Friday, October 3, 2008

Who is this Jesus?

In this post,we'll look a little deeper into the life of Jesus- mainly the impact of such an obscure Jewish man had on the world and in History. First off, most people believe that there was in fact a man named Jesus who walked the earth- even some atheists believe this. The argument is on who this person Jesus was/is. Basically only Christians believe that He is God who came to earth as a man. Some think he was a good teacher, one of the prophets, a "godly" man, a cult leader who for some reason has had a 2000 year following.So... Would the Real Jesus please stand up?Since the fact is basically established that Jesus was a real person, let's first look at how He came into the world. Now, many people who don't believe in miracles do have a hard time with the virgin birth. Even some of the more liberal Christians seem to come up with more believable scenarios about the Birth of Jesus. The basis for believing in miracles rests on the Biblical concept or idea of God. Even if you don't believe in God, stay with us here- we'll be getting back to other discussions in a bit. If you believe there may be a God- could you stretch your mind a little to include that there might just be truth to miracles?The belief in the miraculous birth of Jesus is one of the hardest for anyone to wrap their minds around- and one of the main things that keep people from accepting the truth of Christianity. It is beliefs like the virgin birth that lend to that air of superstition surrounding the Christian beliefs that most people think is bogus.The Bible though, tells that God decided that His Son would have a miraculous entrance into this world. Seven hundred years before His birth- the prophet Isaiah declared, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; behold the virgin will be with child and bear a son,and she will call His name Immanuel" Is. 7:14. The Name Immanuel means "God with us."All four Gospels in the New Testament record the fulfillment of this prophecy. The Bible declares the virgin birth as a fact of History, and in previous posts, we've looked at why the Biblical Scriptures is a valid and believable Historical document. So why a virgin birth? Why not just come into the world the usual way? Well, Jesus was not just a usual person- He was not newly created as we are. The Bible tells us in John that Jesus existed with God in the beginning, and since He is the eternal Son of God, His birth must be of a divine nature, and this is what the Bible tells us happened. The virgin birth was a divine intervention. Another reason, is that Jesus is sinless. To be a perfect sacrifice for all humanity, the sacrifice had to be "without blemish- spotless." Since the world is sinful, the birth of our Savior had to be a miraculous and divine entrance.Some people may think that the account of the virgin birth came from some other pagan mythology. There is no basis of truth to this theory, as there is no other mythological hero which claims a virgin birth, and from the Jewish culture viewpoint, it would be unthinkable and blasphemous to use pagan or mythological stories for their own purpose. Most mythological deities were told of, and many stories do have unusual births, but for the most part, none of these deities ever existed, and none of these myths have anything to do with Biblical writings.C.S. Lewis once a devout atheist, had this to say about the virgin birth: Thus you will hear people say, "The early Christians believed that the Christ was the son of a virgin, but we know this is a scientific impossibility." Such people seem to have an idea that belief in miracles arose at a period when men were so ignorant of the course of nature that they did not perceive a miracle to be contrary to it.A moment's thought shows this to be foolish, with the story of the virgin birth as particularly striking example. When Joseph discovered that his fiancee was going to have a baby, he naturally decided to repudiate her. Why? Because he knew just as well as any modern gynecologist that in the ordinary course of nature women do not have babies unless they have lain with men.No doubt the modern gynecologist knows several things about birth and begetting that Joseph did not know. But those things do not concern the main point- that a virgin birth is contrary to the course of nature. And Joseph obviously knew that.Now, this may not convince an unbeliever that Jesus was or is who He said He is, and many may still think that He was just some good teacher that lived somewhere in the middle East a few thousand years ago. Some may think that this account of the virgin birth proves nothing. Maybe so- if we were only going to concentrate on this one fulfilled prophecy. We will look at other ways tin which Jesus is unique, and see what kinds of evidence there is to back up claims of His being God the Son. The accounts of the virgin birth may still be hard to swallow- anyone as C. S. Lewis pointed out, that understands the scientific ways of how a baby is conceived and born can have a hard time imagining something such as a virgin birth. However, if you even believe in any one portion of the Bible- whether it be one or all of Jesus' teachings, any of the prophecies, or any of the historical facts in the Bible, we must, by historical, archaeological and internal manuscript evidence- believe in the miracles contained in Scripture, even if we don't completely understand the concept of miracles. In the next post, we'll look at more of the prophecies written from 4000 to 500 years before Christ, and how they were all fulfilled in the person of Jesus.

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