Visiting with a young man the other day, I heard a brief statement that pinpointed a terrible problem faced by much of American Christianity.
“Jesus was born on the cross for our sins,” he told me.
Well, not exactly. Jesus was born. Jesus did die on a cross. Both these events took place as part of God’s plan to deal with our sins, and the whole problem of sin.
But there is so much more to the story!
Between Jesus’ birth and death were 33 or so years of life. From these years we have many stories in 4 different accounts of different teachings and events of Jesus’ life.
All of these stories, teachings, and events matter. Every bit of insight we have about Jesus’ life in significant for us to grasp what God was and is doing in the person of Jesus to save the world. If all that was needed was Jesus’ death, the Gospels would all have been much shorter.
Let all of us who follow Jesus today learn something more about his life, that we might better understand his death.