What could be worse than the answer to a question no one‘s asking? Here is Jesus, Son of the living God, putting before his disciples the single most sundering question: “Who do people say that I am?” Followed by that most amazing response from Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 

But suppose he had replied quite differently, in a way wholly unrecognizable from the New Testament record. Suppose he had said, “Well, Lord, I’m afraid there’s not much interest out there. You’ve stirred up so little excitement that the question hasn’t even come up. Maybe come back after you’ve made a bigger splash. Then we’ll talk.” 

If evidence of such an exchange ever took place, Christianity would have imploded right there on the launching pad. Because if Christ isn’t God, and therefore the answer to the question that is my life, what possible point is there in signing on with the movement he founded? It’s a total washout.  

Unless he was telling the truth, which means he is exactly who he reportedly said he was. “Before Abraham came to be, I AM.” In other words, he came from God, determined to rescue us from sin and death, from such bondage to Satan that his whole house of cards would need to come crashing down upon his diabolical head.

Could a mere preacher man have pulled that off? When Newsweek magazine revealed that only 52% of Americans actually believe that Christ was God, while insisting that he was a great moral teacher, it did not occur to the editors that even a mediocre moral teacher would never have said he was God. It would have been delusional to do so. Only a madman could imagine himself as God. Either that or someone deeply duplicitous. Such behaviors are hardly the practice of a good man.

If the evidence, therefore, prevents our choosing either alternative, which is that of Liar or Lunatic, then he really was who he said he was, i.e., the very Logos of God. What other option is there, then, but to follow him right to the very end? Indeed, in conforming our wills to God, we are launched upon a way that leads to an eternity that nothing else in this world can provide. If a man had made me a promise like that — a promise, moreover, vindicated by the evidence of an empty tomb — how could he not have produced an impression, leaving a huge reverberating splash in the great sea of history?

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