Isn’t He (This Jesus)
Why Jesus is the object of faith, not just an example
For the typical student at Lancaster Bible College, Capital Seminary and Graduate School, the idea of that Jesus is the foundation of our faith, the basis is not a foreign concept. To say otherwise would raise a lot of eyebrows. Outside of our bubble however are individuals who truly believe that Jesus is just an example of faith.
To understand Jesus as the object of our faith, we must go back to before the beginning of his story, to the prophet, Isaiah. The initial coming of the Christ was not unforeseen, as the Prophet Isaiah spoke of this in Isaiah 53. He speaks of a man who grows up before him like a young plant, being despised and rejected, being pierced for our transgressions. The initial coming of Jesus was foretold, and predestined. The law was no longer enough for one to be justified before God.
When these events finally came to pass, it begins with Mary, a virgin becoming pregnant with him. For those of you who don’t understand the word virgin… you may need to have a talk with your parents. Mary gave birth to Jesus as a virgin. Jesus, was born as a baby, in some of the most humble of circumstances, in a manger. Physically speaking, he grew up in the same manner that everyone else did.
Some try to argue not only that Jesus was merely an example of the faith that we possess, but that he wasn’t even born as the Messiah, but that he reluctantly accepted the title later in life. This argument denies the reality of Jesus, and completely misses an important reality that the wages of sin is death. If Jesus accepted the title of Messiah later in life, then this makes the temptation narratives useless, because we know through scripture that Jesus did not fall to the temptation that he was faced with while out in the wilderness.
Furthermore, the resurrection of Christ simply does not exist if Jesus was not born as the Messiah. Since the wages of sin is death, if Jesus had sinned, it would have impossible for the resurrection to occur, as Jesus would have then paid the price for his own sin, rather than ours when he died. It was because he was without sin that death was unable to hold him. This is the reason we are able to have a relationship with God at all!
At the end of the day, no matter what denomination we hail from, we should all be able to agree that Jesus is the object of our faith, not merely an example. To treat Jesus as an example of our faith is to deny that he was the Messiah at all.