At one point in time and space, God entered the world in the person of Jesus Christ. It is amazing to think, that had He taken up Satan’s offer:
Jesus could have ruled the world.
He could have swept into the religious system with all His miracles and said to Father: ”I can do the job My way. I don’t really need to go through such a nasty death to reclaim the World. Just let Me do this My way.”
But He didn’t. He walked the path given Him by God, even unto death. It is this humility and obedience that made Him perfect. He now has the right to be the model for all other sons and daughters of God.
- Jesus is the most influential human ever
No other single person has influenced the course of history as much as the humble carpenter from Nazareth. His life and death divides the modern calendar into BC / AD. Human history was turned upside down within the generation that followed His life and death. Christianity grew from a few frightened followers, awaiting their own crucifixion, to untold millions of believers.
We know little about the earthly life of Jesus except from the four Gospels in the New Testament. Jewish historians and traditions offer us little more than: “He practiced magic, beguiled the people and said that he had not come to destroy the law or add to it. He was hanged on the eve of Passover for heresy and misleading the people. He had 5 disciples who healed the sick.”
2. Jesus brought Good News
Jesus came to proclaim this: “God isn’t angry at you any longer! In fact, Father wants to restore the sweet fellowship that was lost with Adam and Eve’s disobedience – BUT He wants it even better!!”
God began personal relationships first with Abraham, throughout history with His kings and prophets and then finally through His Christ. Jesus had one major message: “The Kingdom of God was come and that everyone needed to enter into it.”2Meet the Historical Jesus
The spoken and written records about Jesus were carefully handed on until some 30 years after His death. Then they were copied and revealed as the four Gospels we know today. Each of these four writers reveals Jesus from a different perspective.
3. The Gospel Records of the ministry of Jesus
Born in Bethlehem – approx. 4 BC. Spent His early life in Nazareth, where He worked as a carpenter with his earthly father Joseph.
Baptised in the River Jordan, about 27 AD, Jesus received the Holy Spirit and was commissioned for His work. Next, He withstood Satan’s enticements during a 40-day desert journey. He passed the same tests that Adam and Eve failed, thus proving His obedience to God.
He commenced His public ministry, mainly around Galilee, at age 30. He chose 12 disciples and went about preaching and healing in Judea and beyond, doing some 35 separate healings and miracles. Later He went to Jerusalem, where He was arrested, falsely accused and put to death at Passover time, about 30 AD.
He arose from the dead after 3 days and 3 nights, appeared to some 500 witnesses, commissioned His disciples and entered heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. Earth History will end with His Second Coming as a triumphant King and Judge.
4. Jesus fulfils scripture prophecy
a. Some 46 Old Testament prophecies describe what this ‘Christ’, the One sent from God, would be like. Jesus matched these prophecies perfectly.
b. He captured the people’s hearts with some 32 parables and 35 miracles. He walked on water and even stilled violent storms. Demons recognised His authority and obeyed His commands. Jesus even forgave sins – the exclusive right of God alone!
d. Jesus also showed the Father’s heart of compassion; He was touched by people’s pain and grief many times. As a result of His teachings, miracles and the work of the Holy Spirit within people’s lives, thousands of people believed in Him and His message – and the world was never the same again!
c. The Jews looked for someone different
A long hoped for era of God’s rule was beginning. However, the people thought their Messiah would be the Warrior-King, someone who would bring them deliverance from their cruel Roman overloads.
Jesus’ compassionate call for repentance and forgiveness was contrary to the Jews beliefs about the Messiah. Therefore, Jesus couldn’t be the ‘Anointed One’. They failed to recognise the suffering-servant aspect of Jesus’ life and death, as foretold in Scripture
5. Is JESUS of Nazareth, the Christ?
J. Lewis once summarized the life and death of Jesus by stating: “Jesus is either Liar, Lunatic or Lord!” What we believe about Jesus is the most important consideration in the history of mankind. The main events from the four gospels in the life of Christ are as follows:
a. His virgin birth
Jesus was conceived, through the work of the Holy Spirit, in the virgin womb of Mary. He was fully man and yet, fully God. His birth was in a manger in Bethlehem, by poor parents, born as a slave would have been.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit (Mat. 1:18).
