The life of Jesus

Jesus Christ (1) was born in Israel about 2000 years ago. You can read all about this in the Bible, for example in the Gospel of Luke. Centuries before, the coming of a Savior was announced by a number of prophets.

His birth

Jesus came to earth. He was born to a mother just like any other human being. But there was one big difference between Him and everyone else. His mother Mary was not conceived by a man. God’s Holy Spirit conceived the child in her. A unique combination of the divine and the human. He was given the name Jesus (which means Savior) and was also called the Son of God.

Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth. He grew up in a simple family and his earthly father was a carpenter (see also Luke 1 and 2). At that time Israel was occupied by the Romans. Even in His early youth people were amazed at His knowledge and insight. (Luke 2:47).

His message

Jesus was about 30 years old when He started to tell people about the good news. He never traveled more than about 300 kilometers from His hometown during His life. Yet He still became known throughout Israel and far beyond. People were amazed at the way He talked about God and the explanations He gave. It was clear that He knew what He was talking about (Luke 4:32).

The message He had for the people was:

“Change your hearts and lives, because God’s kingdom is now very near.” (Matthew 4:17)

He taught the people to love God and the people who live around them. He taught to love their enemies as well. He taught how to forgive others. He showed that love in everything He did by Himself.

Jesus makes it very clear that people make mistakes in their lives and that we often do not do the will of God. Our disobedience stands between us and God (Isaiah 59:2). God is not only loving, but He is also just and therefore cannot overlook our disobedience.

He cannot accept injustice and will not interact with people who are unjust. He will judge all people after they die. And the outcome is already known to all of us. No one can fully meet God’s standard. Especially not when you listen to Jesus’ explanation that God is not so much concerned with your behavior as with the state of your heart. Killing someone is not good, but wishing something bad in your heart for someone is not substantially different for God.

Because of our sins, it is not possible to gain favor in the eyes of God and an eternal future in heaven is not possible because of them. So our destination is hell, a place far away from God’s presence and love.

But… God loves us in spite of our failures. He wants us to join Him in His Kingdom. He wants to save us from our unavoidable doom. That’s why Jesus came to earth.

Jesus says He is the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). There is only one way to be reconciled with God the Father. There is only one Door to enter Heaven (John 10:9). That is by believing that Jesus is God’s Son and that He wants to be your Savior from your sins.

Miracles and healings

Jesus performed many miracles, healed people and even raised some from the dead. By doing this He showed that He was not only human, but also God. These miracles were proof that He really was the promised Savior. Physical healing was not His primary goal. His message was is that you will be healed spiritually. That your sins must be forgiven in order for you to become truly healed.

Predictions came true

In the centuries before Jesus was born, the coming of a Savior was foretold by various prophets. Those prophecies became reality during Jesus’ life on earth.

There are hundreds of prophecies that came to fulfillment during His life on earth. I will mention some of them here: He came from the offspring of King David (Jeremiah 33:15-17). He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). He has healed people (Isaiah 35:5-6). Shortly before His death, He entered the city of Jerusalem on a young donkey (Zechariah 9:9). He died as the savior for mankind (Isaiah 53). His bones were not broken at His crucifixion, which would normally be the case. (Psalms 22:19; 34:21, fulfilled in Mark 15:24 and John 19:33-36). In all, well over 300 prophecies become fulfilled during His life on earth. (2)

His death

The most shocking message for religious Jewish people was that Jesus said He was the Son of God. After all, in their opinion it was blasphemy and a violation of the law. Therefore, religious leaders urged the Roman rulers to sentence Jesus to death.

Jesus was found innocent by several Roman leaders. Even the Jewish leaders had to acknowledge that except for the claim that Jesus called himself the Son of God, there was nothing else to blame about his life. Jesus lived without wrongdoing and lived according to Jewish laws. Nevertheless, the Jewish religious leaders managed to stir up the crowd, and thereby persuade the Roman governor to authorize the death penalty.

Jesus was put to death in a horrible manner. He was nailed to a cross. Crucifixion involves hanging someone by the hands on a cross. It is a humiliating and disgusting death penalty.

Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan of salvation for mankind. It was God’s plan to pour out the punishment for our sins on Jesus during His crucifixion. The human Jesus experienced what it is like to be without God. He died for our sins so that all who believe in Him can receive forgiveness.

Jesus died on the cross (Luke 23). His bodily death was visible proof that God’s love is so strong that he would go through this for us. Because of His death in our place, we are given the opportunity for a new life.

At the time Jesus died, there was an earthquake. Graves opened up and many believers who had died became alive once again. They came out of their graves and after Jesus rose from the dead, they went to the holy city of Jerusalem. Lots of people had seen them. The army chief and the soldiers who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and what was happening. They became terrified and said, “Yes, this was really God’s Son!”‘ (Matthew 27:50-54)

Risen from the dead

Jesus’ body was placed in a rock tomb and a large stone was rolled in front of it. Jesus had mentioned before His death that He would resurrect. The religious leaders wanted to prevent His followers from taking His body from the tomb and telling people that He had risen. So they arranged for a group of Roman soldiers to guard the tomb.

After three days, Jesus rose from the grave. You can read more about this in Mathew 28. Jesus was both God and man. As a human being, He could die. There is plenty of evidence that He actually died and did not just lose consciousness. But God is eternal and cannot die. If Jesus had remained dead, it would have shown that He was as well divine. His bodily resurrection confirmed His statements that He is God.

By His resurrection, Jesus proved that His message is trustworthy. He also proved by His resurrection that He has overcome the penalty of sin. His resurrection gives hope for the future to those who have faith in Him. Everyone who believes in Him can be sure that after death there is eternal life with God in Heaven.

To Heaven

After His resurrection, He appeared in many different places in Israel for a period of 40 days. Many people witnessed Him, including a group of over 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6). After those 40 days, He left the earth by rising to Heaven (Acts 1). He will return at a time that is determined by God.

The good news spread around the world

From then on, Jesus’ followers grew in numbers rapidly. Even by 3000 in one day during Pentecost. The religious leaders tried to stop this by having the followers of Jesus arrested and killed. But many followers died rather than abandon their trust in God.

In less than a century, the message of Jesus spread throughout the whole Roman Empire (Asia and Europe) and soon after throughout the world. The message that God sent his Son to earth to save people has radically changed billions of people’s lives.

This good news is without equal and is unique from all other religions. We don’t have to do our best ourselves to be in favor with our Creator. After all, we will never succeed. God Himself extends His hand to us and offers us a place with Him in Heaven;

God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. John 3:16


The life of Jesus
Was Jesus more than a prophet?
Can God have a Son?
Did Jesus really die on the cross?
Can God die?
Did someone else die on the cross?
Can one God be 3 persons?

1) Christ means King, Messiah, Redeemer, Anointed One.

2) See also Prophecies of Jesus.