Why Jesus Christ?

The cross changes our worst day

In the middle of a busy day in the ER, I had an interesting conversation with a student who was searching for his faith. “With so many options, why did you choose Christ?” he asked.  

1 Peter 3:15b Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect . . .

Are you ready to tell the reason for your hope and faith in Jesus Christ? How would you respond?

I answered by telling the story of “Two Kings” that I have frequently used to open a discussion about Christ in a non-threatening way. The story goes, there were two kings who each had a son.

Why Jesus Christ? Because he looks for us wherever we are

The kings warned their boys not to venture into the woods near their castle because it was dangerous and no one returned safely. As the boys grew older and more adventurous, despite the warning of their fathers, both young men went exploring into the woods and became lost.

Once the distressing news reached the kings concerning the fate of their two sons, each had a different response. The first king ordered his army to go into the woods and search for his son.

However, the second King refused to send his army or servants. Instead, he proclaimed that he loved his son so much that he would personally go into the dangerous forest and bring his son home.

I then asked the question, “Which father was the more loving father?”  The obvious answer is the king who loved his son so much that he left his throne and searched for his lost son. My response is usually, “let me introduce you to Christ.”

The young student’s response surprised me when he asked, “Why do you judge the father who did not leave and go after his son? He may have had a good reason.” The ER became busy, and we didn’t have time to finish our discussion.

I felt compelled to write the following letter the next day.

Letter Answering “Why Jesus Christ?”

Dear friend,
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed our brief discussion.

Unfortunately, we were not able to finish our conversation about the story of the kings and their sons. My answer was not judgmental of the king who did not go, just simply asked the question, “Who do you think showed love and compassion?”

The forest represents a metaphor for all the things we struggle with in the world. I was in the woods for many years; full of pride, arrogance, disbelief, and my purpose was to have a comfortable life with money and possessions. I was struggling with purpose as I searched for answers in science, money,  religion, and struggled with the hypocrisy of Christians.  I became challenged with a verse in the Gospel of John that I couldn’t get out of my mind.

In John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I thought “who is this man named ‘Jesus’ who can say such a thing.” First, I began to read about the historical Jesus, and there was no denying how this one “man” changed the world.

James Allen Francis describes him like this:

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a poor peasant couple, he worked in a carpentry shop until he was thirty, for three years he was an itinerate preacher, he never traveled more than 200 miles from the place where he was born, he never visited a big city, he never wrote a book, he never held an office, he had no family, never owned a home. He never did any of the things that we associate with greatness but 19 centuries have come and gone, and he is the central figure of the human race and all the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, and all the Parliaments that ever sat and all the Kings that ever reigned, all the Presidents that ever were elected put together have not affected life on this earth as much as that that one man.

Jesus changed everything.

 I could not argue with Christ’s impact on the world, and for many years I had Him in the tomb, until I read a book called “The 12 Ordinary Men” by John MacArthur that describes the lives of the 12 Apostles.

These 12 men saw something that changed their lives and the world. I began to read the Bible with a passion for seeking the Lord. My worldview unraveled, and the chains of pride and arrogance that kept me captive were broken. The light of Christ lit my path out of the forest.

I know you are a compassionate and loving person, or you would not be in health care, and I know that you have a great love for your mother. If that were your mother in the forest, there would be nothing that would keep you from finding her.

This is what Christ did for me.

The answer to your question, ‘why Jesus Christ’ is because He loves me so much He went searching for me in the forest and showed me the way home.

I will be praying for you that when you are feeling exhausted emotionally, physically, and spiritually, that you know you are loved.

May God bless your journey,
Tom
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

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