Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brief History of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, Christians regard Jesus as a Son of God, and as having been divinely conceived by Marry the wife of Joseph - a carpenter in Nazareth. We know very less about Jesus' life.

He is : a Savior, a prophet, a healer, and a teacher, whose life and teachings formed the foundation of Christianity. Everyone believed that Jesus had been the Messiah. Many Jews during his lifetime, believed that he was the Messiah who came to Jerusalem in triumph and was glorified. Only few days later, he was put to death by the cruel Roman execution of crucifixion.

The story about Jesus is- An angel visited Mary and told her that she will bear a child who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. There was an ancient belief that a new star will appear in the sky when a new ruler is born. Three wise men saw the star in the east and came to Bethlehem to pay tribute and worship Jesus.
The announcement that a new king was born was troublesome for King Herod. He ordered all children under two years old in the Bethlehem area to be killed.
Joseph was instructed in a dream to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt. According to Matthew, they came back to their home in Nazareth when they heard that King Herod was dead.

At the age of about thirty Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, the Prophet who was conducting baptism according to the Jewish practice, in preparation for the Kingdom to come. After that he withdrew to the mountains of the Judean desert for 40 days where he was tempted three times by the devil. When he came back he worked for a while with John the Baptist.

Jesus’ public ministry began after the jailing of John the Baptist and lasts about one year. He moved to Capernaum and made it his headquarters of ministry; He selected twelve disciples to work with, to model the twelve tribes of Israel. From there he traveled to neighboring towns, preaching and teaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. He performed miracles such as: Turning water into wine; Healing the sick; Restoring the dead to life; Walking on water; Casting demons out of the possessed and turning a few loaves of bread and fish into enough food to feed a crowd of thousands.

His followers increased in number, He promised forgiveness and eternal life in heaven to the most sinful, provided their repentance was sincere. This induced the hatred of the Jewish Pharisees, who feared that his teachings might lead to disregard for the authority of the Torah.
Despite the Jewish Authorities opposition, Jesus’ popularity increased. He was devoted to the Torah. The main thing Jesus taught which was different from his teachers was not only love the neighbor as yourself but love the enemy, forgiveness is the supreme expression of love.

He taught the rules of the Kingdom and the new covenant, ethical teaching with a series of demands for conduct of oneself in relationship to each other and to God.

Jesus now was a labeled man, as his followers grew, his enemies grew too. The Sanhedrin - the Jewish Rabbinical Authority in Jerusalem challenged him on specific issues seeking to question him into self-discrimination.

On the Sunday before Passover, Jesus entered Jerusalem. He sent two of his disciples to get a donkey that had never been ridden before on which he would ride to Jerusalem. They brought the donkey and laid their garments on it and Jesus rode into the city. He was welcomed uponentering the city by crowds singing and rejoicing following Him to the Temple. In less then a week the same crowd would be demanding His death on a cross.

In the course of it he spoke of his looming betrayal and impending death as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. He assured His Disciples of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Later this evening, the Temple police and Roman soldiers arrested Him. Jesus was taken to a meeting of the supreme council of the Jewish authorities. They found sufficient ground to warrant an accusation of high faithlessness and brought Him before Pontius Pilate. There, Jesus was condemned to death as a messianic pretender. Pilate ultimately left the decision to the people, and they insisted on Jesus’ death. Jesus was executed by crucifixion with two other criminals guilty of rebellion.

Later in the day before sunset, his body was taken down and buried in a tomb by followers. Early on the following Sunday, his disciples found the tomb empty. Later the same day, Jesus appeared at various locations in and near Jerusalem.

After His death, His followers decided that Jesus had been divine. This did not happen immediately; the development of Christian belief in the Incarnation, was gradual and the doctrine that Jesus had been God in human form was finalized in the fourth century.

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