Views of Jesus Part 2 - Evangelical Christian

The Bible paints a totally different picture of Jesus than the gnostic scriptures and the Koran.

The Bible is very clear in its portrayal of Jesus as having both a distinct human and divine nature in one human body.

Scripture relays that the Holy Spirit caused Mary to become pregnant, so conservative evangelical Christians believe that from the very moment of conception Jesus was both fully human and fully divine.[i] They believe that Jesus lived a sinless life, performed miracles, taught His followers, and was later falsely accused, convicted, and sentenced to death on a cross. They also believe that God the Father raised Him from the dead the Sunday morning after His crucifixion.[ii]

All four Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion state that Jesus either "gave up his spirit"[iii] or "breathed his last" [iv] while on the cross. Both statements actually mean the same thing because the Jews at that time believed that when people died, they stopped breathing, and their spirits left them.[v] Also, the centurion standing guard proclaimed, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"[vi] in both Matthew's and Mark's accounts. In the Book of Luke, the centurion said, "Certainly this man was innocent."[vii] In either case, the writer of the story is outwardly proclaiming the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ by the centurion's statement that Jesus "was" (a past tense verb) a man, the Son of God. 

Peter explains Jesus' reasoning for dying on the cross in his first letter.[viii]

Jesus willingly chose to suffer and die as the perfect sacrifice because He wanted to give people the opportunity to begin a personal relationship with God the Father. Jesus bore the burden of all sin in His body on the cross out of His overwhelming love for humanity.[ix] Peter writes that Christ suffered once in His body for all the sins of all people. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit so that He in turn could be the pathway to bring people to God the Father.[x]

Because He was the perfect, innocent sacrifice, people can now live in a right relationship with the Father. 

Jesus died for the "redemption of humankind, in the sense of the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God."[xi] Eternal salvation for the Christian entails faith in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross in His death and resurrection and a resulting lifestyle based on that faith.[xii]

Christians believe that when those who follow after Jesus Christ die, their souls and spirits go to be with Jesus in heaven.


[i]Luke 1:30-38.

 

[ii]Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-13.

 

[iii]Matthew 27:50 and John 19:30.

 

[iv]Mark 15:37 and Luke 23:46..

 

[v]Edwin O. James, The Ancient Gods (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967), 190.

 

[vi]Matthew 27:54 and Mark 15:39.

 

[vii]Luke 23:47.

 

[viii]1 Peter 2:18-25.

 

[ix]I. Howard Marshall, 1 Peter (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1991), 90.

 

[x]1 Peter 3:18.

[xi]Riemer Roukema, Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1999), 167.

 

[xii]Witherington, "Why the ‘Lost Gospels' Lost Out," 28.