Friday, July 4, 2008

Is Jesus Human - Refuting "The Human Jesus" (part 1)

I have been challenged to view a video entitled “The Human Jesus” that has been obviously put out by the Unitarians (many of the scholars on the video are Unitarian scholars). It is a two hour video, and I don’t expect everyone to go run and watch it so I have decided to do a series of posts that examines and refutes the arguments presented.

The beginning of this video focuses on the JEWS CONCEPT OF GOD!!! The argument says that since Jesus was a Jew we have to believe that he thought like a Jew, meaning he would have had the same concept of God just like any regular Jew.

They point out that the Hebrew word echad which is found in the Shema “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut 6:4) means one. How astute, but I guess there have been some Christians who have tried to explain this away. Why, I don’t know.

They point out that in Mark 12:32 Jesus affirms this truth when he says “there is one God; and there is none other but he.” My response to this is…I totally agree. Jesus affirmed the truth that there is one God. I have no dispute with this. I guess they thought I would disagree with this verse for some reason. Sorry to disappoint.

That’s the first argument in the video. Now let me make a counter argument.

First, you just can’t get away from the fact that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus for comparing himself to and claiming to be God. They UNDERSTOOD He was doing this and accused Jesus of blasphemy. Why? Because of who they understood God to be. (For more on this view my post Essentials – God part 3).

The fact is Jesus never denied that God was one, but he did reveal the true concept of God that has been hidden from the Jews. Paul himself talks about this “mystery.”

“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Romans 11:25-29

What is the true concept of God? God is one God who has revealed himself in three separate personalities who are coequal but serve different purposes. Scripture tells us that the Jews will not understand the concept of the Trinity as how it relates to the Gospel message because it is an essential part to the act of salvation!!

If Jesus was just a man then there would be no way he could have substituted himself for our sins. The lamb sacrificed in the Old Testament, a hint at what God would eventually do through Jesus, was supposed to be perfect without spot or blemish. This sacrifice was temporary. The only way our sins could be paid for in full is through the sacrifice of a perfect man. It is impossible for a man to be perfect unless he is God in the flesh as revealed in Scripture (John chapter 1). The only way we could be saved is through an incredible and unthinkable act of God. He became a man!!!

It is a fallacy to use an argument from the Jewish perspective to talk about the Christian concept of God. Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah and they do not believe He is God in the flesh (John 1). They believe he was a human being who lived a moral life and was a good teacher.

Jesus’ whole purpose for coming was to reveal God’s unlimited love to mankind. What better way to do so then to visit us as a man and die for us. It is obvious that Jesus is not going to agree with everything that the Jews believed in his day. Even if he wasn’t God in the flesh Christianity was started on principles and teachings that differed from Judaism. If Jesus was a Jew and believed everything that Jews believed then Christianity would not be in existence today.

“God is able to make you strong, just as the Good News says. It is the message about Jesus Christ and his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they might believe and obey Christ. To God, who alone is wise, be the glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen.” Romans 16:25-27 (NLT)

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