We addressed in yesterday’s article about the reality of Jesus of Nazareth living in the early part of the 1st century AD. That’s important as we look at Christianity’s core belief that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. We also looked at the ancient … Continue reading Christianity’s Core Belief – Part 3
As we approach Easter Sunday 2019, we are looking at Christianity’s core belief – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in … Continue reading Christianity’s Core Belief – Part 2
•Why do you believe that?
•Why do you think that?
•Why would you say that?
•Where did you hear that?
•Where did you read that?
•Do you think that’s true?
It is clear from the Gospel accounts of the Life of Jesus Christ that He was Human, but is He still Human or did He shed His Humanity after death?
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’ So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘Rejoice!’ So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” Matthew 28:1-8
The strongest argument for the Humanity of Jesus Christ is what He told His disciples He was going to do and what He did. As in the last study, we’ll continue in the Gospel of Matthew.
“Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” Matthew 20:17-19
The New Testament Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the first chapter of Acts, are a brief overview of the Life of Jesus Christ on this planet. In those ancient documents, we learn Who and What He is and what He did for the world. As we saw in our last study, the Son of God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). However, as clear as it seems by reading the Gospels, many believe God’s Son was an apparition, an illusion, and never became flesh. That kind of teaching is what the Apostle Paul called “a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). People who teach a different gospel do so to trouble you and “pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7) Anyone who teaches any other gospel than what Paul taught will be “accursed” (Galatians 1:8)
Knowing whether Jesus was real human flesh or an appearance (illusion) is simple. Did He appear to be human to the people who knew Him? Could they see Him, hear Him, and touch Him? Did Jesus do human things – like walk, talk, eat, drink, sit, stand, and sleep? Did He experience hunger and thirst? Did He feel pain? Did He feel the presence of others around Him? Did He know when someone touched Him? Did He suffer? Did He laugh and cry? Did He have human emotions? Did He love people? Did He care about people and express compassion toward them? Did He get angry? Did He express that anger? Did physical objects move when He moved them? Did physical objects move Him? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES!
How do you determine physical humanity? By using physical testing. Seeing and hearing is not enough. It is possible to see and hear something in the the spiritual world. Even smelling and touching may not be enough to claim reality. Touching is the ultimate test. You know something is real in the physical world when you can touch it, hold it, handle it, and (if possible) move it.
There is, and has been for centuries, a great debate about the humanity of Jesus Christ. The implications of the Son of God becoming human are as amazing as they are intense. Did God actually become “flesh and blood?” Did God humble Himself to be born like the humans He Created? Did God spend 12 years as a child and 7 years as a teenager? Did God call a woman “mother” and a man “father?” Did God sleep at night and wake in the morning? Did God eat breakfast with his mother and father and brothers and sisters? Did God play with his siblings and friends in his village? Did God attend His local synagogue and hear religious leaders read and teach about Him from the Old Testament? Did God work in a carpentry shop with His step-father as He was growing up? Did God go to a man named John to be baptized in the Jordan River? Did God call men to follow Him and learn how to be His disciples? Did God walk the dusty streets and roads of Israel preaching to fellow Jews about salvation? Did God allow men to beat Him and nail Him to a Cross? Did God die on that Cross? Did men bury God in a tomb? Did God rise from the dead? Did God show Himself to His followers after His Resurrection? Did God eat food with His disciples and spend time teaching them about His Kingdom before He ascended back to Heaven? Did God really do these things? Is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, also human? Really?