Christianity is unlike any other religion, because it is more than a religion–it is the story of the life of the Son of God. Christ is Christianity is Christ. He is the main subject of each book of the New Testament, and fulfills all the promises of God in the Old Testament. From His incarnation to His Second Coming (Revelation 17:14), He is the God-man, Christ Jesus in glory, exalted above all creatures, having “all power in heaven and in earth”. Matthew 28:18
During His earthly ministry, He claimed to be God in human flesh. He is what He claimed, or He is not. (Revelation 1:8). Before His claim can be denied, there are some things that must be accounted for:
1) The Deity of Jesus Christ (John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The deity of Jesus Christ, or His God nature, is established in the New Testament. Some of the facts are:
2) The Humanity of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:3) 3)“concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,”
The Humanity of Jesus Christ is seen in His human parentage (Matthew 2:11)
Jesus is man, and yet He is more than man. He is not God and man, but the God-man. He is God in human flesh. His two natures are put together in such a way that the two natures become united in one person, having a single consciousness and will.
3) The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ – (Luke 1:26-35) 26) Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28) And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” 29) But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31) “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32) “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33) “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 34) “Then Mary said to the angel “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35) “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is without duplicate in history. It was by virgin birth that God became man, one person but two natures: God nature and the nature of man-man without sin (Hebrews 4:15). The union of the two natures became the God-man Christ Jesus.
4) The Death of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:8). And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
The death of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 120 times in the New Testament and is spoken of many times by the prophets in the Old Testament.
Only God in the form of man could die a vicarious, natural, unnatural, preternatural, and supernatural death.
5) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:1-20): 1) Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2) And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3) His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow. 4) And the guards shook for fear of him, and became as dead men. 5) But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6) “He is not here; for He is raised, as He said. Come; see the place where the Lord lay. 7) “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” 8). So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9) And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10) Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid, Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” 11) Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12) When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers. 13) saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14) “And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15) So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 16) Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17) When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18). And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20) “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the doctrine of the disciples, the faith of the true believer, the courage of the martyr, the theme of every sermon, and the power of every evangelist.
Luke tells us that we have “many infallible proofs” of His resurrection (Acts 1:3). Let us look at some of these “infallible proofs”:
Many of these eye witnesses died martyr’s deaths because they preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were glad to die for a living Christ. They had the “infallible proofs.”
When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, all of His disciples “forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). From this time until after His resurrection, the disciples lived in fear. They did not believe that He would rise from the dead (John 20:9). Without the Resurrection, the cross would have been the end of Christianity. After the death of Jesus, we see His disciples dejected, discouraged, and defeated. The death of Jesus meant the end. How do we account for the great change that came into their lives three days and three nights later? The only logical explanation is that they had the “infallible proofs” that He had risen from the dead, and was alive forevermore. They saw Him, talked with Him touched Him, and ate with Him.
Now look at some “infallible proofs” according to circumstantial evidence:
First, the disciples were afraid. If they stole His body, then how do you account for the fact that they all suffered, and most of them died martyrs’ deaths? Would not one of them reveal the hiding place to save his own life?
Second, no one was ever arrested or tried for stealing the body of Jesus. It is evident that the governing officials did not believe the story of the guards.
Third, the guards could have been put to death for sleeping while on watch.
Fourth, if they were asleep, how could they known who “stole” the body?
Fifth, had the enemies of Jesus moved the body, they could have produced it and ended Christianity!!
The linen clothes found in the empty tomb are proof of the Resurrection (John 20:1-10). Had anyone stolen the body, they would not have removed the linen clothes from a three day old dead body. When John saw the linen clothes, he knew that a miracle had taken place. Jesus came out of the clothes, and they collapsed without disturbing the folds. They were left in the empty tomb; and when John saw and believed that Jesus had risen from the dead.
6) The Ascension and Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:9-11): 9) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of sight. 10) And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11) who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go up into Heaven.”
After forty days of instructing His disciples, the risen Christ ascended up on high and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12). Two men brought the message of His second coming to the apostles (Acts 1:11). The message of the second coming of Jesus is so important, that it is mentioned over 300 times in the New Testament.