As you think about that question, perhaps a number of things come to your mind—from the urgent to the mundane and everything in between. You may think of your need for things like food, shelter, clothing, sleep, and relationships. You may need your brakes fixed on your car or your air conditioner to be repaired. You may need to visit the doctor because your child has an ear infection and is unable to sleep through the night. The list goes on and on.
Physical needs such as food and shelter are of course very important. While not neglecting those things, the Bible takes us further and talks about our greatest needs. In my previous post, I mentioned that the Bible teaches that the God who is there has come to earth as the God-man, who is Jesus Christ. How, precisely, does his coming help us? D.A. Carson says that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection addresses our three greatest needs:
- We are sinners and we need to be reconciled to a holy and just God.
- We need to be morally transformed.
- We need all the effects of sin to be reversed and overcome.
This includes not only our relationships with one another but also death itself.
Jesus directly confronts all of these things. Carson says “biblical Christianity is much more than simply making a decision for Jesus so that we can live happy lives. We must be genuinely reconciled to the holy God who is there. We ourselves must be transformed—in measure right now, and for the rest of our lives, and ultimately with the kind of thorough transformation that leaves no hint of self-centeredness.” We need our greatest enemy to be destroyed, which is death itself. And when this happens, we will be “swamped in sheer delight at the glory and centrality of God.”
How does Jesus address our three greatest needs? At least in part, he does so by granting us new birth (John 3:1-21; 1 Peter 1:23-25).