Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

He who has ears, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why I Believe

As the Resurrection weekend (also called Easter weekend) begins I thought it appropriate to share why I believe. It didn't take scholars and theologians to convince me that Jesus is Lord.  My relationship with Jesus began in a very simple manner.  He called... I answered, simple.  Through the years I have realized that many people need more convincing.  If it were left up to me I would say, "Because I know and believe with my heart".  But, since we live in a world with highways of information, "How" and "Why" are at the tip of many peoples tongues. 

Here are 7 reasons why I believe:

1.  This history of Jesus is airtight - There is historical documentation, extra Biblical resources, and archeological references that prove Jesus walked on this Earth.    

2.  The character of Jesus is unquestioned - Jesus said He was sinless and was never challenged. Any one of His enemies could have followed Him (like the paparazzi) waiting for Him to sin but no one could find sin.  (If anyone followed me the results would NOT be the same!)  His character is a part of history and has influenced laws.   

3.  The works of Jesus went unchallenged - Foes questioned the source of His power but not His works.  They said He was able to drive out demons by Beelzebul but did not question the fact that He actually did it.  His works had many eyewitness accounts.

4.  The identity of Jesus is confirmed -  The Father said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17  Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6  Our Heavenly Father confirmed it, Jesus confirmed it, and when Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say I am?" Peter by faith answered, "You are the Messiah." Mark 8:29  Also, over 700 prophesies have been fulfilled.  

5.  The death of Jesus is undisputed - The executioners were professional.  After Jesus received 39 lashes* He was then crucified** on a cross that He could not physically carry because of the brutal beatings.  Once the nails pierced His hands and feet He hung on the cross gasping for air.  Executioners would commonly break the legs of a person being crucified if he (the executioner) wanted to speed up their death; but, this wasn't the case for Jesus because He had already died (this was to fulfill scripture John 19:36).  To be sure, being the professionals that they were, they pierced Jesus' side where blood and water flowed.  The water is the fluid around the heart... needless to say His heart had been pieced.  Many witnessed, and in some cases cheered, this horrific event.  (Keep in mind this was all done for YOU and me so we may live with Him for all eternity)

*Lashes (also known as being flogged) - According to the NIV Study Bible (Zondervan) the Romans would use a whip made of several strips of leather into which were embedded (near the ends) pieces of bone and lead.  The Jews limited the number of stripes to a maximum of 40 (in practice to 39 in case of a miscount), but no such limitation was recognized by the Romans, and victims of Roman floggings often did not survive.  

 **Crucified - NIV Study Bible states that this was a Roman means of execution in which the victim was nailed to a cross.  Heavy, wrought-iron nails were driven through the wrists and the heel bones.  Archaeologists have confirmed this form of punishment when they discovered the bones of a crucified man.  This form of execution was filled with agony and disgrace. 

6.  Jesus' burial was public and secure - His body was placed in the tomb of a very well known man, Joseph of Arimanthea, John 19:38.  They posted Roman guards to secure the grave and placed the Roman seal with its insignia upon it.  If the seal was broken under the watch of a Roman guard he would receive capital punishment - death.  Also, there were many eyewitnesses.  

7.  It's Convincing 
a.  Jesus' life and death were foretold 100's of years before His birth
b.  Jesus predicted His death many times
c.  After His death, Jesus appeared multiple times to multiple people 
d.  Church growth verified for all to see
e.  Transformation of the disciples attitude.  They changed from acting like cowards to changing the world. They healed, spoke, and taught like Jesus and were willing to die for the Truth.

What does the Resurrection mean to you?  It's historical, it's absolute hope, and He is the author of spiritual life. John 3:16-18   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.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

What you have just read will determine your destiny.  Accepting or rejecting Jesus is not an intellectual issue but a moral one.  Will you accept or reject the evidence that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lord's and the King of Kings; God's one and only Son?  If you would like to accept Him as your Savior then please pray the prayer below.  Remember, this prayer is just a guide to help you; it's not the words that save you but your faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

My Father in heaven, I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of all my sins. I acknowledge that I am your child. You sent your only son Jesus to die on the cross and rise from the grave so that I may live with you forever.
Jesus, I believe with all my heart that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I ask that you come into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I ask that you allow your Holy Spirit to take control of my life and that you would use me to fulfill your work.
Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for my life and your mercy. Thank you for writing my name in the Lambs book of life. In Jesus precious, Holy name, Amen.

Please send me an e-mail if you have made the decision to follow Christ and/or have questions to 

(7 Reasons Why I Believe written by Chip Ingram)