by Rob Lundberg
It is one thing to think of oneself in a certain way, but it is another to say those things about yourself, and then be able back it up. This post is a follow up to my previous post on the question, “Did Jesus Think of Himself to Be God?” Of all the religions that are on the smorgasbord, no other religion has the credibility on truthfulness than historical Christianity. In fact Christianity stands on the belief that Jesus Christ is God. But is this claim true? What evidence is there that will support His claims and His disciples’ belief that He was/is deity? Allow me to share three pieces of evidence that substantiate what Jesus claimed about Himself and support how He backed it up.
Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. Jesus lived the perfect life, and demonstrated this by fulfilling almost two hundred detailed prophecies written centuries before His time. Critics will challenge by saying that Jesus deliberately orchestrated His life to fraudulently fulfill these. Now think about that for a moment. Could He have arranged His family line through Abraham (Genesis 22:18; Matthew 1:1), the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:33), and the royal house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-13; Matthew 1:1)? How could He plan the location of His birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4-7)? Were His many spectacular miracles part of His counterfeit life (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 9:35)? And id He orchestrate His own crucifixion by manipulating the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman government to conspire against Him?
How about fulfilling the crucifixion including numerous details anticipated by the Old Testament (Psalm 22; Matthew 27:31; Luke 23:33; John 19:23-24). And most of all, how did He falsely fulfill the prophecy that He would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Mark 16:16)? And to all this Jesus’ stunning revelation after He rose from the dead that the entire Old Testament pointed to Hm (Luke 24:25-27).
Jesus’ life was one that committed no sin. Jesus displayed divine traits suche as knowing peoples’ thoughts and future actions (Matthew 26:31-35; Luke 9:46-47; 11:17), controlling the forces of nature (Matthew 8:26-27; Mark 6:38-45); and healing paralysis and disease (Matthew 9:2-3; 9:6-7; 9:27-30). He achieved something else that no one has ever done — He lived a sinless life. Even in the presence of His opponents, who were determined to bring Him down, He challenged anyone to find Him guilty of sin, and none could (John 8:46). Sinlessness itself does not prove deity. But claiming deity, then living perfectly, backs up the claim quite nicely. Perhaps the most convincing of His sinlessness, His followers, those who knew Him best attested that He was sinless (1 Peter 1:9; 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection is the capstone of the Christian faith. Jesus’s resurrection is the greatest and most well documented miracle, and it is unduplicated in any other religion. And this miracle, as great and magnanimous as it is, was not the product of wishful thinking or mere speculation. One the contrary, according the writer of Luke and Acts, Luke tells us that Jesus “gave many convincing proofs that He was alive” (Acts 1:3). The Apostle Paul tells us that He appeared to over five hundred people at one time after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). This ability to return from the dead reflects the divine trait of immortality, and His prediction of His resurrection reveals His divine foreknowledge. Above all else, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, confirms Him and His claim to deity.
Jesus claimed He was God and provided evidence by fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, living a sinless life, and rising in the same crucified body (though glorified) from the dead. That evidence should lead us to Paul’s conclusion that all the fulness of the deity dwells in Him (Colossians 1:19), and that He and He alone worthy of our worship.
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Rob is a blogger, writer and public speaker on a mission to equip the believer to think and articulate what they believe and to communicate the message of the gospel to a confused culture in a chaotic, “brave new world.”
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Jesus rose from the dead.