Here is a controversial statement based on the teaching of the Bible: We can only find God and the love, acceptance and peace that the human soul craves, through Jesus Christ.
Now this may be controversial because we like to think that everything that everyone believes is right – particularly when it comes to God. We want to believe that all of the major religions really represent the same God, and that all spirituality is of equal benefit.
But if you look into what the major religions actually teach, you will find that each describe their god or the being they venerate quite differently – from quite vindictive to loving; from dead to alive and active in the world. Alternatively we might conclude that there is no god, or go along with our own idea of God. But I think that this saying is true: The truth is the truth whether we believe it or not. In other words, what we believe is not true simply because we believe it. We can believe things that are not true, and reject things that are true. In both cases the truth is still the truth, and if our soul is to thrive, the challenge is to find it.
In summary I believe my controversial statement because the Bible teaches that only Jesus can deal with the sorts of over-arching problems that burden the human soul, such as sin that fills our souls with guilt and shame, and death that brings fear. These must be addressed to allow us to live well, and this is at the core of what Easter is about.
The Bible teaches that God loves the world (us) and sent his Son, Jesus to save it
(us). He was qualified for the job as a man who could sympathise with us, but is fully God.
Besides his deity, I make my controversial statement because the Bible tells stories about God’s kingdom – his reign or activity expressing his love and power – breaking into the world through Jesus as he prayed for people. Sick people were made well, and demonic oppression removed. Jesus inaugurated a season of liberation for struggling people, and this continues to happen around the world as people pray in his powerful name.
The Bible teaches that all people will face judgement before God, but that Jesus dealt with our future judgement by dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He removes our guilt and shame. And because Jesus was resurrected (ie. that he defeated death), all who trust in him will also be resurrected after physical death and live in the future age where there is no more crying, pain, tears or death. The shadow of judgment and death over the human soul is removed and we can start to live with freedom and joyful expectation of good ahead.
My controversial statement is further supported if the Bible is true in teaching that after Jesus rose from the dead he ascended to the right hand of God – to the place of power and authority. He then sent the Spirit of God to express his love and power in the lives of ordinary people like you and me who trust in Jesus.
I know that’s all a bit technical, but if the Bible is anything to go on, it is only through Jesus that we will find God and the things that our souls deeply crave. I urge you to ponder these things as Easter comes around again.