There can be only one permanent revolution—a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.

How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoi, “Three Methods Of Reform” in Pamphlets 29 (1900, trans. A. Maude).

And who can accomplish this work?

Who is Jesus?

Before all else, Jesus is God. 

He did not become a god, or receive godhood, nor was he a created being.  He was with the Father and Holy Spirit before the creation of the universe.

But in order that we might understand who God is, he entered his own creation, and became a man, without giving up his divine nature.  He lived a sinless life in that part of the world that was governed by Herod the Great under Roman rule.

Eventually, he was brutally executed by the secular government for the supposed religious crime of declaring himself to be the Messiah, the Promised King from David’s line.

In an event both unprecedented and predicted, God vindicated Jesus and restored him to life.  His death recalls the sacrificial system which covered the sins of those in covenant with God.  Because he was a man without sin and because he went willingly to death, his sacrifice was sufficient to erase the sins of all who come to the Father through him.


Like and unlike

Jesus was a human being, a Jew in Galilee with a name and a family, a person who was in a way just like everyone else.  Yet in another way he was something different than anyone who had ever lived on earth before.  It took the church five centuries of active debate to agree on some sort of epistemological balance between “just like everyone else” and “something different.”

Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew 24 (Zondervan 1995).

The uniqueness of Jesus

Jesus Christ is unique–unique among gods and men.  There have been incarnate gods a-plenty, and slain-and-resurrected gods not a few; but He is the only God  who has a date in history.  And plenty of founders of religions have had dates, and some of them have been prophets or avatars of the Divine; but only this one of them was personally God.  There is no more astonishing collocation of phrases than that which in the Nicene Creed, sets these two statements flatly side by side: “Very God of very God. . . .  He suffered under Pontius Pilate.”

Dorothy Sayers, The Man Born to be King 4 (Harper & Brothers, 1943) (Introduction).