The most influential figure, religious or otherwise, spanning over 2,000 years, is still alive in many hearts across the globe. I’m fortunate to have learned everything about Jesus that I need to know and more from Radiant Church. Jesus Christ has been misunderstood and mischaracterized by so many and for so long that we thought it appropriate to list the ten most interesting facts about Jesus, things you may not have heard.
10. Jesus actually lived. Apart from the four eyewitness accounts about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which comprises four gospels in the New Testament, there is also non-Christian, historical evidence that Jesus lived. Flavius Josephus, a valid first-century, Jewish historian, reported about Jesus’ miracles and resurrection in his Jewish Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, paragraphs 1-5.
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.
9. Of all the leaders of religious movements, Jesus is the only one whose tomb is empty. The burial monuments of Mohammad and Buddha, for instance, are shrines for their loyal followers. But the followers of Jesus know no such burial remains, for though He died for the sins of the world, He was resurrected and glorified into heaven. That sets Jesus apart from all known religious leaders, in that God became flesh that he may take upon himself the penalty for all mankind, and thus redeem mankind. No other religious figure comes close to the humility and sacrifice that Jesus endured for mankind. It’s believed by some followers of the religion that Jesus was buried and resurrected at The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, whereas others believe this process happened at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Golgotha. Due to this, loyal followers of Jesus often visit the one they believe he was buried in. However, as some people can’t always make their way over to Jerusalem, The Salvation Garden and companies similar, can help by placing a message written by you to one of these sites. Although Jesus is not within either of these tombs, they both offer sites to worship the commitment he made for us.
8. Jesus claimed He was the Lord God of the ancient Israelites. In John 8 we find that the religious Pharisees are in an uproar over the pronouncements of Jesus Christ and they disputed His comments about having seen and dealt with Abraham, who’d been dead for close to thousand years. “You’re not fifty years old, and you’re telling us that you’ve seen Abraham?” they asked.
Jesus said to them, “Before Abraham was, I am!” This declaration of deity was not missed out on the Pharisees as they immediately attempted to kill Him (John 8:59). Any student of Israel’s history would have known that the phrase, I am, was the phrase God gave to Moses to identify Himself: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Exo 3:14 KJV).
When we understand that Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, we see that it was the pre-incarnate Jesus Himself who actually formed Adam from the dirt of the earth (cp John 1:1-3 and Genesis 1:26).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being (Joh 1:1-3 MKJV).
And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness (Gen 1:26 MKJV). The Godhead Trinity of God, Word and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2) was already present at the garden of Eden.
7. Jesus was not born on December 25th. Though His followers celebrate His birth annually on December 25th, the scriptures actually do not specify that or any other day for His birth. The scriptures do tell us clues as to the time He was born:
And (Mary) brought forth her son, the First-born, and wrapped Him, and laid Him in a manger — because there was no room for them in the inn. And in the same country there were shepherds living in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night (Luke 2:7-8 MKJV).
Thus the scripture indicates that Jesus could not have been born in the wintertime, since the sheep could not have been out in the fields on wintry nights as they would have frozen! When we couple this scripture with another one, we find that the reason the inns were full was because many had come from all around to pay their taxes as ordered by a decree from Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1-8). It was customary at the time for people to pay their taxes in Judea after their harvest, during the time of the Fall festivals that Israel annually observed. This indicates that Jesus was probably born in the Autumn of the year.
There are other passages that show that Jesus was born a half year after his cousin, John the Baptist, which again pinpoints Autumn for Christ’s birth. A good summary of that point can be found here.
Many suggest that Jesus was actually born on one of the Fall festivals, specifically the Feast of Trumpets. Each Holy Day actually represented a significant event in God’s dealings with mankind. The Passover, for instance, is when Jesus was killed as the Passover lamb. Pentecost represented the giving of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’s followers. And the Fall feast day of Trumpets typified the heralding of the Messiah with trumpets blaring.
Pagans were celebrating both Easter and Christmastime before Jesus even came on the scene. These festivities honored the deities of Ishtar and Tammuz, and centered around fertility, the Spring equinox, and Winter solstice.
6. Jesus was not resurrected on Easter Sunday. It is inconceivable for Jesus to have been resurrected according to the Easter story because it contradicts Jesus’ own proof of His messiahship.
The Pharisees again tried to discredit Jesus, demanding to see proof of His messiahship. Jesus responded, saying that the one sign He would give is that He would be dead three days and three nights, then He would be resurrected.
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we want to see a sign from you. But He answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall be no sign given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Mat 12:38-40 MKJV).
It is mathematically impossible for Jesus to have fulfilled His one sign that He was the Messiah with the traditional Easter narrative of dying on a Friday night and resurrecting on Sunday morning — that’s only a day and a half.
A true understanding of the timing of Christ’s resurrection would have to come from the scriptures themselves. We find that Jesus was killed on Passover (John 13:1, Mark 14:12), which again signals God’s use of His Holy day calendar to denote His dealings with mankind. Jesus became the Passover Lamb of God, sacrificed to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Incorporating all the clues from scriptures, Jesus was killed on late Wednesday, and resurrected on late Saturday, the weekly biblical Sabbath. By the time the women went to see the grave on early Sunday morning (while it was yet dark, John 20:1), He had already been resurrected. This sequence of events satisfies Jesus’ one sign that He would be dead for 72 hours.
