians 15.
Why does it even matter if Jesus came back to life?
One big reason is that it shows that one day we will be raised, because Jesus is the ‘first fruits’ of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). Also, it shows that Jesus really did finish paying for our sins He does not need to stay dead, the price is paid.
Could people back then actually make up the story of Jesus’ resurrection?
There are some very good reasons to believe the people who said that they saw Jesus resurrected. One is this: They died because they would not stop talking about the risen Jesus. In Acts 7:54-60 you can read about Stephen, who was killed, by people throwing stones at him, for preaching about Jesus. If I made up a story I wouldn’t die for it.
Why does God feel so distant from me?
You’re right, God does sometimes feel distant but that’s not how it was supposed to be. The story of Adam and Eve shows us that we were made to be close to God, but because of our sin, we can’t be anywhere near Him (you can read it in Genesis chapters 1 to 3). But the great news is that God came near to us, in His son, Jesus. Jesus said Whoever has seen me has seen the Father, (John 14:9). Keep getting to know Jesus, stay close to Him, and you will get as close to God as anyone can be.
If he is real, why are there so many problems in this world?
Sometimes this world is a mess, isn’t it? The Bible says that the reason for this is sin. Sin means we don’t treat each other the right way, we don’t treat the world the right way, and most importantly, we don’t treat God the right way. The Bible says that all of us do this; there is no one who is righteous, (Romans 3:10). The Bible promises that God will come and fix the problems of the world, and that His people will live with Him (Revelation 21:1-4).
Even if there is a God, why does it even concern my life?
Sometimes we feel like it’s God’s job to just put up with us, so we get to do whatever we want. But can you see the problem here? This is God we’re talking about; not just some guy we don’t need to worry about. The Bible says God made us, and that He cares for us. The Bible says He’s good, and worthy of worship. That concerns our life. Want to see? Open up your Bible and read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, and see what God is like as you get to know Jesus better. You’ll see He’s worth giving your life to, just like Jesus gave His life for yours.
How do we know God is real?
Knowing that God exists isn’t like knowing a building exists: it’s more like knowing your parents love you. It’s personal. The best way to investigate this question is to get to know Jesus. The Bible says that He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). Want to know God if God is real? Get to know Jesus.
I’ve been taught about Science and the way this world came about it. It seems like science & Christianity contradict each other. Doesn’t science prove Christianity wrong?
First, don’t forget that all truth is God’s truth. Nothing that we discover through scientific inquiry will detract from God’s glory; it should only give us a better picture of what a great God He is. Second, science and Christianity ask two different main questions. Science’s main question is ‘How?’ Christianity’s main question is ‘Why?’ In science, we ask and observe how things work, and make theories to explain it. But the Bible is mostly about why the world is here, why we exist, and how to be friends with the God who made it.
I struggle to understand God & creation. What does the bible say about creation?
God made it. God owns it. God loves it. God keeps it going. God is making it new. The Bible teaches us that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. When Jesus came, He showed that God doesn’t hate creation, He isn’t sick of it; in fact He loves it so much He would come as a man to die and rise again. Just like Jesus’ body was made new, the whole world will be made new.
What does sin even mean?
Maybe when your friends say ‘sin’ they mean anything that’s naughty, but fun. The Bible’s idea of sin is far, far deeper than that. The Bible teaches us that we were made to have God as the number one thing in our lives. We are supposed to love Him, to worship Him and to be close to Him, but we fall short of this. Instead of living for the true God we live for false ones, like love, money or power these ˜gods’ always fail, and the Bible calls living for these false gods ‘sin’.
Who’s at fault when it comes to sin, God or us?
God never, ever makes anyone sin (James 1:13). When we sin, it is our own choice to do so. The good news is that even though sin is our fault, God takes responsibility for fixing it. The Bible says that Jesus has died for sin, to bring you to God (1 Peter 3:18).
Why is there suffering in this world?
One reason is that we, as a human race, cause it. That’s a hard truth, isn’t it? But it is true; a lot of what harms people is other peoples’ sin, or the consequences of the person’s own sin. Sin ruins lives, and suffering proves that.
But also, suffering is in the world because we are waiting for God to make all things new. When Jesus died He suffered for our sin, and three days later He rose again, showing that sin and suffering are dealt with. Christians live as people whose sin is dealt with, while we wait for God to deal with all the suffering in the world.