1. The Prophecies of the Old Testament
The prophecies of the Old Testament point to His coming and confirm His work. After the fall in the garden, Eve is promised the Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) who will bruise the head of the serpent; Abraham is promised a Seed in whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed; Jacob tells of Judah’s descendant who will rule the nations; Moses promises a Prophet like Himself; David is promised a ruler on His throne who will reign forever; Micah foretells that He will come from Bethlehem; and, Isaiah announces that a virgin will bear a son called Immanuel.
2. His Amazing Birth
He is born to a virgin named Mary in real time in Bethlehem. Though many scoff at the virgin birth and imply that the ancients were apt to believe anything, that very scoffing proves only the folly of the scoffer. The ancients may not have had modern training, but they certainly understood pregnancy and its cause—they were not stupid! Joseph was ready to put away his fiancée because he knew he did not impregnate her, and he only believed when the angel spoke to him.
3. His Matchless Life
Even a casual reading reveals One like no other. He accepts the outcast, heals the leper, opens the eyes of the blind, feeds the multitudes, and raises the dead. He elevates the place of women, He proclaims good news to the poor, He exposes the hypocrisy of the religious all the while shining in an impeccable righteousness that is without spot.
4. His Incredible Teaching
A careful reading of the four Gospels, however, unveils One whose teaching calls into question human assumptions, demands a standard of perfection, and points to Himself with such audacity—His claims alone are like no other’s—that either He is who He claims to be, or, as C. S. Lewis has said, He is a liar or a lunatic.
5. His Inglorious Death on the Cross
His death is not merely a martyr’s demise or an noble example; no, His death on the cross is the fulfillment of every Old Testament type of the innocent dying on behalf of the guilty. He is the Ram caught in the thicket to substitute for Isaac; He is the final Passover lamb slain to avert the death angel; He is the final Day of Atonement sacrifice that offers once-for-all forgiveness; He is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah’s vision in his 53rd chapter.
6. His Glorious Resurrection
He alone has conquered death. The resurrection is the centerpiece of the Christian faith. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christians are not well-meaning people who believe in something (“It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you’re sincere” malarkey), but rather fools who ought to be pitied. The apostle Paul said that if Christ is not risen, then our faith is both empty and useless, and we are fools (1 Cor. 15:14, 17, 19). The gospel accounts and the letters of Paul were written when people were still alive who saw, and they could have been contradicted, but they were attested. Thousands of Jewish believers in Christ changed their day of worship from Sabbath to the first day of the week because they believed in the resurrection. The apostles all died for the resurrection—while people sometimes die for something they believe to be true but is actually a lie, no one willingly dies for something he or she knows to be a lie. All Peter or James or John had to do to avoid suffering would be to produce a body, but they could not—for He had risen from the dead.
7. His Return and the Reality of Death
Eternity is too long to bank on without Christ. Jesus promised to return to claim His own and to judge the world; one day He shall ride on a white horse to judge the nations with a sharp sword from His mouth. He said, “What shall it profit someone to gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a person give in exchange for his soul?” (Mt. 16:26)
8. His Mediation
He alone reveals the Father and He alone is the way to the Father. He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:10). He refracts the pure light of the Father so that humanity can see and know God. He also said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). He did not claim to show the way, but to be the Way. Jesus is the centrality of the Christian life—not religious rituals, not political opinions—Jesus Himself. He demands to be followed as Master, trusted as Savior, and obeyed as Lord, because He is Lord of all.
9. Humanity's Sinful Condition
The Bible proclaims what every heart knows, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). C. S. Lewis wrote, “Our longings give us away.” We know innately that we do not live up to our own standards, and flashes of our true condition condemn us when our selfish, proud hearts show themselves, in spite of all of our attempts to cover them up. Humans create plans in the vain hope of earning favor with God through religious rituals or self-mortifying deeds, but they cannot remove the dark stain of sin. In fact, these very rituals veil the heart and dishonor God, who says that “all of our righteous acts are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). None is good enough to enter heaven; only a perfect Savior can redeem and rescue fallen humanity.
10. The Reality of Forgiveness of Sin and Hope for the Future
Jesus promises forgiveness to all who come to Him and rest. His forgiveness produces true joy and lasting hope. No other world religion promises genuine forgiveness of every sin and lasting hope by grace rather than by works, but Jesus promises this very truth indeed. All who believe in Him receive eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, and genuine hope. He has changed my life; He will change your life.