(Scripture references detailing the timing of His crucifixion during that Holy week of Passover and Unleavened Bread can be found here: Luke 11:29, Jonah 2:17, Matthew 12:40, Matthew 27:62-63, John 13:1, John 1:29, Exodus 12:5-7, Matthew 28:2-6. A good overview of these scriptures can be found here.)
5. Jesus believed in a literal Satan, who presently rules over mankind as the “god of this world,” blinding the eyes of everyone in the world, including its forms of religions, politics, entertainment and academia. The reality of Satan, fallen angels and demons, all of whom attempt to thwart God’s purposes on the earth, is rampant throughout scripture. Jesus, Himself, setting an example for all mankind, had to overcome Satan’s temptations of pride, lust, fame and money (Matthew 4:1-11). Yet, scripture says Jesus came to defeat the works of the devil (1 John 3:8, Luke 10:18, John 16:11, John 12:31) and He commands all others to do likewise.
In the meantime, before Christ’s return as King of Kings, anyone plagued and harassed by demons can find deliverance through Christians, whom Christ has empowered with authority to cast them out (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 10:18-20).
4. Jesus believed in creationism, Noah’s flood, the miracles of Moses’ exodus, and every other aspect of the Old Testament. The Old Testament points the way to Jesus Christ and the New Covenant. The prophecies, the Levitical Priethood, Israel’s Holy Days, the Sabbath, everything in the Old Testament pointed to Him.
Jesus, Himself, affirms that not one area, not one prophecy, not one word from the Old Testament will fail to come to pass. Many of those scriptures were fulfilled in Jesus: And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, (Jesus) explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself, Luke 24:27 (Luke 24:44; John 5:39; Matthew 5:17-18).
But, because the influence of Point #5 is so pervasive throughout the world and that our comprehension of spiritual things have become so difficult to achieve, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who follow Him that they may understand all things (John 16:12-13; Job 32:8-9; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16).
3. Jesus said He will return to earth soon. Jesus gave signs for His return in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13. And when you couple His words with other scriptures in the Old and New Testaments, you have to come to the conclusion that the events taking place in the United States and the earth today have been prophesied in the Bible. And His return is soon.
Consider that it was the Bible that prophesied a “one-world government,” with one world currency and one state-sponsored religion that would come, but this was prophesied two thousand years ago! (Revelation 17-18) — way before the concept could have ever been imagined. And we’re seeing that move taking place now. The only thing holding up the appearing of the antichrist and the one world government is the United States.
Yet, internal and external forces are already underway to topple the United States as a superpower. Once the United States has been “fundamentally transformed” from within and without, that it is no longer a force for stability in the world, the antichrist will appear. He will bring about three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, after which Jesus will return and save us from ourselves.
2. Jesus’ message was simple: it was the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Gospel mean good news! And this good news of the Kingdom of God was His primary focus. Many of His parables had to do with the Kingdom, and He taught His disciples to teach this message.
The good news essentially meant that He was going to return again and establish the Kingdom of God. Jesus would be King of Kings over all the world (John 18:37, Revelation 19:16). Satan would be removed from influencing the nations anymore. Saints, who have overcome in this world, will be resurrected to leadership positions, to rule with Jesus (Revelation 5:10; Matthew 19:28). Nations will be compelled to follow the Golden Rule: do onto others as you would have them do onto you.
If they don’t comply, God will deal with them so that they do comply (Zechariah 14:18). Everyone will have access to God and His love. As Isaiah says,
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isa 9:6-7 KJV).
And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isa 2:4 KJV).
One last point needs to be made about the Kingdom of God. Jesus says emphatically, in the Olivet Prophecy about signs of His return, that this good news of the Kingdom of God will be preached in all the world for a witness onto all nations and then shall the end (His return) come!” (Matthew 24:14).
Evidently the gospel of the Kingdom has not been preached until now. You are now hearing the gospel of the Kingdom being preached to you. Once this goes to all the world, the time of His return will be imminent!
1. Jesus said, “you must be born again” (John 3:3). The one distinguishing characteristic of the followers of Jesus is that they are born again! The one key of obtaining salvation and eternal life in Jesus is to be born again! The one passport into the Kingdom of God and receiving all authority over the forces of evil now, and in the Kingdom to come, is to be born again!
There is no other way. No other religion. No false concept of “a Jesus consciousness” will suffice. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Being born again does not mean that Christians never make mistakes. It means that Jesus cleanses us from all sin, washed clean by His shed blood. It means that you have access to God, who is always dependable for every situation in life. It means that you’ll have access to the Holy Spirit, which will empower you to live a life above the traps of the enemy. And, you’ll have greater understanding of the things of the Spirit and a real relationship with Jesus.
Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice (John 10:27), and the Holy Spirit guides you into all truth (John 16:13). There is no greater blessing nor reward than to become a son or daughter of the Most High God — the One who created you for a purpose! We are unfulfilled as a people because we don’t know our destiny or reason for life. And there’s no greater satisfaction in life than to fulfill the purpose for which you were created.
Jesus is anxiously awaiting your return to Him. Won’t you take a moment now to ask Jesus in prayer to forgive you of your sins and to lead and guide you into all truth?