The biblical record of his life shows that Jesus was born to a virgin, lived a sinless life, taught throughout Palestine for about three years, was crucified and then rose back to life three days after his death. The Bible tells us that more than 500 people saw him alive after this miraculous event. How could a mere man have lived such a life? The miracles Jesus performed, his death on the cross, his resurrection, his ascent to heaven—all point to the fact that he was no ordinary leader.
Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, prophets predicted his coming. The Old Testament, written by many people over a period of 1,500 years, contains more than 300 such prophecies. All of these details came true, including his miraculous birth, his sinless life, his many miracles, his death and his resurrection. By his own account, Jesus claimed he had the power to forgive sins, to cast out demons, and to determine people’s eternal destiny.
Jesus Himself claimed to be God and others recognized Him as Deity. He said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) The Greek language, in which the New Testament was originally written, is explicit. Literally, Jesus said, “I and the Father, we are one.” Jesus also claimed that He was the only way to God: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6) Again, the Greek language is very clear. Jesus used the words ‘the way’ and not ‘a way’.
The question is, can we accept as true what Jesus [God the Son], claimed? The most conclusive evidence establishing the deity of Christ is the historically verifiable resurrection. The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus “was declared with power to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4) If the resurrection of Christ is true, then it is possible and, indeed, logical to believe all His claims and miracles including His assertion of the complete validity of the Old Testament. They would be what one would expect from God.
The primary reason that Jesus is the only way to God is that He forgives sin and offers eternal life, (John 10:28) something that the founder of no other major religion has claimed to do. Think about that! Every person is separated from a perfect, holy God by sin. According to God’s requirement, either the individual must pay the penalty for sin, death, or he must find someone who is willing and able, who has no sin, to pay the penalty for him. (Hebrews 9:14, 22) Jesus Christ was both able and willing to do this, as demonstrated by His death on the cross. That is why Jesus is the only way to God. Declaring that he was God so angered the religious and political leaders of his day that they had him crucified. They buried him in a borrowed grave, and three days later, he rose from the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus is what makes Christianity unique and radically different from Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Judaism, and Islam. In fact, the validity of Christianity hinges on the proof of the resurrection of Jesus. If the resurrection never took place, then the Christian faith is based on a lie and people have no true hope for life after they die. But if it is true, then we can do nothing else but accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and receive his gift of love and forgiveness. Throughout the centuries, most great scholars who have considered the proofs of the resurrection have believed, and still believe that Jesus is alive.
Who Is Jesus to You?
Your life on this earth and for all of eternity is affected by your answer to this question. Find out how you can get to know Jesus Christ personally and discover what provisions he has made for you to live with him forever. What does it mean to have a personal relationship with Christ, and in what way does it impact our lives? And how does someone go about making that kind of commitment? Because of God’s deep love for you, he has already made all the necessary arrangements. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you can enjoy a personal relationship. Jesus made it possible to bridge the chasm which separates us from God. The following four principles will help you discover how to know Jesus personally and experience the abundant life he promised.
God loves you and created you to know Him personally
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
~ John 3:16
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
~ John 17:3
What prevents us from knowing God personally?
Man is sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
~ Romans 3:23
The wages of sin is death [spiritual separation from God.
~ Romans 6:23
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
~ Romans 8:6–8
A great gulf separates man from God. Man is continually trying to reach God and establish a personal relationship with Him through human efforts, such as living a good life, philosophy, or religion. But he inevitably fails.
The third principle explains the only way to bridge this gulf…
Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love.
Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Christ died for our sins… he was buried… he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures… he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred…”
~ 1 Corinthians 15:3–6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
~ John 14:6
God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
But it is not enough just to know these truths…
We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; then we can know God personally and experience His love.
As many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name.
~ John 1:12
For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith. This does not depend on anything you have achieved, it is the free gift of God; and because it is not earned no one can boast about it.”
~ Ephesians 2:8–9
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (a spirit of repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and make us what he wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will.
Jesus Christ is waiting for an invitation to come in to your life. In fact, he says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20).
Perhaps you can sense Christ knocking at the door of your heart. You can invite him in by faith right now. God knows your heart so it doesn’t matter exactly what words you use. Here’s a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Jesus Christ will come into your life just as he has promised. Once you invite Christ into your life, he promises to never leave you. Hebrews 13:5 “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”