Jesus is a name familiar to everyone. It would be difficult to find someone who has not heard of Him. So who is this man?
Nothing is normal about Jesus. His mother was a virgin when He was conceived making His birth an absolute marvel. He taught that God loved humanity and wanted to restore the broken connection between them and that He came to reestablish the relationship between God and mankind. In everything He did Jesus demonstrated compassion to the poor and hurting. In the ultimate act of love He offered His body to be crucified as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Since Jesus is fully God death couldn’t have the final say-so. Jesus rose from the dead, giving hope to all those who believe in Him.
One with the Father
John, perhaps Jesus’ closest friend, writes about one statement Jesus made about Himself. I and the Father are one (John 10:30). This means that Jesus Himself is fully God and co-equal to the Father in status and power. Jesus left the heavens and came to Earth simply to let humanity know who God is. He is identical in every way to the Father and so that qualifies Him to be the perfect messenger and sacrifice for our shortcomings and failures, also known as sins.
From the beginning of His life Jesus attracted attention. His birth was unique. It was spoken of and anticipated by many generations before His time. The prophet Isaiah promised the nation of Israel that God would send someone to save the world. Isaiah said we would know who it is because His mother would be a virgin when He was conceived (Isaiah 7:14). Her pregnancy would not be the result of a man but from God. Luke, an author in the New Testament, records the circumstances of Jesus’ birth. He writes that an angel appeared to a girl named Mary and told her “You will become pregnant and have a son. You are to name Him Jesus. He will be great and called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:31-32). To be called the Son of God means that He bears God’s name and authority. Jesus’ astonishing birth identified Him as the One who was promised to be the Savior of all people and the only one capable of providing peace and meaning with God.
Jesus captivated large audiences because He taught things that challenged them and healed those who were sick. Jesus wasn’t afraid to approach those who were rejected by society because of their illness. Because of this, Jesus was ridiculed and rejected by the religious leaders of His day. Jesus traveled from city to city modeling compassion to those who were hurting. He said that this is what the Father had chosen for Him to do (Luke 4:18-19).
The most unusual event of Jesus’ life was His death. Jesus was wrongly charged by the authorities and was deemed worthy of capital punishment. Jesus was sentenced to the worst of penalties for crimes He did not commit. What is even more peculiar is that Jesus claimed that this injustice was the reason He was born (John 12:27). He told the man who overlooked His trial that the true decision of His death came from God and not man. Another writer says that Jesus’ brutal death was God’s demonstration of His powerful love. “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). Christ didn’t die because He was a threat to some or because He broke any laws, yet His death was purposeful. When He died, He was receiving the punishment for the sins of every person who ever existed and will ever exist (I Peter 2:24).
Three days after Jesus’ death, the grave that held Jesus’ body was found empty. Because He is God, Jesus could not be held down by death. In the greatest event of all time, He rose from the dead.
His resurrection is the hope of every believer that one day they too will be raised. Also, His resurrection confirms His identity as God. Only God has the power over death. After He rose from the dead He gave instructions to His followers, and then ascended to heaven. He left them and us with a promise: That one day He will return to set up an eternal Kingdom of God with those who trust in Him.
Jesus’ life here on Earth was remarkable. He was perfect in all that He did and said, not committing any sin. He modeled the giving and compassionate heart of the Father in every way. What does Jesus tell us about Himself? He gives us a description of Himself so exclusive that no one can ignore it. It challenges even the most brilliant of minds today. He tells us that He is God’s only plan for the world. That humanity only has one hope and His name is Jesus. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) By asking Him into our lives we too can receive true peace and meaning with God.