There is no doubt that Jesus was a historic person. This is confirmed by several non-Christians including both Jewish and Roman historians such as Josephus, Tacitus and Pliny the younger. But the most important testimony comes from Jesus’ own followers, whom under severe persecution wrote and testified what they were convinced was true to the degree that many of them were killed for their faith and testimony.
Most people would probably agree that Jesus was a teacher of wisdom. Read for example the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 which contains one of Jesus’ most known and loved teaching. At the same time Jesus made some of the most shocking statements like for example: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (Joh 14:6), “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (Joh 11:25) and “unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (Joh 8:24).
The author C.S. Lewis has said that based on the many claims that Jesus made we need to take a stand regarding who he is. If what he said was not correct than he was either a liar or a lunatic (crazy), but if it really is true than Jesus is Lord.
Many rightly claim that Jesus was a prophet. This is confirmed by many of those whom he met and by what he said and did. In fact, he is the one that the prophets foretold would come.
The Old Testament is filled with prophecies about Jesus as the coming Messiah, the King who would come to save his people.
Just to mention a few, we can read how he would be born by a virgin in Bethlehem (Isa 7:17; Mic 5:2), come from the lineage of David and reign forever (2 Sam 7:13, 16; Isa 9:6-7), that he would be identified as God’s Son (2 Sam 7; Ps 2, cp. Luk 9:35) and heal the sick (Isa 35).
We can also read how the promised Messiah would be betrayed (Ps 41; 109), hated and must suffer (Ps 69). Psalm 22 describes in detail 1000 years before Jesus’ death his crucifixion (cp. Zech 12:10). In a similar way Isaiah 53 gives a captivating description about how the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, must suffer and die and Psalms 16 speaks about his resurrection. In the four Gospels it becomes clear that Jesus is the fulfillment of the many prophecies about the promised Messiah.
But Jesus is more than just the Messiah, both he himself (Mark 14:61-62; Joh 10:30-33), the prophets (Isa 9:6; Dan 7:13-14; Mc 5:2) and his followers confirmed that he is God who became a man ( Joh 1:1-3, 14; Phil 2:6-11; Joh 20:28; Tit 2:13). This was to save lost sinners from judgment to a wonderful eternity with him.
Jesus himself prophesied that he would die, and on the third day be raised (Luk 9:22; 13:33; 18:31-33). If Jesus was not raised from the dead we can dismiss him as a liar or lunatic, but if he really rose from the dead he is the Lord, the promised Messiah, God himself who became a man to save all who repent and believe in him. Jesus’ disciples were so convinced that he had risen that they endured prison, torture and most of them were killed because of their conviction.
Have you met Jesus? If not, why not try to read one of the Gospels and take a stand regarding who Jesus is. If you would like to do this in a smaller group or together with someone who has known Jesus for a long time, do not hesitate to contact us.