Who is Jesus and is he God?
How is it that more than two thousand years later, the world still celebrates the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth? How is it that his words are quoted more often than those of anyone else? How is it that people have been prepared, not only to live for him, but to die for their belief in him?
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is verified by some of the best-supported eye-witness accounts in all of history (see 1 John 1:1). But this is not the reason for the impact that Jesus has had on every field of human endeavor.
Jesus made astonishing claims about himself, claims that eventually got him killed. He said:
- “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12);
- “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18);
- I have come to “seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10);
- “For the Son of Man” (the name Jesus often used to describe himself) “is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward everyone according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:27);
- “Your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2);
- “I and my Father are One” (John 10:30).
At his trial, Jesus told the High Priest: “You will see me seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” With these words, Jesus put himself equal to God.
Jesus matched his deeds to his words. He healed the sick, raised the dead, forgave sins, and taught people about the love of God. He was completely different to other teachers and preachers, who taught that people must obey hundreds of religious rituals and rules.
He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And as Jesus suffered and died on the cross, he demonstrated that he was God. In spite of his innocence, he freely forgave his murderers, and he promised the criminal on the cross beside him “You will be with me in Paradise.”
Jesus claimed to have come to reveal what God was like to the world. Indeed, he specifically claimed to be God in the flesh (see John 8:58). Immediately after his death and resurrection, this claim was believed and supported by those who knew him best, and in an unprecedented way, believed by millions in the years that followed.
Without Jesus Christ, God would be a mystery too great for our human minds to begin to grasp. Jesus came to show us God in a form we could understand and relate to: a God of love and compassion, who longs to rescue his wayward children. Jesus extended human understanding of God because he was the perfect revelation of God. Here is the power of Christianity.
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