Life of Christ Essay
There are volumes of letters and gospels, both from the Old Testament and New Testament that talk about the Messiah, Coming of a King, Coming of a Prophet and the Son of David. But with all these volumes of information on the life and works of Jesus Christ, what can we consider the pillars of faith that define Christianity? For me personally, they are the Birth of Christ, his crucifixion and death on the cross, and finally his Resurrection. These three, non-negotiable precepts, demonstrate the fulfillment of scriptures, provide a means of salvation to all and explains how Jesus has saved us from sin, and through his death, has made us children of God. These examples promote opposition and dissent, but because they are pillars, one can accept that; but one also has the responsibility to explain it. I’ve decided to use Matthew to that end, as Matthew links the Old Testament, Jewish Tradition and Jesus Christ together in terms and writings we can understand.
In Matthew (1: 1), he literally starts out from the beginning telling us “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, and the son of Abraham” that the writings from the Old Testament are fulfilled, because the Messiah would be a descendant of King David. Matthew continues on (1: 18-25) saying “it is through the holy spirit that this child has been conceived in her,” “and they shall name him Emmanuel.” This is critical as we are faced with many divisions in faith today, mainly from our roots in Judaism, which fails to accept the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, as God. God is one with Jesus Christ, and only through him can we become one with God the Father. And for this reason, this pillar is contested in many religions, but essential to our belief in Christianity.
Matthews begins describing the start of the ministry of Jesus by his Baptism by John. In Matthew (3: 13), “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” After Jesus was baptized, “the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” Matthew (3: 16-17). This occasion marks our Lord, as the Son of God, but now also with the Holy Spirit as he begins his public ministry. This also is our mark to begin our faith with Jesus. Another important aspect of his ministry is something we also covered in Christology, and that is the Call of the Disciples. In Matthew (4: 19-20), “He said to them, come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.” This then sets the stage through Baptism and the Call to the Disciples as the start of Jesus’ public ministry of miracles, healings of Demoniacs and Paralytics and the preaching to all throughout Israel.
The second non-negotiable for me is the Crucifixtion and death of Jesus. As Jesus begins to prepare his disciples for this part of his mission, Matthew notes the first prediction of the Passion, (MT 16: 22-23), “Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him; He turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Jesus knows what is to come and forewarns his disciplines, as Jesus is preparing on fulfilling his promise to God. This gets to the second pillar, and a so important part of our journey with God, and what we are asked to do for him. The cross is our connection with Jesus, and it is our way to be with him every day in our prayers, conversations and reflections. It’s up to us, for with the acceptance of the way of the cross, the cross becomes a symbol of our victory to all. Jesus has delivered life to us. This is where our faith does not ask specifically, but where we should thank the Lord for giving us the gift of the inheritance to life.
The final pillar, and a sense of full circle, we have the resurrection of our Lord. Matthew notes, (Mt 28: 5-6), “Then the angel said to the women in reply, Do not be afraid! I know you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”
I’ve noted what I consider the pillars of the faith and the life and ministry of Jesus, but there are critical keys points to be made that are the essence of his life, and more specifically, the essence of Jesus himself. Throughout his life and his teachings, we see Jesus as love, forgiveness and salvation itself. What I’m really saying is Jesus is love; Jesus is forgiveness and Jesus is salvation.