All the Apostles and writers of the New Testament reaffirm the facts of His humble, virgin birth.
b. Jesus’ Baptism
John the Baptist prepared the way for his cousin Jesus, as foretold in prophecy (Isaiah 40:3-5). John baptised Jesus according to God’s instruction, as an example for us and a sign of Jesus’ obedience.
c. Jesus’ testing in the Wilderness
The Holy Spirit, who had descended upon Jesus at His baptism, now led Him into the wilderness for a time of testing. He fasted 40 days (Mat. 4:11). We see from Heb. 4:15 that Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are. He conquered all three temptations by using The Word of God.
d. Jesus’ Transfiguration
On the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’, Jesus’ glory shone through His body as Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah, showing Himself as the Son of God (Mat 17:1-8).
5. Healing and Miracles for the People
Jesus gave up the use of His divine attributes and limited Himself to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit’s we have today. Some 35 miracles performed by Jesus are recorded in the gospels. Miracles continue in the Name of Jesus even today.
6. Jesus’ obedience unto Death
From His false arrest to the illegal trial and conviction, Jesus submitted to the Will of the Father. He endured the mockery, the false witnesses, the abuse and the taunts thrown at Him. He faced the most horrible of deaths – all without belligerence, denial or anger.
He ‘gave up His life’; it was not taken from Him. In the end, He even asked the Father to forgive them because “… they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The hardest thing for Him to endure however, was Father turning away from the sin Jesus was carrying.
7. Jesus descended into Hell
Eph. 4:8-10, 1 Peter 3:19-20 describe a descent by Jesus into hell during the period between His death and His resurrection on Sunday morning. Since no other Bible passages state why Jesus went into Hell, we’re not sure the exact reasons. However, the following is clear:
a. Jesus fulfilled prophecy, showing death had no permanent power over Him. The event declared Jesus’ complete victory over Satan. He overcome and vanquished all opposing forces, thus declaring God’s future judgement on Satan and his hordes.
b. Jesus “ …preached to the spirits in prison ….”, to those caught by sin, death and hell.
c. He “ led captives in His train .” Possibly, Jesus brought Old Testament saints into God’s presence, to wait for the rest of the believers at the end of time.
d. Because of this, Jesus “ … gave gifts to (His church)”.
“He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1 Tim. 3:16)
8. Jesus’ glorious Resurrection
Jesus’ glorious resurrection from the dead is one of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith. The New Testament mentions the event in 104 different references, as in Acts 1:1-11.
9. His Commission to the Disciples and His followers
“The Great Commission”, Mat. 28:1-20, is the climax of this Good News message. It is as relevant for us today as it was for the disciples. While Jesus intended the good news of His Kingdom to be given to the Jews first, He wanted All people, nations, tongues and tribes be brought into His kingdom (Acts 1:7).
10. Jesus’ ascent into the Heavenlies
After 40 days, Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, as our High Priest, making intercession for us (Heb. 7:25). Jesus still has an active part in heaven: preparing for His Bride (Mat. 26:64, Acts 2:33-36, 5:31, Eph. 1:20-22, Heb. 10:12, 1 Peter 3:22, Rev. 3:21, 22:1). Jesus had to leave the natural dimension, so He could send the Holy Spirit to continue His work on Earth (John 14:17, 16:7, Acts 1:4-8).
11. His Second Coming
Before His crucifixion and after His resurrection, Jesus promised that He would come back “…in His Father’s glory…” (Mat. 16:27). He will return to complete the plan of salvation for believers. He will return just as He left (Acts 1:11), in a physical body, as a Person, as Conqueror, Lord and Judge. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess His deity at that time (Phil 2:10-11). His coming will be visible and unmistakable, with great glory and majesty (Mat. 24:30-42).
So again the question is: “Will you be ready to receive Him as the King and Lord of your Boardroom?”