His message is as relevant and alive today as it has ever been.
The coming of Jesus had been foretold
Scriptures in the bible record the prophets of Israel predicting Jesus’ coming hundreds of years before his birth. The first half of the bible – The Old Testament – written by a lot of people over a 1,500 year time-span, includes over 300 prophecies about his coming. Every piece of information came true, including his virgin birth, his sinless life, his innumerable miracles, and the way in which he died and rose again from the dead.
Isaiah 7:14Isaiah 7:14‘Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ (Immanuel in Hebrew means ‘God is with us’)
Isaiah 35:5,6Isaiah 35:5,6‘The blind will be able to see, and the deaf will hear. The lame will leap and dance, and those who cannot speak will shout for joy. Streams of water will flow through the desert.’
Isaiah 53:8,9Isaiah 53:8,9‘He will be arrested and sentenced and led off to die, and no one will care about his fate. He will be put to death for the sins of our people. He will be placed in a grave with evil men, and buried with the rich, even though he never committed a crime or ever told a lie.’
Psalm 16:10Psalm 16:10‘For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.’
The way Jesus conducted his life, the way he spoke, his tragic death on the cross, his resurrection and his ascent into heaven, all lead to the conclusion that he was not just a human being but someone far greater.
John 10:29,30John 10:29,30‘What my Father has given me is greater than everything, and no one can snatch them away from the Father’s care.The Father and I are one.’
John 14:9John 14:9‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.’
John 14:6John 14:6 ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.’
The teachings and influence of Jesus
Throughout time the message and influence of Jesus has made huge differences not only to the lives of people but also to complete countries. Wherever his teachings have been embraced, the rights of individuals have been firmly established, slavery abolished, places of education set up, and countless more improvements made for the benefit of the human race.
The Christian church is by far the largest institution that exists or has ever existed in the history of the world. Central to the Christian faith is the resurrection, and there are a number of reasons why those studying the resurrection believe it is true:
Luke 24:44Luke 24:44‘Then he said to them, “These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the psalms had to come true.”’
Matthew 27: 62-66Matthew 27: 62-66‘The next day, which was a sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees met with Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, ‘I will be raised to life three days later.’ Give orders then, for his tomb to be carefully guarded until the third day, so that his disciples will not be able to go and steal the, and then tell the people that he was raised from death. This last lie would be even worse than the first one.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate told them, “go and make the tomb as secure as you can.” So they left and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and leaving the guard on watch.’
Mark 16:9-13Mark 16:9-13‘After Jesus rose from death early on Sunday, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went and told his companions. They were mourning and crying; and when they heard her say that Jesus was alive, and that she had seen him, they did not believe her. ‘After this, Jesus appeared in a different manner to two of them while they were on their way to the country. They returned and told the others, but they would not believe it.’
John 20:19-29John 20:19-29‘ It was late that Sunday evening and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” One of the 12 disciples, Thomas, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” Thomas said to them, ”Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here, and look at my hands, then stretch out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting and believe!” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my god!” “Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”’
Matthew 28:18-20Matthew 28:18-20‘On the hill in Galilee Jesus drew near and said to his disciples, “I have been given all authority in Heaven and on Earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”’
Luke 24:1-1Luke 24:1-1‘On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered his words.
Yet after his resurrection and their experience at Pentecost, these same discouraged, disappointed men and women were transformed by the mighty power of the risen Christ.Acts 2:1-12Acts 2:1-12‘When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance.’ ‘And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of god.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”’
In his name, they spread the word and turned the world into a very different place.Acts 6:7Acts 6:7‘So God's message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.’
Considering the overwhelming evidence proving the Deity and resurrection of Jesus, no-one can honestly deny that he is the Son of God, the promised messiah.
A resurrected founder
A living lord