Who Is Jesus?
Long before Jesus was born, prophets spoke of a Redeemer who would come and rescue the world. Apparently the downward spiral of humanity and the world was as evident then as it is now. Things are broken, and humanity is not going to be able to fix it. With humanity’s dilemma in mind, the prophets predicted the coming of a Messiah … sometime in general terms, sometimes specific. But they spoke as if his coming was a certainty.
When Jesus was born, strange things began to happen. Eastern mystics found their way to him by following a star. Prophets and prophetesses became awestruck when seeing him in public with his parents. His mother, Mary, swore to the fact that she had never even been with a man. A strange beginning, no doubt.
As Jesus grew, normalcy constantly seemed to escape his life. There was never a single eyewitness who stepped forward claiming that they ever saw him do anything wrong … not a wrong action, a wrong word, nothing. Then, as an adult, he launched out into the public by teaching. He would teach in synagogues and on hillsides about living in harmony with God. Hundreds were mesmerized by his words. But it wasn’t just his manner of teaching that drew large crowds. It was the fact that the supernatural seemed to accompany him wherever he went. People’s diseases were disappearing. Their lifelong infirmities were being healed. On a couple of occasions, dead people even came back to life. This was not normal, and people could not ignore it.
Jesus was a polarizing figure in his day. The broken and hurt flocked to him. The powerful and religious were threatened by him. Eventually the religious leaders conspired against him and had him executed through the Roman government. Jesus was now out of their hair, right?
A few days after Jesus was buried, his tomb was found mysteriously empty. It was at this time that people began to claim that Jesus was not dead … hundreds of people. Actual eyewitnesses. They had seen him. Spoke with him. Ate with him. Touched him.
Those prophets of old had spoken of a Savior who would die and come back to life. They also said he would heal the sick, raise the dead, and be born of a virgin. The truth of the matter is that they said a lot of things that sounded exactly like Jesus.
When you consider all of these things surrounding Jesus’ life, and then add to it the claims he made about himself (see John 8:25-44, John 14:6, and John 18:1-40 just to name a few) you have to conclude that either he was the Messiah or that he was a crazy person.
We are a people who have chosen to believe the claims of those who witness to his life and resurrection. We’ve acknowledged him to be God in the flesh … the Divine Messiah who came to bear the sin of mankind upon himself so that all who believe could be saved. And we’ve discovered, just as Scripture promises, that faith in Jesus ushers in the redeeming power to transform the human heart – something humanity has not been able to do for itself. We’ve discovered that Jesus saves, and we believe his promise that those who believe in him will never perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).