Some might say that they find it hard to believe that we look to a man who died on a cross almost 2000 years ago, in a far away land, as the source of our faith and belief in God. I can understand someone making that assumption but the man Jesus wasn’t just an ordinary man.
Some might say that there have been many extraordinary men in the world’s history and being a great moralistic teacher doesn’t necessarily justify our looking to Jesus as being extraordinary above all others. I can understand someone making that assumption but Jesus wasn’t just an extraordinary man, nor was He just a great moralistic teacher.
Some might say that all “religions” are basically the same and that Christianity is but one way in which one may seek God. I can understand someone making that assumption but actually there are a good number of distinct differences between Christianity and all other “religions”. A couple of which are: Christianity is the only religion that says that you can’t achieve the objective of being at one with God by doing A, B and C and that in fact, you can’t earn your way to God, it has to be done for you. And Christianity is the only religion where the founder of that religion actually rose from the dead, literally and historically.
Some might say that our record of His words and things that He did comes from a series of books that date back thousands of years and we have no way of knowing if what we now have in our Bible is actually what was written so many years ago. I can understand someone making that assumption but actually we can prove the Bible’s accuracy, both in the Old Testament via the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament via thousands of manuscripts, vastly superior to any other ancient document.
Some might say that these stories and transcribed words found in the Bible can’t be confirmed. I can understand someone making that assumption but the Bible deals with real people, real places and real events in real specific historical time periods. Not one person, place or event as recorded in the Bible has ever been disproven and many of the Bible’s people, places and recorded events have been confirmed, time and time again, through continual archeological discoveries.
Some might say that the “prophecies” of the Old Testament dealt with generalities that could be interpreted in a number of different ways. I can understand someone making that assumption but it would be an incorrect one. In the Old Testament, the prophecies that specifically speak about the coming and suffering of the Messiah (the anointed One), are very distinct prophecies which deal with the betrayal of Jesus (the Messiah) and His suffering and death on the cross (betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, hands and feet pierced, bones not broken, etc). Interestingly enough, many Old Testament prophecies were literally fulfilled during Christ’s ministry.
Some might say that the recorded miracles that Jesus performed and the power he demonstrated over nature are fabrications of the disciples of Jesus and I can understand someone making that assumption if one where not to bear in mind that these are the same disciples who wrote the four Gospels and the Epistles and Revelation of the New Testament. These are the same disciples who confirmed as eye witnesses, that Jesus fed thousands with a small number of loaves of bread and fishes. These are the same disciples who confirmed He walked on water, calmed the stormy sea, healed all manner of diseases and infirmities for thousands, raised people who were dead to life again and how they actually heard God from heaven confirm in spoken words that Jesus was His Son, whom He loved and was well pleased with. And most importantly, these are the same disciples who saw Jesus die on the cross, get buried in a tomb and rise again after three days, as He had told them He would. These are the same disciples who testified that Jesus appeared to them, multiple times, over a period of 40 days and that Jesus was seen by over 500 people, one of which was Jesus’s half brother James. These are the same disciples who saw the wounds in His hands and feet and where He had been pierced on His side. These are the same disciples who were eye witnesses to Jesus’s ascension back up to Heaven. Plus we have the conversion of Saul, a Pharisee, who’s mission was to flush our Christians and bring them to justice. The Pharisee Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and Saul became the Apostle Paul, a new man. These are the same disciples who gave their lives (excluding the Apostle John) for what they believed to be true because they had seen and heard with their own eyes and ears. These are the same believers who history records, turned the world upside down.
Some might say that faith in Jesus is wishful thinking, a crutch for those who can’t deal with reality. I can understand that assumption too, because I’ve been there. But for those of us who have taken Jesus at His word, where he says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 ASV), the reality of His presence, the acceptance of His love and sacrifice for us, is transforming, and we become a new person.
What is all boils down to in the end is not what “some might say” but what you actually say about Jesus, the Son of God, who became man so that we could learn of our Father Creator and His love for us.
“Wishful thinking” you say? Really? Tell me how the information code got into our DNA. Tell me how sheer chance was responsible for “life” just suddenly happening. Tell me how average our planet earth is. Tell me how the fine tuning constants in the universe just all happened by chance. And most importantly, tell me what would possess these disciples of Christ who denied Him and ran away in fear when Jesus was led away to be crucified, to suddenly and boldly proclaim Him as Lord and Saviour AFTER His resurrection.
If you had been there and heard what they heard, saw what they saw and experienced what they experienced, what would you have done?
Remember doubting Thomas who was absent in one of the first times that Jesus appeared to some of the disciples? Remember what Jesus said to him?
John 20:24-28 NIV “Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
John 20:29 NIV “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 3:16 NIV “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!