“…Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”…” (Acts 4:12 NIV).
The GREAT SALVATION is not simply about healing a sick body occasional, or providing material needs, or financial break throughs, or for entertainment, or to answer a few prayers, but its greater purpose is the DELIVERANCE of the SIN-SICK and lost soul destined for eternal damnation. “…The Son of man came to seek and to save THAT WHICH WAS LOST…” (Luke 19:10 KJV). “….the Son of Man came …to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
The KEY player in this great deliverance is none other than JESUS CHRIST. “…And being made perfect, he became author of ETERNAL SALVATION unto all them who obey him…” (Hebrew 5:7-8-9 KJV).
For the scientific minds, most scholars believe Jesus Christ existed and actually walked the earth, but many differ on their perspective of the facts or the interpretation of the facts. In all fairness, I will say that there are a few scholars that even say Jesus Christ was a myth. “…And without faith it is impossible to please God, because ANYONE WHO COMES TO HIM MUST BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS…” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
Rarely do you or anyone else question other historical figures to the degree that Jesus Christ has been questioned, yet if you don’t reject their historical facts why would you reject those of Jesus. “…Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written…” (John 21:25 NIV).
Well known Jewish historian and scholar, Flavius Josephus, in the Antiquities of the Jews, a reliable historical work done in the 1st century references and gives witness to Jesus. “…It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me…” (John 8:16-17 KJV).
The actual Jewish Antiquities historical paragraph called the “Testimonium Flavianum” or “The Testimony of Flavius” Vol. 18, chapter 3, and paragraph 3 is as follows: “At this time there was wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted won.” (Michael the Syrian, translation from Whealey, 2008).
I believe this is 100% a historical, reliable, and authentic account for those who need objective evidence. “…walk by faith, not by sight…” (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV).
The best source for proving Jesus existed is the bible. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV).
The Synoptic Gospels are also heavily supported by many scholars as having been written by his disciples. The Synoptic Gospels differ on facts and perspectives, yet agree on the many eyewitnesses, ministers, and first-hand accounts of Jesus’ life and death. “…Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were EYEWITNESSES and servants of the word…” (Luke 1:1-2 NLT). “….Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were EYEWITNESSES, and ministers of the word…” (Luke 1:1-2 KJV). “…For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were EYEWITNESSES of his majesty….” (2 Peter 1:16 NLT).
Reputable bible scholars, after critical analysis of the holy text, offer a rational, but somewhat persuasive view of the historical Jesus, the flesh man. “…the Word (Jesus) was made FLESH, and dwelt among us...” (JOHN 1:14).
Most critical analyses are based on an objective, rational worldview and totally eliminate the mystical worldview of Jesus’ life. Some things are limited to what you can see; others things can only be seen by faith. “…walk by faith...” (2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV).
Mystical truths can only be understood IF God reveals them to you through his SPIRIT. “….When we tell you these things, we DO NOT use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words GIVEN TO US by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual CAN’T RECEIVE these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and THEY CAN’T UNDERSTAND IT, for only those who are spiritual CAN UNDERSTAND what the Spirit means…” (1 Corinthians 2 NLT).
Jesus Christ existed. “…ANYONE WHO COMES TO HIM MUST BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS…” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
Why did Jesus Christ exist? “….the Son of Man came (existed) not to be served but to serve others and TO GIVE his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28 NIV). “…All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23). “…the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).
In the Old Testament animal sacrifices provided a temporary covering for sins. “…almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22 KJV). The shedding of blood was commanded by God as an atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
This atoning sacrifice, though temporary and limited, satisfied God for the offenses of sins committed by his people. The animal, representing the atoning sacrifice of the day, was temporary. The animal’s shed blood, covered the sins of the people and freed them from the consequences of their sin.
This is not complicated and it is a very small synopsis of this vast topic. Animal sacrifices took place thousands of years ago and was simply a method God used as the atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.
Animal sacrifices, of course, have LONG stopped. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul…” (Leviticus 17:11 KJV).
Thus, during ancient times certain animals died to serve as temporary substitutes for the people’s sin. It was a temporary substitute only and since it was temporary the animal sacrifices had to be repeated over and over every year. The animal sacrifices, therefore, were a small tedious sample of the ultimate and permanent sacrifice predicted in Jesus Christ, who was to come!!!
“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…” (Hebrews 10:1-4 NASB).
Sin separates God from his people. “… [their] … iniquities (sin) …separated [them]… from [their]… God… …” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV). Jesus Christ became the atoning sacrifice in order to restored God’s people BACK to Him.
The relationship with God through Christ is a blood covenant between God and the believer. This covenant relationship is witnessed between Jesus and God. “… I and my Father are ONE…” (John 10:30 KJV).
A blood covenant is usually between two parties however, one or both of those parties can be a representative for an entire family or a group of people. If one of the parties of the blood covenant is a representative of a group of people, he totally represents every single person, equally, in the group. The representative also is the guarantee that every responsibility or binding agreement of the covenant will be kept by those he represents.
The representative, therefore, acts on behalf of everyone in the entire group. The representative is considered the “voice” and the “guarantee” for each individual member of the group. In other words, each individual member of the group is represented “IN” him.
For instance, when the representative walked through the bloodied bodies in the Old Testament, he “sealed” the blood covenant for every single member of the entire group. This is a very basic explanation of a blood covenant.
