Is the Jesus you follow the Jesus you run to when you are in trouble? When the doctor says “it’s cancer” and you want someone who actually knows Jesus to pray for you or your loved one?
Is the Jesus you follow the Jesus who promises a better life than the alternative? Is it the Jesus who will keep you happy and healthy and keep you out of hell?
Is the Jesus you follow the Jesus who watches your every move and is weighing your good behavior against the bad? Is he the Jesus who requires you to check all the boxes each week?
Is the Jesus you follow the Jesus who died for your sins so you can go to heaven? You know, the one who is not a judge but your friend?
Or, do you love and follow this Jesus?
…in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:2,3 ESV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20 ESV)
This is the biblical Jesus. It is this one who is the very “radiance of the glory of God” and “the exact imprint of his nature”. Everything that is was created by Him and it exists and coheres by his very words. “In EVERYTHING He is PREEMINENT”!
There is no power that is not His power. There is no “thing” He does not own. He is the beginning and the end, there is no one, no name above His glorious name.
It is this great God and Savior who by His own will laid aside His splendor and every prerogative of deity to become a flesh and blood man whose hands were made rough in a carpenter shop and whose feet became calloused by walking the dusty roads. It was this great God man who willingly died for people like us, sinful through and through. This man, full of grace and truth, died for us with all of our sins upon him. His life and death fully met all of God’s requirements for righteousness and absorbed all of God’s wrath against sin
It is this Jesus before whom we bow. His representative death freed us from the penalty of the law against us and as a free gift He imputes to us His perfect record before God. He suffered the worst punishment, the most awful rejection, and died as a common crook, driven by His love for sinners and His own glory. His triumphant resurrection is the promise that those who believe on Him will continue to live forever.
You will not be judged in the end by how much good, vs how much bad you have done. Nor will how religious you have been be the standard.
he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead Acts 17:31 ESV
What have I done about Jesus? What have you done about Him?