There are things pertaining to Jesus of Nazareth, born of the virgin Mary two thousand years ago, whose birth is celebrated at Christmas, that have to be given serious consideration by anyone who is truly seeking the truth.
The birth of Jesus was prophesied thousands of years earlier in Isaiah 7:14. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." Altogether, Jesus fulfilled a staggering 300 prophecies! It is totally impossible for one person to do this unless He truly was God in human flesh.
THE CLAIMS OF JESUS
All through the Gospels Jesus makes claims about Himself. Read the Gospel of John and list every time Jesus says that He is "I AM" in reference to something. It has been said that for a person to do this as many times as Jesus did, that that individual would have to be insane, a deceiver, or truly who he claimed to be.
HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION
Jesus truly did physically die. After carrying the cross and being whipped, having a crown of thorns thrust upon His head, and being in an already weakened state, He was then lifted and nailed to a cross. Some people like to say that He was not nailed, but that ropes were used. However, history records that at that time, in some cases, nails were used. Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospels as saying in response to the doubting Thomas after His resurrection,"Look at the nail prints in my hands." To say that Jesus was not nailed to the cross is calling Him a liar! The Gospels also record that when Jesus was hanging on the cross, a spear was thrust into His side, out of which flowed blood and water. In my reading I have learned that this is proof of death.
Did Jesus really physically and bodily rise from the dead? He was in a tomb which had a huge boulder blocking the entrance. The only way the rock could have been removed was for it to be rolled UP a slant, making it humanly impossible to remove it and to steal the body. Besides, there was a large contingent of Roman guards watching over the whole situation. The stone was taken out of the way by divine intervention and by this time the guards had left out of fear. When the women went into the tomb on that Sunday morning they found the grave clothes but no body.
After His resurrection Jesus made many physical appearances and interacted with people. He was on the earth for 40 days until he supernaturally ascended to heaven, right in front of his disciples, and anyone else who might have noticed. I Corinthians 15 says that without the resurrection the Christian faith is worthless.
THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS
The Gospels were written by people who lived at the time and who had first hand, eyewitness experiences. This makes the Gospels more reliable than our own history books. At the most they were not more than a generation removed from the actual recorded events. Also, the people who lived at that time did not dispute what the authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote, regarding the life of Jesus, His claims, His death, His resurrection, and His post-resurrection appearances.
Jesus did all of this for you and me, that we might have eternal salvation!
In response to my visitor comment, that is his Old Testament Hebrew name. In the New Testament, however, he is called Jesus. Matthew 1:21 says in reference to his birth, "...You shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins."
Whatever name is used is not really the point. He is the same Savior. The question is, "Have you invited Him to be YOUR Savior?"