Realms of Faith: What the Gospels tell

During the next 40 days, the story of Jesus will be highlighted, but in truth it will all be based on what the 4 biblical books called the Gospels  named for their authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell.

While each book selects different details of Jesus’ life, and are wrote for different audiences, but overall, they present a unified picture of who Jesus is and why He came and what He revealed.

The most important takeaway is that Jesus is the one true Son of God. His mission is the center of God’s plan to redeem mankind from sin, and set creation free from its bondage to decay that began with Adam’s fall.

The story itself is not new. 

God prepared for Jesus’ arrival by establishing a relationship with a chosen people, the Jews, and recording His  dealings with them, how their history was shaped by their belief and unbelief in Him and communicating with them through prophets which in turn tried to avert the Jews falls from the Book of Law as well as herald the coming of the Messiah who would bring a new message to them. 

Jesuswas born of Mary, a Jewish virgin living during the reign of Augustus Caesar. Mary’s husband, Joseph, raised Jesus as a day laborer, like himself but Jesus turned from that and began His ministry as a rabbi when He was in His thirties.

During His ministry, Jesus called upon both Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles) to repent of their sins. He also performed many miracles, healing people and casting out demons. This attracted a very large following as Jesus travelled around the land of modern-day Israel and did lead to a severe loss of Jewish Believers and hence great fall in revenue for Jewish religious leaders of the day, the Pharisees. 

This led to many confrontations between the New Church and the Old with the Pharisees growing more and more concerned that Jesus would destroy the Jewish faith entirely and their strangle hold on the Jewish people.  So with shrewd pragmatism they displaced their fears of a religious rebellion onto the Roman government, and told them that Jesus was really an enemy of the state.  While Rome did not really follow that argument, the Pharisees being the temporal overlords of Judea, were so adamant that the troublemaker Jesus had to go they stepped in and gave him a trial where the Pharisees rigged the jury to say that Jesus was guilty and that a real Roman murderer and rabble rouser Barabas, was innocent.

With the trial over, Jesus’s prediciton that he  would be killed in Jerusalem came true.  The Pharisees were now scared that he would fulfill his vow and be raised from the dead so they laid the heaviest stone across his burial mound and had Roman centurions guard the place so that no one could leave or enter without their knowledge.

On the third day, a Sunday morning, it was traditional for women of the dead, come to care for the body.   As they were Jews, they could not come on the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, but had to wait for Sunday when it was over.  As they were wondering how to get past the stone into the tomb, they found the stone rolled away, and the tomb empty. Mary Magdalene, the reborn whore,  ran back to tell Jesus’ disciples, while two angels told the other women that Jesus was no longer in the earth but had been raised from the dead. The women left startled and afraid and then met Jesus, himself,  on the road. They too ran shocked and surprised to tell the disciples of what they had seen and discuss what this meant.

Meanwhile, the disciples John and Peter went to the tomb with Mary Magdalene, and found the tomb empty.  John believed Mary Magdalene immediately, but the others was still questioning and so Jesus appeared to Mary, hand later to Peter, to convince them of His resurrection.

Jesus also appeared that day to two disciples who were walking to the nearby town of Emmaus. They did not recognize Him at first, but He told them that His death and resurrection were necessary to fulfill the Scriptures. When He disappeared before them, they returned to Jerusalem to report to the disciples.

Ten of the disciples were gathered in a room in Jerusalem, having just heard all these reports, when Jesus appeared to the group. He ate with them, helped them to understand the prophecies about Him in the Scriptures, and commissioned them as witnesses. One of the disciples, Thomas, had been absent and refused to believe Jesus was risen unless he saw Him and touched His wounds. Jesus appeared again the following Sunday while Thomas was there, and he was finally convinced.

Over the next forty days, Jesus gave the disciples additional instruction. He made additional appearances–to His half-brother James, to some disciples while they were fishing, and once to a crowd of five hundred people. Finally, Jesus gave a command to make disciples from all nations, baptize them, and teach them to follow His commands. Jesus was then taken into heaven through the clouds, and an angel appeared to assure the disciples that Jesus would someday return the same way.  This is Pentecost.

Jesus’ teachings and the writings of the New Testament reveal that Jesus was not merely the victim of religious fanaticism or jealousy but that he was greater than mundane problems and was showing a New Way of Living to those who would listen and hear his message:  and that was Man can only save himself thru Him, By Him and with Him.  All other roads are false and that even the most feared thing for man on earth, Death, could not stop the Power of Him our Lord, Master and Saviour.

This blessing, Jesus gave,  for all people everywhere on earth, all one needs to do is embrace Jesus through devout faith and sincere repentance.  Pray daily that you succeed and God grants you success.

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