Most people I know believe that there was a real historical person who was called Jesus Christ. After all, there is enough historical evidence to prove that such a person existed about 2,000 years ago. Yet, not surprisingly, there is a growing number of people who, first of all, do not know who Jesus Christ was and some now doubt that He existed. Unfortunately, these numbers will grow as more people stop believing and, as a result, refuse to attend church!
This lack of knowledge, unfortunately, only serves for their own loss of the real power and life which comes from a belief in Jesus Christ.
The historical facts are as follows. Jesus was born inJudeashortly before the death of Herod. He lived inNazareth. He was raised in the Jewish faith and trained as a carpenter. At about 30 years of age He established a substantial following. His controversial teachings brought Him to the unfavourable attention of the local Jewish leaders and the occupying Roman powers. He was put to death crucifixion by the order of Pontius Pilate during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. He was regarded as s divine figure by His followers. Many miracles were credited to Him.
From Roman government literature of the time three authors; Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius, mention Jesus Christ and Christianity. About 90 A.D. Josephus, a non-Christian, wrote, “About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, a teacher. He attracted many Jews, and also many from the Greek world. He was the so-called Christ. On accusation of our leading men, Pilate condemned him to the cross, but those who were attracted to him from the first did not cease to love Him. The race of Christians named after him has survived to this day”. There are many other documents that have survived which speak of Jesus. Then of course when you speak of the followers of Jesus the documents multiply.
There are many letters from believers in Christ who came from these very early times. One of them was Ignatius who was executed by the Romans for talking about Jesus. About 107 A.D. shortly before he died he wrote, “Close your ears then if anyone preaches to you without speaking of Jesus Christ. He was the son of many; he was really born; ate and drank; was really persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was really crucified, He was truly raised from the dead”.
Let us not forget that of those who wrote the New Testament two of them,St Pauland St Peter, wrote specifically that they were eye witnesses of Jesus Himself. St Peter says, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but we are eye witnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter1:16).
Let us not forget that for the first couple of hundred years after the death of Christ, Christianity had a major enemy in the Roman authority. Believers were tortured and put to death on a regular basis. This persecution is actual history. It is only whenConstantinebecame emperor, the 27 of February 272 A.D. that religious tolerance and freedom for Christianity was announced. Before that, as we know, Christians were treated horribly.
Today when there seems to be an increase of anti-Christianity in the air we are beginning to hear the outrageous idea that Jesus Christ might not have existed in the first place. Please tell your friends and family that He not only existed but that He lives today!