Who Is Jesus?
Why Did Jesus Die?
What Is Faith in Jesus?
by Rev. Don Everts
There’s no more central question to the Christian faith than “Who is Jesus?” Who is this first-century man written of in the Bible and espoused as Lord, Savior—and God!—by hundreds of millions, for more than 2,000 years? With this question in our minds, we may also ask, “Why did Jesus die?” Why did He meet such a horrific end, and why does it matter today? After considering these questions, it’s only natural to then ask, What is faith in Jesus?—which is the title of the third book in this Jesus trilogy. What does it mean to believe in Him, and how does that then play out in the life of the believer? Working through questions like these, Rev. Don Everts takes readers on a journey that’s both engaging and personal.
In Who Is Jesus?, Everts notes the Christian’s heartfelt and rightly placed preoccupation with Jesus. For those who experienced Jesus firsthand, He amazed and astounded, perplexed and befuddled. Scripture portrays Him as One who seized others’ attention by what He said and did. Considering people’s varied reactions to Jesus, Everts briefly speaks to the historicity of the Gospels; the abundant New Testament manuscript evidence; and the biblical writers’ unflagging concern with accurately telling the story of Jesus. Noting Jesus’ “I am” statements, Everts shows how Jesus took pains to spell out who He was, why He came, and what His life was all about.
Naturally, a next question to be asked of Jesus is “Why did He die?” Here the focus is on the cross as both an instrument of death and a symbol venerated by Christians (and others) the world over. That Jesus was put to death on a cross reflects the culture He lived in (Rome was in charge and crucifixion was a favored means of public execution), and the fact that He as Messiah had to pay for our sins with His life, according to the will of God. Everts addresses the everyday and eternal consequences of our sins and how Jesus, bearing our sins on the cross, earned the ultimate victory against death and devil. In Why Did Jesus Die? the reader sees God at work behind this brutal event, reconciling the world to Himself at the expense of His Son’s life.
Then there’s the question of faith. In What Is Faith in Jesus? Everts writes, “What does it mean to believe in Jesus? This fascinating question is related to other important and sometimes hotly debated issues like ‘Is the Bible true?’ ‘Is the Christian church corrupt? ‘Aren’t all religions the same? These are all important questions to ask, but if you want to understand the core of the Christian faith. You also need to ask this important question: ‘What does it mean to believe in Jesus?’”
For those wanting to know more about Jesus, Everts suggests keeping a few things in mind: 1) take time to encounter Jesus Himself through Bible reading and conversations with Christians; 2) stay inquisitive: ask questions, search for answers, and read the Bible as God’s Word; and 3) consider deeply the costs and benefits of following Jesus. “Faith is authentic. It is about the real you, following the real Jesus,” Everts adds.