Pascal's Pensées: Week 37, We Only Know Ourselves Through Jesus Christ


Not only do we know God through Jesus Christ, but we only know ourselves through Jesus Christ; we only know life and death through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ we cannot know the meaning of our life or our death, or God or ourselves.


Pascal's Wager is rightly famous, but the question "Does God exist?" isn't really the ultimate question. The ultimate question is the nature of God, and therefore the nature of human being and existence itself. The Christian confession is that Jesus Christ is, in the language of Scripture, "the image of the invisible God" and "the exact representation" of God's nature.

Beyond God's nature, there is also the shape and content of our own nature. Christ is the "son of man," which some translations render as "the human one." We point to Christ to define and describe what it means to be a human being. A falling away from Christ is a falling away from our humanity. 

Jesus is why I'm religious and not spiritual. Spirituality is vaporous and vague. Spirituality can mean almost anything. But Jesus is definite, specific, and particular. Scandalously so. And it's this concrete specificity, the sharp-edged exactness of the image, that makes me profoundly, unapologetically religious.

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