Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Jesus." Faithology.com. Faithology, 5 February 2013. Web. 19 May 2013.
Lewis, B., et. al. (2013, Feb 5). Jesus. Faithology.
Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Jesus" Faithology, LLC. Last modified February 5, 2013.
Faithology, LLC, 2012. (Accessed May 19, 2013).. Jesus.
- The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version
- Martindale, Cyril Charles, "Christmas," The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 04 Aug 2011 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm.
- "Jesus," Who Was Who in the Bible: The Ultimate A to Z Resource. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999. Print.
- "Jesus (The Lord Christ)" Gardner, Paul. Encyclopedia of Bible Characters. Harper Collins Publishers, 1995. Print.
- "Crucifixion," Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 03 Aug 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/144583/crucifixion.
- "Crucifixion," New World Encyclopedia. New World Encyclopedia, 2009. Web. 03 Aug 2011. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Crucifixion?oldid=918091.
- Green, Jeff, "Resurrection," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2008. Web. 03 Aug 2011. http://www.iep.utm.edu/resurrec.
- Last Updated: February 5, 2013
- Originally Published: July 6, 2012
- The Faithology Editorial Staff
The Bible declares him to be the savior foretold by Old Testament prophets and God’s only begotten Son. The Bible holds that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Accepting that Jesus Christ came to earth, spread the gospel, and died on a cross for the sins of mankind, is one of the foremost beliefs in Christianity., whom his contemporaries knew as "Yehoshua ben Yosef" or "Yeshua bar Yusef," as well as the or Christ, refers to himself as the "Son of Man."
Jesus has many names by which he is referred to, including:
- The word Christ appears in the Bible in many places.
The word Lord appears over 700 times in the New Testament. The apostle
gave meaning to this word in Romans 10:19 by placing emphasis on the salvific nature of Jesus Christ the Lord:
- "Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The says, 'No one who believes in him will be put to shame.' For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
- The word Lord appears over 700 times in the New Testament. The apostle
Son of God
- The title "Son of God" reflects the the Trinity. Jesus is referred to as the Son of God in the gospels when God the Father asserts that Jesus in in fact his son. of Jesus, as well as his relationship with the Father as part of
- This title is also given to Jesus by his disciples when he walks on water, and by two bystanders that mocked Jesus on the cross. Two of the gospel accounts declare that when Jesus took his last breath, a Roman solider declared, "Surely this man is the Son of God!"
- Jesus also refers to God as “Father” multiple times in the New Testament.
Son of Man
- The title "Son of Man" is a direct reference to the book of Daniel and the prophecy of the son of man coming to save God’s people. The first reference appears in Daniel 7, where Daniel declares that he saw a vision of a divine warrior that would come to save God’s people.
Lamb of God
- The title "Lamb of God" only appears in John 1:29 when John the Baptist declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”
- The title is in reference to Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross to redeem the sins of the world. In Judaism, a perfect lamb or goat was given for sacrificial purposes in the . Jesus is the Lamb of God, because he was without and died on the cross as the sacrifice to atone for the sins of all mankind.
- Although not referenced frequently in the New Testament, this term has been very popular throughout the ages, and has become a focus for art as well.
The Birth of Jesus Christ
was a young virgin from of , who was visited by the , and told that she would bear a child who would be the Son of God, to be named Yehoshua.
The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God."
With this news, Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, and stayed with her for a few months. While Mary was there, Elizabeth gave birth to a son, John.
When Mary returned from her stay with Elizabeth, she visited her betrothed, a man named, to tell him what the angel had said. Being startled by the news that Mary was pregnant, Joseph was visited by an angel who assured him that Mary’s pregnancy was of God. He was instructed to take Mary as his wife, and he did so.
In that same year, Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decreed that the Roman world should be taxed and a census should be taken. Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, the place of David's birth, as both were David's descendants. In Bethlehem, no inns had available rooms, as the town had filled up quickly with news of the census. The innkeeper allowed Mary and Joseph to take refuge in a stable. While in the stable, Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus.
In the fields or hills near the village, shepherds were tending to their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared and proclaimed that the Christ child was born nearby:
Do not be afraid; for angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a ." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" When the
The shepherds immediately went to find the baby Jesus and pay respect to him. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus stayed in or nearfor a time, until the wise men came from the east to Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, and . These travelers are often described as , or astrologers. These wise men had visited King Herod, the ruler of Judea, inquiring about the child. King Herod knew nothing of the baby Jesus, but invited them to return and tell him of the child, so he, too, could worship. The wise men were warned in a dream that Herod had no intention of allowing a potential rival to challenge him, so, they returned to their country, leaving Herod in the dark. Enraged, Herod ordered the deaths of every child in the area less than two years old. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph at this time and instructed him to take his wife and baby Jesus and flee to Egypt to spare Jesus’s life. When King Herod died, the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and instructed him to a town called Galilee, where Jesus would spend his childhood:
“Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the, "Out of Egypt I have called my son." When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more." When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of , for those who were seeking the child's life are dead." Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, "He will be called a Nazorean."
