Who is he?

Jesus of Nazareth is a historical figure, who lived from about 4BC to about 30AD.
He is often referred to as the 'Christ' (or 'Messiah'), which isn't his surname - it's a title, like William 'the Conqueror'! Christ was a King promised to the Jewish nation in different predictions from 1000BC to 400 BC, who would be a rescuer of his people, as well as a fair and good ruler, who would care for God and for his people.

When Jesus lived, he not only claimed to be the Christ, but also claimed to have equal authority to the Creator God, backing up his claims with a number of extraordinary miracles.
He was executed at a young age for claiming to be God, but then rose again and was seen alive by a number of witnesses, ultimately proving his claims to God-like authority.
But the even more amazing thing, was that dying as an innocent man was actually part of his plan to rescue his people!

Read on...

Why did he come?

Jesus came not only as an example, not only as a teacher, but as a rescuer.

Let's back up a bit.
The Bible says that you and I are in serious trouble with God for the way we've lived. Not only do we often fail to think of others before ourselves, but we live in God's world without giving him a moment's thought. We take the life he's given us, but reject the authority of the life-giver. It's stupid. It makes no sense. But we all do it, which just proves how much we hate having God rule over us. And God won't continue to be patient with our rejection of him for much longer - one day there will be a judgement, there'll be a place of punishment for God's enemies, and we'll all deserve to be there.

But Jesus came as a rescuer. And his death was how he did the rescue.
Amazingly, Jesus swapped places with us - he went to the place of punishment (though he was innocent of his crime), so we can go the place of perfection (though we aren't perfect).
And the fact that he rose again shows that there's no more punishment left to suffer!

How do we know?

Good question.
We know firstly through the 4 biographies of Jesus, which contain real place names, real names of historical figures and real names of people who were alive at the time, who could verify whether the claims were true.
We know secondly through the rest of the Bible, which predicts with amazing accuracy the major details of Jesus' life, and records the impact that Jesus has on those who'd spent the most time with him, most of whom died trying to convincing as many people as they could that it was all true.
We know thirdly from non-Christian historians like Josephus and Tacitus, who confirm the major historical details of Jesus' life.

Many people think that it must have been either a conspiracy or a big misunderstanding - this seems to fly in the face of evidence to the contrary.

What does it mean?

It means that there's hope!
Hope that this world isn't all there is. Hope that there's a way for us to escape the punishment we deserve. Hope that there's a way for us to be accepted by God, and enjoy life as it was meant to be with Jesus after death.
Forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, joy, true life - these are all found in Jesus.
And these are available to anyone and everyone, from whatever background, whatever sort of life we've lived. These are available to anyone who turns away from their life lived in rebellion against God, and turns to Jesus, who can rescue us and make us ready for heaven!

This is the good news we believe at Roehampton Student Church, and we'd love to help you find out more. Get in touch here, or come along on a Sunday!

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