However, in the New Testament, Jesus is both YOUR representative and atoning sacrifice in the covenant relationship with God.
Jesus is the slain, Lamb of God, that was killed in your place and therefore the atoning sacrifice for your sins. “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 KJV).
Jesus’ sacrificial death was the atoning sacrifice for your sins. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins…” (1 John 2:2 NIV). You can NOW enter freely into the new blood covenant relationship with God THROUGH Christ. “…This cup is the new covenant in my blood …which is poured out for you…” (Luke 22:20 ASV).
Jesus’ death was like the death of the slain animal sacrifices in the Old Testament blood covenants. His blood is now the blood of the new covenant, which is an everlasting covenant (Ezekiel 37:26). “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28 KJV).
Jesus is our permanent and once-for-all substitute for sin. His sacrificial death allows you to enter into an everlasting covenant relationship with God through your representative, JESUS CHRIST. “For Christ also died for sins ONCE for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” (1 Peter 3:18 NASB).
Jesus is both your atoning sacrifice and your representative in the covenant relationship with God. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” (1 Peter 3:18 NASB).
Jesus enters the relationship with God as your representative. We, who are “IN” Christ and are represented by Him, enter the relationship too. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust…” (1 Peter 3:18 NASB).
Now, through Christ, we are able to keep the obligations and responsibilities of the covenant. “For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV). “…I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…” (Philippians 4:13 KJV). SHOUT!!!
In addition, Jesus became the “guarantee” that the covenant with God is kept. “…Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant…” (Hebrews 7:22 NIV).
We can now enjoy the same “oneness” covenant relationship with God THROUGH Christ. Jesus said, "I and my Father are ONE." (John 10:30 KJV). You can too. The bible says, “…that they may ALL BE ONE; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may BE IN US, so that the world may believe that You sent Me…” (John 17:21-23 NASB).
Jesus Christ existed to become a ransom for many by his sacrificial death. He is also the atoning sacrifice for YOUR sin.
How did the human, existing Jesus Christ become the atoning sacrifice for your sins? “…Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe. And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands….Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away…” (John 19:1-16 KJV).
“…And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him…” (John 19: 17-18 KJV).
“..After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost…” (John 19:28-30 KJV).
“…The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced…” (John 19:31-37 KJV).
“…And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand…” (John 19:38-42 KJV).
“…Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you…” (JOHN 20:19-21 KJV).
What motivated Jesus Christ to die on the cross for YOU? “…There is no greater LOVE than to lay down one’s life…” (John 15:13 NLT). “Herein is LOVE, not that we loved God, but that HE LOVED US and sent His Son...” (1 John 4:10 KJV). “…Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great LOVE FOR US by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:6-8 NLT). “…God SO LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV).
Not only Did Jesus Christ love you, but he was JOYFUL about giving you the GIFT of SALVATION. “…keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the JOY awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame…” (Hebrews 12:2 NLT).
The experience of the cross was a shameful, but temporary part of Jesus’ journey, but the JOY awaiting him was the glorious, but eternal part of his journey.
The eternal Joy held a greater weight for Jesus than the temporary shame of the cross. “…What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone…” (Hebrews 2:9 NLT). “…Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth…” (Philippians 2:9-10 NLT).
The JOY of accomplishing God’s purpose, as a GIFT of SALVATION to sinners, far outweighed anything else or any other agenda as far as Jesus was concerned.
He knew what was waiting for him. “…he [would be]…“crowned with glory and honor.” …” (Hebrews 2:9 NLT). “… [He would be]…elevated …to the place of highest honor …” (Philippians 2:9-10 NLT).
God knew “…when he (Jesus) sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant (Jesus) will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins…” (Isaiah 53:11 NLT).
“…The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Matthew 25:21 NLT). “…At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit….” (Luke 10:21-22 NLT).
While on earth, he was faced with deep grieves and sorrows, but his purpose in God incited his JOY in spite of his trials and tribulations. “…Because of the JOY awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame…” (Hebrews 12:2 NLT).
It demonstrates how believers can also experience inexpressible joy while also dealing with the sorrows and griefs of life. The KEY is to remember Jesus’ JOY was drawn from within and his SORROWS from without.
Jesus is the RANSOM for many, he is the ATONING SACRIFICE for SIN, he is your COVENANT KEEPER, he is your GIFT of SALVATION, he is your ETERNAL LIFE, he is the INDWELLING SPIRIT, and he is your EVERLASTING LOVE. “…There is no greater LOVE than to lay down one’s life…” (John 15:13 NLT).
“…Christ died for [your] SINS according to the scriptures; And …he was buried, and … rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV). “…SIN IS the transgression of the law….” (1 John 3:4 KJV). “…ALL HAVE SINNED …” (Romans 3:23). “…the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23 KJV).
Therefore, “… REPENT and TURN TO God …” (Acts 26: 20 NASB). “….IF YE BELIEVE NOT THAT I AM HE, YE SHALL DIE IN YOUR SINS…” (John 8:24 KJV). “…HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, because HE HATH NOT BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God. …” (John 3:18-20 KJV). “…REPENT ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3:19 KJV). “…Whosoever believeth in him SHOULD NOT PERISH, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“…SALVATION is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved…” (Acts 4:12 NIV).