Facing The Truth About Jesus Christ

December 8, 2010

Here comes another long post but if you are sincere in your desire to defend your faith about who Jesus Christ is, I pray you will take some time to cogitate on this topic.  I believe this is of most importance because of the Christmas season.  The atheists are only getting bolder in their attacks against Christians and Christianity.  We better have our swords sharpened.

We must start off by stating that in all facets of life there will always be people who freely choose to reject Truth regardless of the subject matter or the consequences. It is no different when it comes to Jesus Christ. We all make choices based on our presuppositions, values and what we perceive to be real and True.

You see 27 years ago this month, I made the decision to finally surrender my life to this Jesus I had heard about the previous 19 years of my life. Did I make this decision rashly or out of ignorance? Absolutely not. It will never cease to amaze me how cynics and skeptics will charge into someone’s claim of faith in Christ with the accusation that “You blindly follow something you know nothing about. Open your eyes and search for knowledge and experience in other religions for they hold just as much truth as your new found religion does.” Of course that is a major paraphrase of the many comments I have gotten over the years but it sums them up in a nut shell nonetheless.

Why do people do that? Are they motivated by fear that Jesus is Who He said He was…God? I believe emphatically that the answer is yes. Why fear? Because IF Jesus is truly God, then everything He said is True. That means that you and I WILL be held accountable for our actions and thoughts. Jesus said in Matthew 12:35-37, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

You see people don’t like to be told that their way of life could be wrong. I didn’t like it. I hated it when I was told I would go to hell if I died without Jesus. And I was a church going boy most of my life. However, unlike many false allegations hurled against me and other Christians, I DID examine the evidence over a period of years. While I was searching and PLEADING for God to show Himself to me…to MAKE me believe, slowly He began to reveal Himself and His Truth to me. You noticed I said I wanted Him to “MAKE” me believe? I was not willing to surrender and humble myself to God. I was not willing to tell all my drinking buddies that I “surrendered” of my own free will. My pride wouldn’t allow it. If there was going to be any kind of conversion experience, it was going to be God forcing me to convert by a personal appearance to ME and speaking DIRECTLY TO ME to convince me.

But God in His Wisdom didn’t do that. You see, over time He began to show me that He had already revealed Himself to me…through the Bible. I began to search for other sources to verify that Jesus is who He claimed He was. Was there other sources outside of the Bible to that shed light on whether or not Jesus truly did exist? And if so did that lend credence that Jesus is Who He claimed to be…God?

The answer is yes. There are several sources. Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus mentions Jesus in his book called “Antiquities”, Book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 says ” Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

Pliny the younger who was Governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor wrote of Christ.
He is spoken of in the Talmud.
Greek writer Lucian mentions Jesus.
Tacitus, a Roman historian mentions “Christus” in his “Annals”
Thallus who wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time wrote around AD 52 about the eclipse of the sun at the time of the crucifixion.

I point these out because there are those who demand extra-Biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus. I believe that any intellectually honest person would not discount the historical documentation that indeed, Jesus Christ was a man who walked on this earth 2000 years ago. Once we have established this historic fact, we must then ask the next obvious question: Was He God as He claimed? And if so, what does that mean to you and me?

C.S. Lewis made the following famous statement: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

The name, Jesus Christ, has caused more division, agitation and controversy than any other name in history. If you bring up God in a discussion, nobody is really offended. If you speak about Buddha or Brahman, Moses or Mohammed, you really don’t irritate the listener. However, the name Jesus Christ seems to cut right to the soul. Something makes this one religious leader more contentious and convicting than all the others combined. Why is that? What is it?

You see as mentioned earlier, unlike any other widely followed religious leader in history, Jesus Christ made a unique claim. He declared Himself God. Not one of many gods like some friends believe, not god-like, but God incarnate…the Creator of the universe in human flesh. Intellectually, that’s disturbing. Spiritually, that’s the most liberating thing that could ever happen to humankind.

Jesus said He was God. This is why the RELIGIOUS leaders of His day had Him crucified. When He was on trial before them…His life on the line, the high priest asked Him point blank, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy.” Mark 14:61-64

Now, there will be some who will say, “But He didn’t say He was GOD in that claim”. That is what many of the other religions and cults say but let’s look at more evidence. In John 5:17-18 Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Still not convinced? In John 10:30-33 Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

In John 17:5 He said, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

In John 8:56-58 we find Him saying, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!”

Please understand Jesus was not only claiming to be equal with God in the previous Scriptures, but in the last two references, He said He existed BEFORE the world began. Jesus was saying that He was not a created being but has ALWAYS existed. Jesus goes even further in John 8:56-58. You saw where He used the reference “I AM” that God used while talking to Moses on the mountain in the burning bush in Exodus 3:13-15. Jesus is declaring not only has He always existed, but that He is the God of the Old Testament, the One and Only in the second Person of the Trinity. It is obvious Jesus CLAIMED the be God from the evidence, but is there PROOF that He was God?

Well let’s take a look at what some several prominent figures in the Bible say regarding Jesus being God. Here are just a few:

The Demons:
“When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” Luke 8:27-28

The Centurion:
“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39

Peter:
“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:15-16

Paul:
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:9-10

And in Luke 22:70 we find Jesus before the Sanhedrin: “They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

These are just a few of the examples of Jesus being shown to be God the Son from several different sources. It is ridiculous to think that someone might wind up saying, “Whoops, I’m sorry. I thought I was God, but I guess I’m not. Please forgive me; it was an honest mistake.” If Jesus claimed to be God and was not, a serious alternative explanation will be required. If He did not claim to be God, then later claims about Him as God lose their force, since the most important witness to His identity (Himself) never said such a thing. Also keep mind this one very important fact…if He was not God…or none of the miracles attributed to Him in the New Testament did not happen but were only fictional stories “written by a bunch of men” as has been charged many times on this site, then where in all of antiquity are the historical recordings from the time these quotes were documented to dispute what He said? Why is there no evidence from the time of Christ that would rebut His claims? Surely if what the Bible records as history did NOT happen, there would be records disputing these lofty assertions would there not? Remember, Jesus had MANY enemies as did His disciples. They had plenty of time to advance a rebuttal to these proclamations. Think about it. Pray about it. And then be intellectually honest with yourself about it.

In Christ,

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2 Responses to “Facing The Truth About Jesus Christ”

  1. H.C. said

    why does a person who is christian, even have to defend their faith? Isn’t that like having to convince someone that you live like you should if they are questioning your motives? Not sure that makes sense, but defending sounds like its something negative to me.

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