Sunday, April 5, 2015

My Testimony of Jesus of Nazareth

"But who do ye say that I am?", the man known of Jesus of Nazareth said to the men who were his closest friends in mortality; the men we call the Twelve Apostles. Moments earlier, he had asked these men who his contemporaries believed that he was. He had gotten the answer that many believed he was a prophet come back to life, but not the reply that he was the Son of God.

That reply sadly has not changed much today. Many in the world believe that Jesus was a great moral teacher, but not the Son of God. The great philosopher and mentor of mine Friedrich Nietzsche said of him "The word 'Christianity' is already a misunderstanding - in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross." In short he affirms what many in Jesus's own day and today believe: Jesus was a great man, but not the Son of God.

However, the question every person who consider themselves a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth need to answer is the second question "But who do ye say that I am?" In this short post I plan to answer that short.

First and foremost, I believe that the idea of the Christ Myth Theory is complete and utter nonsense. As agnostic historian Bart Ehrman wrote in his book "Did Jesus Exist?, "Whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist."

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was borne of Mary, by means that did not alter or deny the natural order. I believe that he went about doing good, healing the sick, raising the dead, and preaching the doctrine of the kingdom. I believe that he showed multiple times that it was possible to fulfill the second great commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself.

However, this still leaves the question unanswered that all disciples of Jesus must consider and answer "But who do ye say that I am?" To that I answer with the man known to the world as St. Peter "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

I believe that this same Son of God, in a way incomprehensible to me, suffered for my sins and the sins of all mankind in Gethsemane and on Calvary. He was was buried by Joseph of Arimathea, and 3 days later he broke the bands of death and was resurrected. By doing these things, he answered the question of Job "If a man die, shall he live again?" The man known to us as Jesus of Nazareth answered unequivocally "Yes. And because of me, you also shall live"

It is not enough to believe Jesus a great moral teacher; He taught that he was the Son of God and the Savior of the World. One must accept him as such or brand him a lunatic and a madman, there is no middle ground with Jesus.

As many have said on this Easter Sunday, I echo "I know he lives."

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