Three major events in Jesus’ life every Christian must know
1. The Incarnation of Jesus
About 2,000 years ago, Jesus, the only begotten son of God, incarnated as human through an immaculate conception of Mary, wife of Joseph. They lived in Nazareth.
The Christmas story
Rome’s Emperor, Caesar Augustus, commanded a census. Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem (King David’s ancient city, where Jesus’ roots are, Matthew 1:1-17). Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room at the inn.
Fleeing to Egypt, after the birth of the Christ
After the birth of Jesus, the family went to Egypt to escape the great slaughter of the baby boys in Bethlehem. Herod the Great, King of Judea, a province of Rome, heard the birth of a ‘Messiah.’ Threatened, he ordered all male children under age two to be killed.
An angel of the LORD warned Joseph, and they fled to Egypt (Matthew 2:13–23). They remained in Egypt until Herod died. The family went to Nazareth, where Joseph lived previously. (Luke 2:4)
Accounts about Jesus from non-Christians
- Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (93–94 AD, Antiquities of the Jews)
- Roman historian and Senator, Tacitus (Annals written AD 116)
- Historian named Thallos (55 AD)
- Christian Historian, Sextus Julius Africanus (160 – 240)
- Syriac Stoic, Mara bar Serapion (73 AD)
- The Babylonian Talmud (400–600 AD)
- Pliny the Younger (100 AD)
- Lucian of Samosata (125 AD)
Why did God’s son come to earth?
Jesus was a carpenter until he began his earthly ministry at age 30 (Luke 3:23). Jesus came for the sinners, to save the lost (Luke 19:10). In His own words, I was born and for this purpose, I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37)
2. The Resurrection of Jesus
Most scholars estimate the birth of Jesus between 6 and 4 BC. He began to preach around AD 27–29 and died between AD 30-36. According to Catholic tradition, Jesus’ crucifixion was Friday, April 3, in 33 AD, and the Resurrection happened two days later.
Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension are key events that shape Christian beliefs. Resurrection is the pillar of Christianity.
What if resurrection never happened?
If the resurrection were faked, Christianity would collapse. The apostles will be accused of lying. If Jesus’ resurrection is not true, what hope do we have, except a fearful expectation of death?
3. The Second Coming of Jesus
Jesus ascended to heaven in 30 AD. His return to earth will be personal, visible, and glorious according to scriptures (Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13; Revelation 1:7).
His first purpose is to come for His Church (body of Christ). This will happen during “Rapture.” The dead in Christ and those alive will be caught up to meet the LORD in the air and be with Him forever (1 Corinthians 15:51–54; 1 Thessalonians 4:14).
Finally, evil and those who mock God will be removed
God will crush this uprising in the last battle, and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Those who rejected the Word of God are judged and cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14, 15; Mark 9:48)
Sadness and death disappear
The new Kingdom of God will usher in the new earth and new heaven. Evil, sin, sadness, sickness, and death will disappear, and God’s people will live in eternity. (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:2, 3; 2:3–5)