(John 8:25-30) “Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
(26) I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
(27) They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
(28) Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
(29) And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
(30) As he spake these words, many believed on him.”
Billions of people will soon be celebrating Easter. What is the big deal about it? I believe the reason Easter is so important is twofold:
- It is important because it proved who Jesus is.
- It is important because it validated what Jesus taught.
Let’s look at it in more detail.
It Confirmed That Jesus is Who He Said He was:
Notice again our passage of scripture found in (John 8:25-30), “Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. (26) I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.”
They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father (God).
So Jesus said, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” Even as He spoke, many put their faith in Him.
Jesus made some outrageous claims while He was here on earth. He said, I am perfect. I am the Savior of the world. I am the only way to heaven. I am God. I am the Messiah. These were incredible claims. They are similar to the one found in (John 14:6), “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one cometh to the Father but by me.”
No religious leader ever made such a claim. No one has ever claimed to be God. The Buddha never claimed to be God. Mohammed never claimed to be God. Jesus made some outrageous claims. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.” That does not leave many options. There is no middle ground left. Jesus is either who He said He was, or He is not. He is either the Son of God, or a liar, or even a lunatic. The fact is – Jesus said He would validate all of these claims by not staying dead.
He does not say that He is A Way. He says that He is The Way.
There are a lot of people who say that they believe that Jesus was a great teacher. The primary problem is that Jesus did not make that claim about Himself. He claimed to be God, but not a great teacher. If He was not who He claimed to be, then He was not a great teacher. He was a fraud.
Let me give you an example. If I said, “My name is Bob and I am the most handsome man in the entire world.” There would be a few of you who might dispute that claim, but at least it could be debated. However, if I stood up here and said that I was God, that is a whole different ball game.
So, when Jesus said, “I am God,” He was either who He claimed, or the biggest fraud whoever lived. Jesus said:
(Mark 10:32-34) “And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, (33) Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: (34) And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
He took the twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to Him. ‘We are going up to Jerusalem.’ He said, ‘and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.’
Why did they crucify Jesus Christ? They crucified Him because of what He claimed. He claimed to be God. When He did this, the religious leaders had two options. They could either fall down and worship Him, or get rid of Him. We know the choice they made.
The problem was that He did not remain dead. Three days later He came back to life. The Roman soldiers put a heavy stone in front of the tomb. They thought they were showing their power, but in reality they were helping prove the Power of God at work in Jesus’ life.
Look in (John 10:36-38): “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (37) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. (38) But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.”
Jesus told those that opposed Him, this is what I claim and this is what I am doing to prove it… If I can’t do it, then I am a fraud.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a matter of public record. This was not done in secret. There were more than 500 witnesses to His Resurrection; there are at least fifteen incidents of Jesus making public appearances given in the Bible. He walked with people. He talked with them. He ate with them. They even touched Him. This was not a false claim. It was not a story concocted by the disciples to save face.
The point is this: Jesus Christ came to earth to reveal the true nature of God and His love for us. He is so sincere in that love that He was willing to let His Son die for our sins. If we will allow that death to be our own personal salvation, then we will have a personal relationship with God that will change our lives.
There is more to God’s love than our perception, “May the force be with you.” That does not do a thing for me. He is not a product of Hollywood. He is the Evidence of God’s love. It is a proven fact. Even if you do not acknowledge the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as a historical fact, you acknowledge His existence every single day that you live. Every time you write down a date, you are acknowledging the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most significant event in human history. It is the dividing line of human history. Why? Simply, because God acted on our behalf by giving His Son to the world. The world acknowledges it by its calendar system.
I know that there are many of you who are saying, ‘So, what? What difference does that make in my life?’
You see, Jesus, by being resurrected from the dead, validated everything that He said as the truth. If Jesus were not who He claimed to be, then how could He be trusted in anything else He said. If He claimed to be God, and validated that by being resurrected – then it also validates what He taught, because God does not lie.