An Introduction to What Christians Believe
Christianity101: Who was Jesus & What is Christianity?
Christians base their faith on Jesus of Nazareth, who they believe was God incarnate – was fully human (and therefore suffered all the temptations and trials that we suffer), who was born, lived and died for the sins of mankind in Israel approximately 2000 years ago. He was crucified by the Roman government for claiming to be God (the messiah) 3 days after which he miraculously rose from the dead.
Was Jesus telling the truth about who he was – did he really rise from the dead? . . . if he wasn’t, then he has single handidly led more people astray than any person in history (since Christianity is the most widespread religion in the world) making him a liar, the Bible and its prophacies, a false doctrine and all the laws and principals based on it over the past 2000 years meaningless. The questions that are raised by the story of Jesus need to be looked at honestly and with an open mind if we are to find out wether Christianity is a cruel hoax or something that is real and will ultimately affect us all. For starters, did Jesus really exist? Also, if he was bluffing, why would he knowingly do so when he knew the penalty would be an excruciating death? Or was he just deluded? – in which case we must compare what we know about the phsycology of such people, with the things he said and taught.
There appear to be 4 possible reasons that can fully account for the above events:
1) Jesus was deluded, lying to himself and the authorities – he wasnt the son of God. This is extremely inconsisitent with his teachings and actions of love that virtually all agree, Christian and non-Christian were not the teachings of a deluded insane man but a ‘good moral teacher’.
2) So Jesus was just a ‘good moral teacher’, but not the Son of God. A ‘good moral teacher’ would not knowingly lie about being the Messiah.
3) Jesus was purposefully lying about being the Son of God. No sane person would do this and suffer crucifixtion for something they knew to be a lie for absolutely no gain.
4) Jesus was telling the truth , and was God incarnate.
Christians believe that all the evidence of history and archiology and what we know about phsycology, point to Jesus being who he said he was, and the ressurection actually taking place.
The gospels and the historical evidence bear out this claim that Jesus existed and actually rose from the dead. The question is what will you do with the evidence? It has been God’s practice to give evidence to those who are willing to respond. Christ appeared to his disciples because they were willing to believe when given enough evidence. He will not give evidence to those who refuse to believe.