Who was this man named Jesus?
Most phenomenal human that ever lived.
The only way to deny His greatness is to run from the facts.
By Ken Raggio
YES! Jesus rose from the dead!
There is not any other single fact in the history of man more profound than that fact.
Is there any man in all the history of the world that has been the subject of more conversations than Jesus Christ? Let us skim the horizon for a more notable man. Where would we look?
Among all the Kings and Conquerors of all the ages, no single name stands out above the name of Jesus Christ.
From the most ancient times, came the Pharaohs of Egypt, and Hammurabi of Mesopotamia, or Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. No other single figure in Africa or the Near East comes close.
Muhammad has certainly influenced hundreds of millions, but Jesus billions.
In the Far East, there were the sages: Buddha, Tao and Confucius. But theses are scarcely known in the Western world.
How about the great conquerors of the middle ages: Alexander the Great or the Mongols. Napoleon.
How about the thinkers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle? Or the scientists: Newton the theoretician, or Archimedes the physicist, or Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison or Ben Franklin?
Not even the infamous despots as Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler have affected so many as Jesus.
There has been no Caesar, or Czar, or Emperor, King or President who has influenced the world so profoundly as the simple man from Nazareth.
And no wonder. There was never a man who was like him.
He was more than just a man. He was God manifest in the flesh. For the skeptic and doubter, there are the empirical facts which demand a verdict.
According to the observations and testimonies of over thousands of eye witnesses, and hundreds of personal disciples and scores of writers and historians, Jesus Christ was the most remarkable person to ever walk on this planet, before or since.
The most overwhelming factors in Jesusí universal appeal is that He had incomprehensible power and authority. While there have been thousands of significant people who have dotted the landscape of civilization, the most that can be said about them is that they were brilliant, or charismatic, or possessed above average talents or skills in their professions. Great conquerors and military giants notwithstanding, Jesus Christ showed Himself to possess supernatural powers never witnessed on the same scale in any other man.
From the very first miracle at Cana of Galilee, where he quietly transformed vessels of water into vessels of wine, to the moment of His mysterious ascension into the clouds of the sky, replete with angelic escorts, it can be declared with the utmost certainty, that there never was a man like this man.
More prophecy foretold Him than any other man
Inexplicable circumstances led to his virgin birth. Hundreds of years and scores of ancient prophets had forecast his appearance. Suffice it to say that virtually everything we know about Him was paranormal.
His town of birth was foretold - it would be
His childhood home was foretold - it would be Nazareth.
His fugitive hiding place was prophesied - it would be Egypt.
His birth was prophesied - a virgin would conceive.
The year of his birth was calculated from Danielís day.
His lineage was announced 2500 years beforehand.
He was promised to be Abraham, Isaac and Jacobís seed.
He was promised to be heir to Davidís throne.
He was likened to a shepherd and a lamb, a Father and a Son, the water and the bread of life, a prophet like Moses, a priest like Aaron, a King like David.
He was prefigured to be betrayed by a friend, sold for thirty pieces of silver, led like a lamb to the slaughter, beaten with stripes, and spend three days in the grave, and rise from the dead.
Jesus was a man of unprecedented miracles
But those are only a few of the supernatural things that etched Jesus so indelibly in the minds of millions upon millions of men who came after him.
Jesus could and did cleanse lepers of their diseases. He caused blinded eyes to see. He opened up hears that could not hear, and raised the lame, the cripple and the infirm by the multitudes. He drove out their insanities, and filled their hearts with comfort and peace and love like no one had ever known.
We owe it to ourselves to take the time today to contemplate the awesomeness of Jesus Christ. We do ourselves a tragic injustice when we allow our hearts to be turned away from him in disbelief.
It is certainly a misfortunate quirk of human nature that moves us to close our minds to the profound truths that demand our consideration. It could take the rest of our lives to merely meditate for a while on each and every notable thing we know about Jesus, and try to put it in its worthy perspective. Take for instance, any one of the miracles or phenomenon we know about Him.
Jesus' very existence was miraculous.
His virgin birth -- we amplify that story a thousand times over every Christmas. Do we subconsciously deny the miracle of the virgin birth with our disregard for itís sensational aspect?
Or how about Jesusí miraculous resurrection from the dead -- we spend time every Easter, every year, making mention of his return from the dead.
But do we really let our hearts contemplate the magnificent truth that Jesus is God?
Think about this for a few moments with me. Think about the virgin birth. Jesusí mother had never known a man. Think about the water into wine. Think about the leper cleansed. Think about the blind seeing. The withered arm. The palsied man. The issue of blood. Jariusí daughter. The centurionís servant. And Lazarus.
His resurrection in incomprehensible.
Or why donít we just go sit down in the tomb with His corpse for three days. Let us look at the lifeless form laying on a stone shelf. Look at the ants and the bugs as they crawl around on the grave clothes. Think about the cold stiffness of this dead man. No blood is flowing through his veins because his heart is not beating. No thoughts are going through his mind because his brain is dead. His hands and feet are motionless because he is dead. His eyes see nothing. His ears hear nothing. He is dead. For the first evening and night. For the second evening and night. For the third evening and night.
But on the fourth morning, as the son comes up, the most unbelievable thing happens. He begins to move. His toes and feet begin to move. His head raises up from the stone. The grave clothes begin to stretch and loosen. His shoulders lift, his knees bend. His legs slide over and his feet stand on the floor. He rises from the stone ledge, and amazingly begins to free himself.
No one is around but his angels. The garden keeper has not yet arrived for the day. The sun is scarcely in the sky. He slips away. Somewhere he finds a garment to put on. He lingers in the general vicinity, standing in the shadows of the trees along the path till Mary and Martha arrive.
Eyewitnesses galore testify to His resurrection.
They see him and mistake him for the gardener, because they have no expectation of his return. But Jesus will speak first to Mary. They will testify later to the astonishing reality that Jesus has risen from the dead.
John and Mark will meet him on the roadway later that day. He will appear at suppertime in the room where the disciples are meeting. And for forty days, over 500 people will testify they have seen him alive. Finally, the disciples will stand with him on Mount Moriah when the clouds begin to gather around him and carry him upward into the presence of his angels. Speaking from the clouds, the angels tell them he will return in like manner.
The undeniable facts of Jesusí story drive stakes through the heart of unbelief. They defy every skepticís arguments. They stand in the face of vehement denial from those who donít want to believe there really is a God.
For 4,000 years now, Abrahamís God has directed a drama of unequalled proportion across the stage of history, proving again and again that nothing can stop him.
He rules and reigns forever over all the affairs of men.
Someday soon, he will return to earth in the very same miraculous way that he departed. This time, there will be no escaping the fact that he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.
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