This is not everything, of course. To say “what we believe” could take volumes and has taken centuries. But from the earliest days of the church, Christians have confessed “Jesus is Lord.” The need to be clear about what that means led to the development of the Apostles’ Creed the most widely accepted statement of Christian belief worldwide. That’s our starting point. But here is a more contemporary expression of what we believe about Jesus.
Jesus was a real part of history. Jesus was born of a woman — Mary. In a particular place — the Middle East. To a particular people — the Jews. He was born as a helpless infant who hungered, cried, had to be changed, and grew as all babies grow. As a man, Jesus knew all of the feelings humans know — joy, sadness, discouragement, loneliness, and longing. Yet, Jesus also trusted completely in God and was without sin.
Jesus’ actual ministry on earth was short — approximately three years. Because his teachings challenged powerful religious and government leaders, he was executed as a dangerous and seditious criminal. He died, was buried, and was resurrected by God. For Christians, this resurrection is God’s most amazing miracle, and it is proof that Jesus was indeed divine.
We believe that Jesus is as alive today as he was on the first Easter morning, and that he is present with us today, even though we cannot see him or physically touch him. We call Jesus “Lord” because he has saved us from the power of death and the power of sin — and because, through his sacrifice, we are able to know the fullness of God’s love for us.
Christians also believe that Jesus will one day return to complete the task of recreating a world where justice, peace, and love rule, and where evil is no more. To those who believe in Christ, such an event is seen, not with fear, but with joyful anticipation. Because Jesus showed that not even death can stop God’s purpose and God’s activity, we know that we have life and hope forever.