Billions of people down through history have called upon the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, memorized His words and followed His teachings even though they never met Him in person.
Do you have any idea how amazing it is that we in the third decade of the 21st century even know His name, much less any of the unbelievable things He said about Himself and about us?
Think about these facts about Jesus:
He came from an obscure village, Nazareth, in a remote region, Galilee, of a backwater nation, Israel, that had been conquered and re-conquered repeatedly by the major powers surrounding it throughout ancient history, culminating in His lifetime with the imperial domination by Rome.
We human beings are such curious beings. Consider for example how we often deal with subjects we’d rather, for whatever reason, avoid, delay or simply ignore. It’s called rationalization.
As we saw in Wednesday’s post, the vast majority of historians of the ancient world agree Jesus Christ was crucified, that his grave was found empty three days later and his disciples maintained to their deaths that they had seen and talked with the resurrected Jesus.
If those three facts are true, it means all of us then must decide what we’ll do with the claim of Jesus to be God and the only way any of us can be accepted into Heaven. The following video from reasaonblefaith.org addresses the four most common rationalizations for avoiding those three facts and the implications for each of us:
Critics typically dismiss the Bible as a credible source of history, but the more one knows about textual analysis, philology and archeology, the more the accuracy of Scripture is demonstrated and reinforced.
Dr. Sean McDowell of Summit Ministries and Biola University professor of apologetics looks at four major modern archeological discoveries that confirm key illustrations of the credibility and accuracy.
Why is McDowell’s presentation worth a few minutes of your time? Because, if the New Testament is an accurate account, then all of us should consider closely the claims of Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, the “Way and the Truth and the Light,” and thus the only way to Heaven:
“I decided to start with the Bible. I knew that if I could uncover indisputable evidence that the Bible is an unreliable record, the whole of Christianity would crumble …
“I took the challenge seriously. I spent months in research. I even dropped out of school for a time to study in the historically rich libraries of Europe.
“And I found evidence. Evidence in abundance. Evidence I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes. Finally, I could come to only one conclusion:
“If I were to remain intellectually honest, I had to admit that the Old and New Testament documents were some of the most reliable writings in all of antiquity.
“And if they were reliable, what about this man Jesus, whom I had dismissed as a mere carpenter in an out-of-the-way town in a tiny oppressed country, a man who had gotten caught up in his own visions of grandeur?
“I had to admit that Jesus Christ was more than a carpenter. He was all that He claimed to be.” — Josh McDowell, *”More Than A Carpenter.”
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If you and I meet in the Longworth Cafeteria and begin talking, what would happen if one of us claimed to be God Incarnate? The other would quite possibly call for those nice men in white with nets, right?
But what if the one of us claiming deity did something so miraculous that only God could do it? Would the nice men in white with nets be told to return to their offices?
In the following video (Part one of two) produced by Philosophy Professor William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith group addresses the facts about Jesus’ claim to be God. Give it a listen, then make up your own mind:
Don’t miss Part 2 here tomorrow. It will address the four major categories of theories advanced by critics and skeptics over the millenia to dispute the claim Jesus rose from the dead.
Here’s hoping you had an absolutely wonderful holiday and that you are revved up about being back on Capitol Hill “tanned, rested and ready” for the second session of the 116th Congress in 2020.
Here’s what you can expect to find on HillFaith in coming months:
First, what they didn’t tell you in college about Jesus Christ, including the intellectually challenging multitude of facts, evidence and logic from history, science, archeology, medicine and personal experience. Give it a fair hearing and then decide for yourself what it means for you. He changed my life and He can yours, too.
Second, when I say “been there, done that, let’s talk,” it’s a humbly sincere invitation. I’ve spent four great years on a congressional staff and another three decades covering Congress and the rest of the federal government as a journalist. I love the Hill and have profound respect for the people who work here. And I just might have some insights that haven’t occurred to you. And always off-the-record!
Finally, working on the Hill is tough, exciting, frustrating, rewarding and valuable. There are moves afoot aimed at making working for a senator, representative, committee or congressional agency more fulfilling, effective and perhaps even lucrative. You’ll find news about these developments, too, plus regular looks at who is moving up and who is moving out.
There’s no other web site in the world like HillFaith, so enjoy it and let’s all together work to make America a better place for everybody here.
If this post looks familiar, that’s because it appeared on the site a couple of days ago when yours truly forgot to change “2019” to “2020” on the WordPress publication scheduling function. Don’t worry, it’s still 2020, not 2021! 🙂
He’s the most famous person who ever lived, so all kinds of people have expressed opinions through the centuries since His death and resurrection about who Jesus Christ was, ranging from “great teacher” and “unique moral leader,” to “deluded fanatic,” “Jewish Messiah,” and “religious ascetic.”
But who did Jesus think and claim He was? When He entered Jerusalem a few days before His crucifixion, the crowd spread palm branches before Him, a sign of their expectation that He would liberate them from Roman domination and oppression.
But they were mistaken, as were so many others since then and even today. The far more important question is who did Jesus say and think He was? The following video produced by Reasonable Faith is an impressive, enjoyable presentation of the answers: