Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tertium Quid

by Andrew Cromwell

I’ve been spending some time recently thinking about the unique nature of Jesus Christ. For Christians, it is all about Jesus Christ. He is at the center of everything. The historical fact of His coming back to life after three days dead in the tomb, is the central and most important miracle of all Christianity. Without the Resurrection of Jesus, there is no Christian faith.

This makes Jesus truly unique. Buddhists have Buddha, Muslims have Mohammed, and Jews have Moses. But none of these men claimed to be God and rose from the dead. All of these men were prophets or messengers who were pointing the way to God, but none ever said that they were God.

Jesus bucked the trend in a way that generally only people that are unhinged do. Think about it, only crazy people or ego-maniacs claim to be God. There are plenty of people in institutions who make the claim, but everyone knows they either dropped too much acid or have an imbalance in their brain. There have also been plenty of “God-rulers” — Roman caesars, Egyptian Pharaohs, and Chinese emperors — all declared themselves to be deities, but we all know better.

So either Jesus was really “cray” or He knew what He was talking about. My belief is that our responsibility as human beings is to follow a belief system that is consistent with reality. It is possible to have any number of religious beliefs, but they are only superstitions unless they align with the way the universe really is. This is what makes Jesus different.

The way Jesus talked about the human condition was incredibly accurate. He spoke clearly about the wicked and self-centered nature of all of our hearts. He didn’t sugar coat evil, He called it for what it was. We spend a lot of time rationalizing our actions and behaviors and explaining away our wickedness — but we all know it’s just our own way of hiding from the truth. We are messed up as a race and we need help.

But He didn’t stop there. Plenty of others have pointed out that we have a problem. Where Jesus went further is that He offered a solution to the problem. He gave a clear path to rescue. If wickedness is rooted deep in the heart of every woman and man, Jesus offers healing for our hearts. He offers forgiveness. We all need forgiveness, and anyone that tells you different is full of it.

You can look at His miracles, you can look at His teachings, and you can even look at His claims. If left by themselves, all of these things would make Jesus an amazing man, but they wouldn’t make Him a God-Man. What makes Jesus different, what proves that He is the “tertium-quid” as early Christians came to know Him (literally the third-thing — as in there is nothing else like Him in the entire universe), is that He proved those claims true by coming back to life.

This is what we all have to wrestle with. If He didn’t resurrect, then we shouldn’t worship Him. But if He did, then we had better listen because He probably knows what He’s talking about!

What do you believe about Him?

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