This question has been asked as far back as I can remember in my 58 years. I suppose it seems to be a relevant question in the light of the world we live in today. I have always had difficulty understanding how this question could even be asked though. It seems to me that the answer is so obvious.
I guess the place to start would be with Jesus himself. Who was Jesus? Less enlightened individuals might claim that Jesus never even lived? He did and that is a historical fact! He lived in Israel for the years of his life that the bible claims he lived. He died by being crucified. So the man, Jesus, lived and died, so what? He died a horrible death but so did many others, some more horribly than Jesus. Why would his life and death have any relevance now or then?
Clearly there must be some relevance to Israel 2,000 years ago or else why would they crucify Jesus. We cannot know Jesus’ relevance today if we do not know his relevance 2,000 years ago. The Jews then as the Jews today were waiting for their deliverer, their Messiah. The Jews had suffered under many tyrannies and were under one the worst in history, the Romans.
Jesus claimed to be their Messiah. This fact, of Jesus’ claims to being the Messiah, is debated by some today. However, it should be noted that the Jewish rulers of that day claimed that this was exactly what Jesus claimed and wanted to put him to death for that claim. In his claim Jesus also claimed to be God Himself. Again this something hotly debated today. But, once again the Jewish rulers were attempting to put him to death for also claiming to be God. So it can be debated as to whether Jesus was God incarnate or not. One thing that cannot be debated was that Jesus claimed to be God and the Jewish rulers also believed that Jesus claimed to be God.
In the beginning of the Gospel of John, the writer tells us Jesus was the Word of God; that the Word was there at the beginning of creation; that the Word was with God; the Word was God; and that the Word came and dwelt among us. Therefore, it is clear that the writer of the Gospel of John also believed Jesus was God. So if all of this is true and the Apostle John believed it was, then why did God come down and subject Himself to what Jesus went through?
The answer is simple but more complex than anyone will ever understand. Man through sin had moved so far from God there was no way man could get back on his own. Sin had caused such a separation between man and God that only a tremendous sacrifice, one that was beyond the abilities of any man, could restore the relationship lost between man and God. There was only one sacrifice that could atone for all of the sins of man, past, present, and all future sins. That sacrifice was the sacrifice of the only truly holy person in existence, God Himself! As the writer in John puts it, “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son.” Jesus came to free not just you and/or me from sin, but everyone that ever did or would exist.
How great is that sacrifice? Imagine how big the universe is. You can’t because no one can measure it. It is too big to be measured. And yet, God is bigger by far than the universe! Well then, how big is God any way? The bible says that even the smallest things of God are beyond our imagination. So how big was Jesus’ sacrifice? That sacrifice is beyond our understanding now and forever. No one or any computer will ever get smart enough to understand what God understands. His love, God’s, is so great that He sacrificed His own Son for the world’s sin, for all of us, for you and me!
Separation from God which was caused by sin was the primary reason why Jesus came and died. Jesus came to restore God's people to a right relationship with God the Father. So to answer whether He, Jesus, is relevant today, is answered by the question is there any sin in the world today? If there is no sin, then Jesus is not relevant. If there is sin in the world today---than Jesus is as relevant today, tomorrow, and forever even as He was 2,000 years ago.
I have a better question though: Is His church relevant today? I think this is a much more valid question in light of the selfish self reliant world we live in today. This question deserves a discussion all to itself another time.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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