Jesus Christ Biography
He was born the son of simple peasants. Though he seemed to know all mankind, he never traveled very far from his hometown. Though he possessed obvious wisdom, he never achieved high academic degrees, or gave an exam, or wrote a book. He never owned a home, earned a high income, or had a wife and children. Though He had followers, He never tried to incorporate them into a massive crusading organization. He stood for everything that is just and right and good, yet many of the religious elite were against him. When he was only thirty-three they railroaded him to an unjust execution on a Roman cross.
But why do humans actually divide their history by the centuries before and after the birth of this solitary man? Why have thousands chosen martyrdom rather than betrayal of their belief in this Jesus? Why is the book in which He’s the central character still the number one best seller of all time? And why do millions claim Christ has set them free from evil habits and addictions from which nothing and no one had ever been able to free them?
The core of the answer is in one word: resurrection. If Christ did not rise from the dead after His crucifixion, He is a hoax of the cruelest sort. He could not truly be God incarnate if He is now dead and gone. Yet the eyewitness accounts in the Scriptures record that over five hundred believers saw Christ following his resurrection. Many of these eyewitnesses later accepted execution rather than recanting their faith and confessing they were lying about the resurrection.
On the surface, Christ’s death does look like an accident. Some might say that a self-proclaimed messiah’s plan to become a revered deliverer backfired horribly. But look again at the gospel accounts. Why was Jesus really born that lonely night in Bethlehem?
Before Jesus was born, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that his betrothed would bear a child who would save his people from their sins. When angels appeared to the shepherds at Christ’s birth, an angel declared that in the city of David a Savior had been born. Much later, shortly before Jesus embarked on his public ministry, John the Baptist said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
As his ministry progressed, Jesus gradually revealed his life purpose to trusted followers. Once, while Jesus taught, He compared himself to a good shepherd who lays down his very life for his sheep. And Jesus claimed He had come to seek out and save those who are lost. Then, especially during the final year of his public ministry, He began describing his destiny on earth more explicitly. Several times Jesus mentioned to his disciples the terrifying prophecy that He must suffer many things, be rejected of the chief priests, be murdered, and be raised on the third day.
But we are left with questions. Why did John repeatedly call Jesus the Lamb of God and why was it imperative that Jesus die? Throughout the Old Testament unblemished, male lambs were symbolically offered as sacrifices for the sins of God’s people. John was saying in effect, “Sin against a holy God has always merited death, but now the real Lamb of God is here. He, as God incarnate, is going to offer himself as the sacrifice for the sins of mankind.” As perfect Savior, Jesus was the final sacrifice to be offered. As Lord, He was raised back to life. Mankind can now receive His forgiveness for sin and can begin a new, transformed life through the Holy Spirit of God. The ultimate sacrifice of love was offered by the eternal Lamb of God.
What can we learn from Jesus Christ?
A thousand lessons can be learned from Christ’s life, but it is His death and resurrection that offers the greatest hope for mankind. Though at times in human history evil imposters have done horrendous acts in the name of Christ, it is the host of true believers throughout history who have proven that Christ did not die in vain. The Lamb of God transforms human beings who are truly born anew into those who can bring honor and glory to God, and that, after all, is why He came.
Bible Verses about Jesus Christ
Biblical references to Christ are too numerous to list, but the verse alluded to in this article include Matthew 1:21; John 1:29, 36; 10:11, 15; Luke 2:11; 9:22; 19:10; 24:1-8; Hebrews 9:11-14.
What questions does this help to answer?
- Who was Jesus Christ?
- How is Jesus the Messiah?
- Is Jesus Christ still alive?
- Was Jesus God’s Son?
- What is the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
- Why did Jesus die?
- Did Jesus die in vain?
- How is Jesus the Lamb of God?
Steve Fortosis served for six years as youth minister in several parishes. Meanwhile he was also working toward his masters, then his doctorate in religious education. Through the years he has enjoyed teaching on the college and seminary levels and writing professionally. He has published a number of books including story and prayer compilations, missionary biography, Biblical character biography, devotional lit, children’s lit, and even stories of Bible translation. Presently he resides in Florida with his wife, Debra, where he teaches part-time and writes on a free-lance basis.Steve Fortosis