Why do I believe in Jesus?
That’s a question that I’ve been pondering for quite a while, and even more so over the past month.
My reasons for my belief are varied. They don’t come from just one source.
As I look around at our world, in my eyes I see evidence of God’s hand in creation. Even “simple” things such as a blade of grass are complex. Everything works together to bring us the world as we know it. Look at the sheer volume of all of the species of plants, trees, animals, birds, marine life, etc. I could never learn about each and everyone. The diversity in our creation to me serves as proof that none of it could possibly be by accident, or evolution. Our bodies are incredibly complex, so much so, that it would be astronomically impossible for it to become the way it is by sheer happenstance. The weather, the seasons, the climate, our planet, our solar system all created for two purposes – to create and sustain life and to bring glory to its creator. That’s no accident!
Jesus himself told us about himself. He came to earth to save us from separation from God. All of what Jesus said and did directly pointed people to God. He loved all, but at the same time upheld Godly standards. He claimed no special status, and demonstrated deference to the Father in all that He did. Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice so that we could be in communion with God and experience life everlasting. So, in all that Jesus did, either he was telling the truth or perpetrating the greatest hoax ever, either he is the promised Messiah, or was incrediby delusional. And if what Jesus said and did was all a lie, then my faith, and the faith of millions of other people are baseless. But, I ask, who would willingly build their life, preaching about God, demonstrating faith in God, offering such profound understanding of God without extensive training, performing miracles that pointed directly to, and lead others to God, and willingly suffer the most excruciating, humiliating death unless they were indeed who they said that they were?
As far as I can tell virtually all of the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. I consulted one source that said there were 353 Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. Certainly too many to list here. All of these prophecies were written between 500 – 1200+ years before the birth of Christ. If I were a mathematician, I would be able to calculate the odds that one person could fulfill even 100 prophecies would be astronomical, let alone over 300.
The witness and abrupt change in the Apostles. From cowardly to bold, willingly to lay their lives down for our resurrected Lord. If it weren’t the truth it would have fallen apart. No one is willing to face death for something that they don’t believe in, or for a lie.
The work of God in my own life. I’ve always known that there’s something bigger than myself in this world. Since I was a little girl, I recognized that God’s spirit is around us, beckoning us to come to Him, to rest in Him. I didn’t always follow Him closely, opting instead to spend many years going my own way. There are so many instances in my life in which if it had not been for God’s protection, that rebellion that I experienced, that I perpetuated, would have destroyed me and my life. But, I have accepted Christ as my Savior, I know the peace and the still, quiet voice that resides inside of me and guides me.
I am a follower of Jesus. As a believer, I want people to know the hope of the gospel, I want them to be able to experience life to the fullest, walking with God. I’ve always felt that I am woefully inadequate to explain my faith to others. I’ve feared that I wouldn’t be able to answer the question about why I believe in Jesus. I’ve been terribly afraid that I would be unable to defend my faith when confronted by non-believers, especially those who take great delight in tearing down a person’s faith.
Yet, despite those fears and feelings of inadequacy, today I am answering the question of why I believe in Jesus. And, I hope that I continue to ponder this question, and develop further deeper understanding of my faith.
That Jesus came to earth as the Son of God. He lead a perfect, sinless life. And, as the perfect sacrifice, he died a painful death in our place, and he rose again. It is through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven that we may know the hope that he offers to us his children. As God’s child I walk this earth, and will attempt to live my life in a manner that is pleasing to Him. And when God chooses that my earthly life is done, He will take me up to Heaven to live my life everlasting in His glorious presence.
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:15-16, ESV)