Why do I believe Jesus of Nazareth is the resurrected Son of God? Faith, ultimately.
But my faith is not without reason. I believe there are many signs that point toward Jesus being who He said He was, and therefore my redemption in Him. Here are a few of them:ScripturePsalm 22
was written hundreds of years before Jesus lived. This description by the psalmist resonates as one of the greatest prophecies that support my faith. I find such a detailed description of what would be Christ's crucifixion to be stunning. That Jesus recited the opening verse while He was on the cross makes these verses all the more powerful to me.
1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
2 O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest.
There are many other scriptures that sway and inspire me, but Psalm 22
is worth remembering.
I have studied all of the major religions to the extent that I understand their basic tenets and their history. (And, "NO" all religions are not the same, nor do they point in the same direction.) In general, my feeling is that if there is a supernatural spiritual realm beyond what humanity can see and measure, then it has existed from the beginning. Therefore, the oldest, most enduring and most widespread religions are likely to be the most accurate ones. Truth "is," and therefore, one religious faith must be closer to The Truth than the others.
Christianity is newer than Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, but does have its root in Judaism. Jesus is tied directly into the Jewish story, so I see Christianity as tied directly to that root.
Three key differences about Christianity impress me:
1) That an All Powerful God would take on flesh to touch and interact with His creation, to the point of even allowing His created ones to put to death His visiting flesh. This grand scheme to illustrate the greatest human/spiritual love - sacrificing one's innocent self for another person - is amazing. We see this heroism in air crashes, house fires and wars - but with God? To have this God die in flesh to illustrate the love and power of His Spirit? That's both unique to Christianity and persuasive to me.
2) Nothing written by Jesus exists. All that we know of Him was written by observers. This may create some alignment difficulties in the Gospels, but frankly, it demonstrates to me the powerful nature of His words. Add that miracle after miracle are ascribed to Him in these messages, and we have a figure in history unlike any other.
3) The disciples. These guys were rabble. When the chips were down, they ran. Peter - the strong one, denied Jesus three times. After the crucifixion, they hid. Peter was ready to go back to fishing. What made these guys suddenly become bold to the point of persecution and death?
I have to believe it was because they saw a risen savior. If they truly saw Jesus alive after being crucified, there would be NO way others could sway their belief. Plus, Acts records that a multitude of people saw a risen Jesus. This would explain why the wildfire growth of the church after the leader was executed.
And what about Paul? What instantly converts a man determined to exterminate this upstart cult (and on the road to Damascus to do so this very thing) into a man who endured every kind of atrocity even unto death for Jesus? I find his writings to be a powerful testimony to the redemptive and converting ability of the Holy Spirit.
This, of course, is the hardest to explain because it is internal to me. I can not "show" or "prove" my faith. But here are a couple of my experiences:
1) I have a faith thread that extends back through my early childhood, despite not growing up in a religious family. Grandparents, aunts, a hitchhiker and the cast of an amphitheater production are among the people God used to introduce Himself to me. When I was 15, He deliberately protected me from a fatal car accident that took my adopted father and injured my brother. For weeks, I'd gone downtown after school to ride home with my adopted father after he closed the liquor store. That one day, I was on my way off the school grounds when I stopped in my tracks and felt compelled to take the bus home. The accident happened later that night, changing many things in my life and that of my family.
2) My experiences in nursing homes have shown me how many people from a variety of backgrounds face death (their own or that of a loved one). One thing I've seen time and again, people of strong faith face death with confidence. People without faith face the end with either a fatalistic attitude or bitterness and anger. This is likely true with people of many types of faiths other than Christianity - but it does illustrate for me the power of what a life filled with faith does for the soul, because in the end, that is all any of us really have.
These are a few reasons why I believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. This is why I believe He is capable of redeeming all things and is willing to do so by indwelling in our spirits to accomplish much of it through our hands.
We need only to believe and ask. He will do the rest.
This is far, far from being all-inclusive in my reasoning. As I stated in the beginning, it all comes down to Faith, ultimately.