God's Love 4 U / Why Jesus Died
Cardinal Verse: Matthew 26:39
So in the first installment, we covered the problematic condition of humans, God's reaction to us, and the solution that He came up with, which was sending Jesus to live among us for some hands-on instruction, if you will. In the second installment, we discussed the crux of Jesus' teachings, and the people's reaction to them. In this final installment, I suppose we should touch on whether Jesus' existence among us really had an impact, and if so, what kind. That is, was God's plan and Jesus' mission successful?
I'm assuming that many take the fact that Jesus was eventually crucified to be a mark of failure on his part. Like, if he was the Son of God, why did let himself pretty much be murdered like that? It's okay--there are no stupid questions...
First off, it was known from the get-go that Jesus' death was a part of the entire plan. Remember, Jesus was around to set the supreme example of a being dedicated to God. He was also the sacrificial lamb, remember. He pretty much paid the price for our crimes against God, and at the same time played the role model / teacher. While he was alive, he performed many miracles, bestowed a crap load of wisdom, and just a made a generally interesting impression on many minds. Here's where it gets tricky, though.
He came back to life. You know the story, he was crucified on a Friday, and came rose from the dead on Sunday (I think it was Sunday anyway)."And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again."
- Mark 10:34
I know this part takes a serious leap of faith, because there are many of us who just generally believe that there is nothing after death. Some of us also agree that when people die they stay dead. I say some of us because throughout life many people experience certain "phenomenons" let's say. But, unfortunately, folks, this is the true test of your faith concerning God. And it's pretty much a "you do" or "you don't" kind of thing. But we'll cover that in-depth another time.
So Jesus comes back from the dead, returns to his disciples and apostles and re-assures them of the righteousness of the path he has laid out for them. Most of us know that his apostles remained true, their faith being boosted by experiencing such an event. They travelled, wrote, and taught everyone they could about the Gospel, or Good News, as Jesus' life & teachings came to be donned.
Did Jesus' teachings catch on? Now that's a stupid question. Here are some simple statistics to kind of drive my point home.
1. Christianity is the most adhered to religion on the planet, with 2 billion followers according to the BBC
2. The Bible is the most published and purchased book on the planet, and has been translated into over 2,000 languages. Source
3. The human timeline of history evolves around two time periods--both of which are rooted in Jesus' existence. We use the term "A.D." which is the "Abbreviation for the Latin phrase "Anno Domini," which means "in the year of our Lord." Used to refer to dates starting with the year 1 (i.e., this is the year A.D. 2000). We use this, of course, when discussing events which occur after Jesus Christ's birth. We use "B.C." which means "Before Christ" when discussing events which occurred before Jesus' birth. Interesting, considering we still argue about his actual existence.
I think these three facts, which are pivotal to how we conduct things on this planet, are excellent examples of just how much Jesus Christ affected humanity, and just how well he succeeded in his mission.