The life of Jesus Christ, A Bird’s Eye View

40 Interesting Facts about Jesus - Jesus Film ProjectTo summarize the life of Jesus Christ in an article is an impossible task. Entire books have been written on specific aspects of Jesus life or death and I for one would not presume to have it all in this one article. What I am going to do is give a bird’s eye view of the life of Jesus who is jesus Christ, without going into the deeper meanings (and different interpretations) of his life on earth.

The earliest records of the life of Jesus are those written by his followers in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There exist also first- and second- century Jewish and Roman accounts of his life. Roman historian, Tacitus, referred to the crucifixion of Jesus. Josephus, a Jewish historian, wrote of the teachings of Jesus as well as his miracles.

Jesus was born to Mary, a devout Jewish woman and to Joseph, a carpenter. The Gospels of Luke and Matthew say that Jesus was, however, conceived by a miraculous intervention of the Holy Spirit. The writings also tell that Jesus was born in Bethlehem where Joseph and Mary traveled because of a decree from Rome. Caesar Augustus was ruler, and Rome was the capital of the civilized world. In order to fulfill census requirements, all families had to register in their hometowns. Joseph, a descendant of the great King, David, was thus required to register in Bethlehem.

During his final week on earth, Jesus would arrive in triumph is Jerusalem on Sunday. Monday, he would display righteous anger by chasing the moneychangers from the Temple. Tuesday he taught about obligations to government and religion. He spoke of the generosity of a widow who gave her last money to charity. He made predictions about his death. Unknowingly, He was anointed for burial on Wednesday by a repentant woman while in Bethany. He shared his final meal (Last Supper) with his disciples on Thursday. This was the day of Preparation for the Passover. At that time he showed humility by washing his disciples’ feet. At the meal, he received the kiss of betrayal from his apostle, Judas. Before his arrest, Jesus prayed alone–and agonized on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem, while his disciples slept nearby.

About 30 A. D., on Friday Christians call good, Jesus was crucified. Christians believe he willingly gave us his life to redeem souls and open the gate of heaven to all. Gospel accounts assert that he later on rose from the dead. Many centuries later, Christians believe Jesus was the saviour of the world and also believe that he was the son of God. On the one hand, I believe in the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection and desire to share the implications of this news with others.

The problem is that for most people in america, the term evangelical Christian is loaded with political undertones, so unless I’m in a situation where calling myself an evangelical Christian gives me greater influence to work towards peace and justice in the political sphere, I usually drop the evangelical part, except when I’m in Muslim countries where the word Christian means “people that drink, party, and fornicate. “When an accident happens, we show we value human life in the attempt to rescue someone from danger or death. If this is universal, why doesn’t it apply to Jesus? And if it was impossible for his beleaguered disciples to make a successful rescue bid, seeing that Peter’s bold strike at Jesus’ arrest had failed, (see John 18: 10-11) maybe after all, God would step in to rescue Jesus and restore his honour. Perhaps one or two of the more optimistic disciples nursed this hope as they watched Jesus hang on the cross. Mind you, if any group of people could have conjured up some kind of scheme that saw someone else die in Jesus’ place, they would have grabbed at it! Because they really did want Jesus to be their Messianic warrior hero and king! But the stark reality of death is too well known, and the possibility of mistaken identity in such a high profile public execution, is so far from all the evidence, that the thought of Jesus escaping death, was a ploy of last resort dreamed up by his enemies as a counter explanation for Jesus’ resurrection.