This week is mission week for something called the "Jesus is ." campaign. The basic idea is talking about who Jesus is - getting people to fill in the blank, seeing what they say. Maybe you think Jesus is fictional, or a fairytale, or only a myth or legend, or just a good person, like Gandhi or Mother Teresa or something.
For myself, though, I instantly realised that you could remove the blank, and it was already a complete sentence. Jesus is. And that works in two ways, as well!
Firstly, it works as a parallel of God's "I AM," which is the name that he gives to Moses, and is generally written as LORD in the Old Testament. In the Hebrew, that's the YHWH, tetragrammaton, or Yahweh, as you might know. Some people write it as JHVH and Jehovah instead. But the idea is that God exists, that Jesus exists, not because of anything else. We are here because of our parents, who are here because of their parents, etc etc. But the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit - God just is. Irrespective of what happens in the world, irrespective of what people believe or think; he doesn't require your belief in him to exist, or have power, or have form, or anything. God was around for - well, negative infinity, I guess, before anyone else or anything else was. It's pretty crazy stuff.
The other reason it works, though, is in contrast to how some people might put it. Some people might say, "Jesus was...." That Jesus was this or that, way back when, two thousand years ago. But that's the thing. And that's one of the most exciting things about Christianity, and about Jesus. That Jesus is alive. It's not Jesus was - it's Jesus is! Jesus has defeated death, and lives once more. And that's where there's rather a point of difference between Jesus and - well, anyone else. There aren't many that can claim to still be alive that lived a couple of thousand years ago on Earth...
But this is why we have hope. Because death has been defeated, and Jesus is alive. Jesus is still here. Not as a human person walking among us, but rather, his Spirit is with us. And because he has defeated death - death has no power over us either. That's pretty awesome. :)
Anyway. Thought I'd just reflect on that. Let me know what you'd put in the blank!