In my early days of high school I tried witnessing to a friend one night. I noted how he grew up in the church, knew the Bible on the surface well enough, and knew Christianity inside and out. Yet he wasn’t a Christian. Why? His response was basically, “Why do I need Jesus? I didn’t ask Him to die for me.”
It’s kind of a simplistic response to a simplistic question. But it deserves an answer. Who needs Jesus? Why is it so important that He came and died? Well, in the spirit of Advent and looking forward to celebrating His coming as a baby boy on that first Christmas morn, I’ll spend the next 4 weeks answering “Who is Jesus?”
I think the proper place to begin is with the fundamental problem. It’s pretty easy to pinpoint. It’s sin. Sin is the fundamental problem of humankind. And it’s a fundamental reason why Jesus was born in a manger. But how do the 2 connect?
Best to begin in Genesis. In Gen. 2:9 we find that God has placed 2 trees in the middle of the Garden of Eden: a tree of life and a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then, in v. 17 we’re told that to eat of the latter is to invite death. Well, Genesis 3 comes along with a certain serpent who deceives Eve into eating of the tree and Adam follows shortly thereafter. Thus, sin is born. But sin hasn’t had long in this world when God comes walking in the garden. After He pries the truth off the guilty parties’ lips, He hands out 3 judgments.
But probably most interesting of all was what God told the serpent in 3:15. He tells it/him that a particular descendant of the woman will give the serpent quite the headache. So here in the beginning, when all that is good falls to pieces and the fundamental problem of humankind is born, we have a divine promise that God will send someone to deal with the serpent and his machinations.
So who is this Person who will take care of our fundamental problem? You know the answer: Jesus! Jump to Romans 5:12-21 and you’ll find a lengthy explanation about how Adam introduced our bane and Christ came to save us from it.
So who needs Jesus? We do! All of us. That’s why His birth is so important. That’s why Christians celebrate His coming. Christ dealt with our fundamental problem by conquering it through His virgin birth, perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection. So let’s take some time this season to celebrate that glorious night when the Solver of our problem was born!