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What does it mean to have Jesus at the centre?
Thank you so much for your honest question. It certainly is important for Christians to try to be as clear as we possibly can when we are talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, since we believe that he is the only way that we can come to know God for ourselves.
I could talk about many things which Jesus is the centre of, but in this answer, I will try to point to three areas in which it is true to say that “Jesus is at the centre”. In doing so, I will use the Bible, which says that it is the word of God to us. I pray that as you read this response it will help you begin to see more clearly what it means for Jesus to be “at the centre”, and what that means for you.
Jesus is at the centre of the universe
According to the Bible, Jesus is the creator of the universe:
For by him [Jesus Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16).
This shows that Jesus is not only a good man, a prophet, and a wonderful teacher; Jesus, as Christians have recognised from the earliest centuries of the Church, is God the Son. As you can imagine, then, Jesus is very much worth listening to!
In fact, Jesus is not only the creator of the universe, he also continually sustains it:
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:3)
Jesus is at the centre of history
For many centuries, history was, and often still is, divided into 'BC' (Before Christ) and 'AD' (Anno Domini, Latin for 'year of our Lord'). The coming of Jesus as a baby divides history into two. More than that, the Bible says very clearly that Jesus will return again, not as a baby this time, but as a judge, to right all wrongdoing. The Bible is clear that, when this happens, all wrong will be wiped away, and God himself will live with his people in a wonderfully close way:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
Jesus is at the centre of the Bible.
You may well know that the New Testament of the Bible begins with four accounts of Jesus’ life, and that after this there are a number of letters explaining more about the significance of his life, death and resurrection.
However, not only does the New Testament speak about the Lord Jesus Christ; He himself claimed that the whole Old Testament spoke about him too. This is seen very clearly in an account of an event that took place after Jesus' resurrection. As he walked with two of his disciples, we are told:
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
Throughout the New Testament, we see Jesus' followers understanding the Old Testament to speak very clearly about who Jesus is and what he had come to do. There are a couple more examples of New Testament writers doing this at the end of this answer.
Here, then, are three things that we can say that Jesus is at the centre of: the universe, human history, and the Bible. Let us now point out what appears to have been at the very centre of Jesus’ life on earth, and how that relates to you and me:
The cross is at the centre of Jesus' life
You may want to begin to read for yourself one of the accounts of Jesus' life which were written by some of his earliest followers within a few decades of his death and resurrection: The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you want to find out about Jesus, there is no better place to start than these.
As you do so, you will notice something very interesting: there is only a very small amount of the gospels taken up with the birth and childhood of Jesus. Indeed, even his extraordinary teaching and miracles seem less central than this: the fact that Jesus was put to death on a cross. A large section of each of the gospels is taken up with the events immediately leading up to Jesus' crucifixion.
This may seem odd, since crucifixion was reserved for the worst kind of criminals, so that they could be made into a public example and warning by the Roman rulers. The kind of shame surrounding crucifixion can be seen in the fact that, when Jesus began to predict his death on a cross, his follower Peter told him not to speak like this (Mark 8:31-33).
Why would the gospel writers focus on the shameful death of their hero, a man they wanted to tell others about? Because it is through his death, and resurrection, that Jesus has rescued a people for himself from sin and death and hell. On the cross, Jesus Christ took on himself the debt for sin that we could not pay. He died, in order that we might live.
If you realise your need for God's forgiveness, and that you can be forgiven only because of what Jesus has done, put your trust in Christ, asking God's forgiveness in prayer. You can hear what Jesus did for you by watching the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
In summary, we have seen that the Bible declares Jesus to be at the centre of the universe, at the centre of history, and at the centre of all that the Bible says. We have also seen that, at the very centre of Jesus' mission on earth was that he should die on a Roman cross, and in so doing, pay the debt owed to God by sinners like us.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Acts 8:26-35
- Hebrews 1: 5-9
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question
*All Scripture references are taken from the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you.If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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