What if God was one of us.


What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home”
(Song & Lyrics by Eric Bazilian and originally sung by Joan Osborne)

“What if God was one of us?” This was one of the questions posed in the Joan Osborne song from 1995. The song asked many questions about faith and believing. It even asked what I think is a very insightful question, “Would you want to see God’s face, if seeing meant you would have to believe?” Many, I suspect would not want to see God’s face cause having to believe would be very inconvenient to a self-centered life.

However, let us reflect more on this first question, “What if God was one of us?” How would we really react to a God who came down from heaven to walk and live amongst us? What would we ask this God amongst us? How would our life be altered?

If this seems like a novel idea, it is not. The Bible tells us that God’s plan to save mankind from its own folly and sin involved His coming in the form of man. At Christmas, we sing of the baby Jesus born in Bethlehem, we sing of the Emmanuel which actually means God with us. Jesus was God amongst us, one of us.

And how did the world react to Jesus? They crucified him on a cross outside the city gates of Jerusalem where just a few days earlier they had welcomed him in like a king. Just a few days before, he was their Messiah, their savior, their hero. Now they had beaten him, whipped him, striped him and hung him from the cross and there they mocked him as he died.

Yet, it is through his death that good news has reached mankind. Jesus has become our Messiah, our saviour and our hero. He did this by voluntarily dying and taking on the punishment of the sins of all mankind. He did this by defeating death and rising from the dead. He did this at Easter.

The life, death and resurrection of Christ was foretold in the ancient scriptures hundreds of years before. It said that he would be nothing special in appearance……a slob like one of us. However, by dying on the cross, he has freed us from the power and penalty of sin and has given us a future with hope, walking with God. What is our response to God who was one of us, lived and died for us and now alive to give us hope. What is our response? “Would you want to see God’s face, if seeing meant you would have to believe?”

From the Book of Isaiah 53:1-12
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

(Salvadore Dali’s Crucifixion; 1954)
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