The Bible states that Jesus existed before his mortal birth, explaining that he was with God the Father and was a full partner in the creation of the world, and that he was God. Christian denominations disagree on whether Christian history, as Christians believe that is lead to the path to for all mankind.(Hebrew, "Gods") and (Hebrew, "I Am"), common Old Testament terms for God, refer to the Father and the Son respectively or collectively––yet, the disagreement is immaterial to the Christian faith. The birth of Jesus was the pivotal point of
The Ministry of Jesus Christ
The ministry of Jesus was prophesied throughout the Old Testament, from the Garden ofthrough all the prophets.
At age 12, Jesus stayed behind his parents in the Temple of Jerusalem to ask questions of the Rabbis. Jesus described the Temple as his “Father’s house,”indirectly proclaiming to be the Son of God. A passage in Luke 2:52 provides one of the few details of Jesus’s life before age thirty: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor." He began his three-and-a-half year ministry when he was 30 years old, which is chronicled in the New Testament Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Jesus traveled throughout Israel, preaching to the people. One of his most notable sermons was the Moses. It also includes "the Lord’s ," the most frequently used prayer in Christianity. He performed miracles on numerous occasions, including healing a blind man, calming the waves on a boisterous sea, walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the sick, making the lame walk, and raising a man named Lazarus from the dead.on the Mount, documented in Matthew 5-7. Many Christians consider the Sermon on the Mount to be Jesus’s own commentary on the Law of
Among his disciples, or students, Jesus chose and appointed twelve(Greek, "one sent out"), giving them authority to preach and the power over both earthly sickness and supernatural demons. The disciples were in charge of spreading the gospel and the news of Jesus Christ.
Many Temple priests, scribes, Pharisees,, and lawyers viewed Jesus’s growing community of followers as a threat to their authority and constantly harassed him with questions, trying to find fault so that they could punish him by law.
At the end of his third year of preaching, when he was approximately 33 years old, Jesus entered Jerusalem to celebrate the Palm Sunday.. Hoping for a divine warrior that would free them from Roman domination, the people acclaimed Jesus as their king, singing, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, We bless you from the House of the Lord…" As Jesus rode into the city, people spread palms in the path as he rode on, giving rise to the celebration now called
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
The crucifixion andof Jesus, and their implications for human salvation, make up the core of Christian doctrine. Christians believe that Jesus was sent by God to be the sacrificial lamb, or final scapegoat, for the sins of all mankind. Crucifixion, a mode of execution employed by Romans in which the victim was fastened to a cross with outstretched arms and left to hang until dead, was the means by which Jesus died. The cross is now considered a symbol of redemption to Christians.
The crucifixion of Jesus took place during the feast of unleavened bread, or the Passover. The chief priests and temple authorities were threatened by the claims made by Jesus and the following of people that he had accumulated, and were looking for a way to arrest him. After his entry into Jerusalem, Jesus sat with his disciples and broke bread, instituting the Last Supper. Luke 22 states that Satan entered , a of Christ, and convinced him to betray Jesus to the chief priests and temple authorities in exchange for thirty pieces of silver.
The Bible explains that because Jesus was fully human as well as fully divine, he knew that his death was near and asked his disciples,and John to go before him and make preparations for the Passover dinner.
When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the newin my blood."
This meal is now commonly referred to as the Last Supper. The taking of bread and wine in remembrance of the blood and body of Christ during the Last Supper instituted theof the .
During this meal, Jesus told his disciples of his awareness that Judas Iscariot would betray him, and Peter would deny knowing him:
But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!" Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this. A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. "You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ", Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." And he said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!" Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me." He said to them, "When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "No, not a thing." He said to them, "But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, "And he was counted among the lawless'; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled." They said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." He replied, "It is enough."
Following the meal, Judas went to the Jewish leaders while Jesus led a few disciples to the Garden of. Most stayed near the entry; Jesus, Simon Peter, James and John went deeper into the Garden. With the chosen three set to watch, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. Christians believe that this verse indicates how Jesus truly was both God and man, as he was suffering from a human condition known as . This also indicates how Jesus did not use his divinity to escape the pain and anguish that he was feeling prior to his crucifixion.
