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Who is Jesus Christ?


From both the Bible itself and also from historical records external to the Bible, we know that Jesus Christ was a man who lived in the first century AD, in the region that is known as Israel today. He was probably born in the year 4 or 5 BC, and died in the year 33 AD. His mother's name was Mary, his father's name was Joseph, he was a descendant of the ancient King David of Israel, and he had at least four brothers (named James, Joses, Judas, and Simon, according to the Bible) and at least two sisters whose names are not mentioned in the Bible [Mark 6:3].

During his life he was regarded as a prophet (What is a prophet?), healer, teacher, and a spiritual leader, among other things. Crowds of people followed him around, to listen to his teachings and to be healed from various diseases and sicknesses.

However, Jesus was also much more than just an ordinary man. He himself claimed to be the "Son of God" many times, as well as claiming to be equal to God, and indeed even directly claiming to be God (Eg. John 14:8-11, John 8:58-59, John 5:18, Mark 2, Luke 5:20, Luke 22:70-71, Mark 14:62-64, etc.).

To back up these claims, Jesus performed numerous miracles, including healing a large number of people from various serious diseases, casting out demons from many people, and even bringing back to life some people who had died. He also prophesied several events, which later turned out to be true, as well as many other events which will happen during the "end times".

The religious leaders in Israel at that time refused to accept these claims, despite all the miracles and signs that Jesus did. They did not accept that he was God, and therefore they considered his claims to be "blasphemy", so they wanted to kill Jesus.
They eventually succeeded in getting Jesus killed, but since the law at that time did not allow the Jewish people to kill anyone themselves, they convinced the Roman leaders to do it for them. Jesus was executed by "crucifixion", an extremely cruel and horrendous punishment invented by the Romans, where the victim was nailed to a wooden cross in such a way that he would slowly die, in great agony, over a period of many hours. Jesus voluntarily subjected himself to this grotesque punishment, of his own free will, and out of his immense love for people everywhere. Since he was the only perfect man to ever live, his death was a perfect sacrifice that he gave willingly, so that everyone who accepts that does not have to die eternally. Jesus died so that we don't have to.

Jesus was executed on Friday the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, in the year 33 AD (roughly equivalent to the 3rd of April, 0033, using our present day Gregorian calendar). He was buried in a nearby tomb just before sunset on that day, as required by Jewish customs. There is abundant evidence for all of these events both within the Bible, and also in other historical records, even among cultures and other religions that were antagonistic to Jesus and Christianity.

However, three days later, on Sunday the 16th of Nissan, Jesus rose from the dead again early in the morning. Over the next 40 days he was seen by at least 500 people, including his own disciples but also many others. He also ate food with them, touched them, spoke with them, and walked with them, thus proving that he was not some type of "ghost" or "spirit", but rather that he was a real, physical human being again, returned from the dead, even though the Roman method of crucifixion absolutely guaranteed death, with zero possibility of survival.

40 days after the resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven.

All of these events match predictions prophesied in the "Old Testament" part of the Bible, some of them dating back to more than a thousand years before Jesus was even born, regarding a person know as "the Messiah", who would appear at some point to save the world. For example, there is a very accurate account of this written around 700 years before Jesus, by the prophet Isaiah. In chapter 53 of the book that he wrote (Isaiah 53) he gives a detailed account of the life and death of Jesus. There are many other examples of "Messianic prophecy" in the Bible, with very specific details about who this person would be (over 300 specific prophecies). All of these were fulfilled exactly by Jesus, in ways that he could not have arranged himself unless he is also God. For example, the place, manner, and date of his birth were all predicted accurately; it would be impossible for an ordinary man to arrange the date and location of his own birth! Thus, there is no doubt that Jesus is the Messiah who was predicted in the Old Testament.

Jesus is also the founder of the religion known as "Christianity", which is followed by billions of people today around the world. (What is a Christian?)



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