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Who was Jesus?

If you have not heard much about Jesus you might wonder what all the fuss is about. He is one man who lived two thousand years ago. How can what this man said and did be of any significance to us today? Why should we take his teachings seriously? And why do Christians seem so obsessed by his rather gruesome death?

The answer to these questions is that Christians believe that Jesus was no ordinary human being. His life was no ordinary life; his teaching was no ordinary teaching; his death was no ordinary death. Over the next few essays we'll be exploring the evidence surrounding Jesus, but beforehand it is important to outline what Christianity claims about Jesus:

  1. Christians believe that Jesus was the Son of God and consequently had a power and authority beyond ordinary human beings. The gospels describe Jesus as performing miracles, as speaking with the authority of God and as being a person worthy of respect and devotion.
  2. Christians believe that Jesus' death changed our relationship with God. The Bible says that our relationship with God is broken by sin, by disobedience to his will, by choosing to satisfy only ourselves instead of doing what is right. We believe that the death of Jesus provides a way back, provides a way for us to start over, provides a way for a restored relationship with God.
  3. Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead, that God gave Jesus back his life. This is the central miracle of Christianity as it is a guarantee of Jesus' specialness and a sign of what awaits believers. The promise of Christianity is that death is not the end but there is hope beyond the grave – this is powerfully demonstrated in the resurrection of Jesus.

Because we regard Jesus as someone special, as is seen in his life, death and resurrection, we follow his teachings and put our trust in his power.