The greatest fact in history is Jesus of Nazareth. He commands attention by the beauty of His teaching and the moral power of His life.
But what was He? When we ask for His own answer we are confronted by a challenge.
to be the light of the world (John 8:12)
to give his life a ransom for men (Matt. 20:28)
to return from death (Mark 8:31)
to have power to raise others at the last day (John 6:40)
to be the Christ the Son of God (Matt. 16:16-17)
who will judge and reward men (Matt. 16:27)
when he comes in his glory as King (Matt. 16:28)
These are not the words of a mere moralist, or simply a social reformer, or a gifted healer. The alternatives must be stated bluntly: either His claims are true, or He suffered from pitiable delusions. Yet what deluded fanatic could offer teaching or present a character which all men revere? What madman could raise the dead?
The supreme witness to Jesus is the fact of His own resurrection: and for that fact the evidence of the New Testament has withstood the assaults of sceptics and the scrutiny of the keenest minds through 1900 years.
His apostles' words stand firm: "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses" (Acts 2:32).
Their conviction that He was the Messiah came from their personal knowledge of Him in His ministry; their certainty that He had risen rested also on personal experience. That certainty was the foundation of their preaching, and they faced death rather than deny it.
|Wonderful as is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, it gives a rational picture of one who as Son is subject to His Father:
||"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." (1 Cor. 8:6, KJV).
|It shows him fulfilling his Father's commands even to death:
||"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:17-18, KJV).
|It shows Him returning bodily from death:
||"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39, KJV).
|To complete the Father's purpose the Son must come again in power:
||"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:" (Matt. 25:31, KJV).
|He will reign as King:
||"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:32-33, KJV).
|Those who follow him now will share that kingdom with Him then:
||"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" (Matt. 25:34, KJV).
No. 4. Facing The Facts -- ABOUT THE FUTURE