Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity. He is the Son of God, the Messiah and part of the Holy Triumvirate of the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit. The story of his life is perhaps the greatest story ever told in human history.
The central theme in Christianity is that God took the form of human life, suffered death on the cross and was resurrected. The main purpose of this incarnation was to save all humans from the bondage of sin, and he died to obtain pardon for human sin. His life story is a story of hope and love.
The story of his life is as follows:
Birth and Childhood:
The birth of Jesus was unlike any other as he was born of a virgin by the name of Mary. The virtuous Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel, who informed her that she would give birth to a son to be called Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph who on hearing that Mary was with child, planned to secretly break the engagement. But an angel appeared in his dreams asking him to bow to the will of God and not abandon Mary.
Mary and Joseph get married and wait for the birth of Jesus. The next incident in their lives is when Joseph along with his pregnant wife, Mary travel to Bethlehem to enter their names in their native village as per the decree of Caesar Augustus.
The couple is not able to find lodgings anywhere and so settle down in a manger meant for animals. Here, Mary gives birth to Jesus and wraps him in swaddling clothes. With the birth of Jesus, some shepherds are visited by angels, who urge them to visit and seek blessings of the divine baby. Also, three wise men from the East called as the Magi come in search of the divine baby led by a special star.
The wise men ask Herod, King of Jerusalem about the birth of the King of Jews. Herod grows jealous about the news of the divine baby and asks the wise men to guide him to the baby. But the Magi, who are able to visit and offer their gifts to baby Jesus, go back another way. An enraged Herod orders the killing of all Jewish infants so that he does not face any future threat.
The Angels warn Joseph in his dreams about the threat from Herod, and the family flees to Egypt. But after the death of Herod, Joseph brings back his family to the town of Nazareth. Here Jesus grows up to be a young boy.
One incident in the life of the boy Jesus is when he goes missing in the Temple of Jerusalem. When his parents go searching for their son, they find him in the temple discussing important topics with wise men. On being chided for staying away from the family, Jesus asks them, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my father’s house?” (Luke: 2: 46 -49). He returns to Nazareth with his family and began to “grow in stature and wisdom and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).
The next story in the life of Jesus is his baptism. He is around thirty years now. John the Baptist is baptizing many people along the Jordan River, exhorting them to repent for their sins. Here Jesus comes and requests John to baptize him, which John is reluctant and considers himself to be not worthy to do. After the baptism, John sees the spirit of God descending on Jesus in the form a dove and hears the voice of God saying- “This is my Son with whom I am pleased.” (Luke 3: 21-22).
Next, Jesus retires to a holy place for 40 days, where he fasts and meditates. Here he encounters Satan, who tempts him in three ways, but Jesus rebukes the ways of the Evil one.
From this time onwards, Jesus started preaching the Gospel, performing miracles and inviting all to the ‘Kingdom of God”. He picked twelve special men, who he kept most close, teaching them more intensely the Word of God. These men were simple persons, mostly fishermen and came to be called as Jesus’ disciples or apostles.
Jesus taught the people in a way that encouraged, inspired and challenged them. He performed many miracles that made him revered by the people. As he preached the Kingdom of God and was proclaimed the Son of God, he won many admirers as well as enemies.
Jesus‘s main teachings are found in “The Sermon on the Mount” where he explained that the meek, the peacemakers and the gentle would inherit the Kingdom of God. He called for rejecting worldliness, helping the poor and the oppressed and setting captives free. He also preached the message of love: Blessing and praying for one’s enemies.
Jesus taught in parables: simple stories that could explain complex concepts to the poor, uneducated crowd. His most famous parables are the Parable of the Prodigal Son, The Good Samaritan and The parable of the talents.
Jesus also performed many miracles. This began with the turning of water into wine at the Wedding of Cana on the request of Mother Mary. Later on, he healed the sick and the handicapped, exorcised spirits, and even raised the dead to life.
Other miracles include walking on water, feeding of thousands with a few loaves of bread, calming of the storm, and many others. But this period also saw him incurring the wrath of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Jewish leaders) as he questioned their authority and rebuked their hypocrisy. Jesus was also criticized for consorting with sinners.
Jesus was aware that he was going to die and so on Passover night, he instituted the tradition of the Eucharist: Bread and wine to be offered as his body and blood.
Death and Resurrection:
Jesus was being recognized as the Messiah by many people. So, many Jewish people and leaders opposed him. They bribed one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver to betray the master.
On a fateful night of Passover, Jesus was arrested. He was questioned by Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate. Pilate found him innocent but to pacify the wrath of the crowd, had him scourged, beaten and crowned with thorns. But the crowd insisted he be crucified.
Thus, Jesus was crucified on Golgotha or Mount of skulls. He breathed his last, after forgiving his captors. On his death, an earthquake hit the temple, and the whole Jerusalem was shaken.
The disciples took the body of Christ and placed him in a tomb. On the third day, the stone guarding the tomb rolled away and Jesus rose from the Dead.
He appeared to his apostles and urged them to “go everywhere and tell the Good News.” Thereafter, he ascended into heaven.
This is the story of the greatest man who ever lived, the innocent lamb whose blood was shed for the sins of humans. Jesus will come back to the world in all glory on the Day of the Second Coming when he will offer his judgment to all people.