A group of chief priests, officers, and temple soldiers soon appeared in the Garden of Gethsemane, ready to arrest Jesus. Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’s twelve disciples, approached Jesus to kiss him, a common greeting of this time. Jesus recognized that it was with this kiss that Judas was betraying him. When one of Jesus’s disciples lashed out at one of servants of the high, cutting off his ear, Jesus immediately put a stop to the violence, proclaiming, “No more of this!” He touched the servant’s ear, and healed him. The mob then carried him away to be crucified. Upon questioning, Peter, another of the twelve disciples, denied knowing and being associated with Jesus three times. Jesus predicted Peter’s denial during the Last Supper. When Jesus was questioned as to whether or not he truly is the Son of God, he replies by saying, “You say that I am.” He is then charged with and crucified.
While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, "Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?" When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, "Lord, should we strike with the sword?" Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, "Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!" Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, "This man also was with him." But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know him." A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, "You also are one of them." But Peter said, "Man, I am not!" Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, "Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean." But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about!" At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" They kept heaping many other insults on him. When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us." He replied, "If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." All of them asked, "Are you, then, the Son of God?" He said to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!"
Jesus was taken before a high priest and then the Sanhedrinwho found him guilty of blasphemy, a capital crime under Jewish law. Local authorities in a Roman province could not impose a death sentence, so the high priest's henchmen turned Jesus over to , the Roman governor. They claimed that Jesus was setting himself up as the King of the Jews to rebel against Rome. Pilate did not believe it, so he sent Jesus to Herod (then visiting Jerusalem) who, likewise, refused to condemn him. After being returned to Pilate, the priests pressed their case against Jesus, declaring they would complain to Caesar if Pilate did not bow to their will. Politically vulnerable and fearful of losing his post, Pilate agreed to the death of Jesus.
Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion, a means of execution favored by the Romans for its terrifying effects. The prisoner would be spiked to a large, wooden cross and death would come slowly through shock, suffocation, and exposure. The suffering sometimes lasted several days.
The mental and spiritual suffering that began in Gethsemane was joined by physical torture––Jesus was flogged, mocked, and crowned with thorns by the Roman guards, who asked Jesus why he didn’t call on the angels to stop the torture if, in fact, he was the son of God.
On a hill near the city, called Golgotha or Calvary, the Romans raised him on a cross between two thieves. Above his cross was a marker that read "Jesus, King of the Jews."At noon, a shadow fell over the area. Jesus made seven utterances, including forgiving the Roman soldiers who crucified him, praying, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Finally, at about three o'clock, Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" and with that final utterance, died. At this very moment, the Bible recounts that the temple curtain was torn into two and a large earthquake shook the earth. People around exclaimed, "Surely, he was the Son of God!"
A disciple named Joseph of Arimathea pleaded with Pilate and was allowed to take the body. After wrapping the body with myrrh and aloes and in strips of linens, all Jewish burial customs, Jesus was laid in a tomb cut out of a rock. A large stone was then rolled in front of the entrance of the tomb in order to close it.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
One of the most important Christian beliefs is the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ—the belief that he returned to life after his death, never to die again. The majority of Christians believe that due to the resurrection of Jesus all mankind can live again after death.
During biblical times, believers in the resurrection and redemptive death of Jesus eventually became known as Christians. Jewish people who did not believe that Jesus was resurrected reject Christianity and still await the coming of the messiah.
According to the Bible, Jesus died several hours after his crucifixion. Some Christian scholars believe his time of death was about 3:00 pm. Soon after, was laid in a tomb borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea. Fearing the disciples might steal the body and claim that he had been resurrected, the chief priests and Pharisees requested a Roman guard to stand watch at the tomb, to which Pilate agreed. Jesus had prophesied of his death and resurrection, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."The account of Jesus’ resurrection is found in Luke 24:1-11:
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again." Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
Jesus later appeared to Simon Peter, then to two disciples in a town called Emmaus. Cleopas is the only disciple named. According to, Luke was the other.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened. Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together they were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
When Jesus appeared to his disciples, they took part in another breaking of bread.This act, which first took place the night before Jesus’s crucifixion at the Last Supper, symbolized that Jesus’s body was given as a payment for the sins of humankind. It was given to help Jesus’s disciples understand that he had defeated death and risen from the dead.
For forty days following his resurrection, Jesus preached and was seen by hundreds of people.He then called the apostles together and charged them to with what is now known as the Great Commission:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
According to the Bible, Jesus then ascended into heaven, taking his place at the right hand of God the Father.