The Word of God
One of the Prophecies about His Coming
It came in a vision to Daniel 500 years before Christ: “Before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13)
And Christ was that son of man.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! God is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus (which means "God saves"). He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month." (Luke 1:26-35)
After Christ was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. Then they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of God appeared to them, and the glory of God shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ God. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which God has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."(Matthew 2:1,2,7, 9-11&Luke 2:8-19&John 1:14)
Q :What are some of the unusual happenings that accompanied the birth of Christ?
The appearing of the angel to Mary and to Joseph, and to the shepherds, and the star appearing to the Magi (wise men) in the Far East.
When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. His mother said to him, "Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them." (Luke 2:42, 46-51)
Q :What do people need in order to respect their parents, as Christ did?
They need a good example, and that the fear of God is in their hearts.
Some of His Works and Characteristics
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means "sent"). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. Christ said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Christ said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." (John 9:1-7& John 9:39-41)
As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When God saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Christ gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” (Luke 7:12-16)
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Christ said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (John 5:5,8,9)
Then Christ’s disciples said, "Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” (John 16:29,30)
John saw Christ coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
When Christ landed on the shore and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Christ replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:14-20)
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27)
Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Christ saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Christ said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Matthew 9:2-6, Mark2:12)
"You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)
Christ said to them, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?" (John 8:42-46)
“I tell you the truth,” Christ answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Christ hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (John 8:58,59)
From His Teachings
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment."
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
"It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."
"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to God.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool."
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors (the unjust) doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5)
About Giving Alms:
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6)
Q : What are some of the teachings that we learn from Christ's life and sayings?
To pray, fast, give alms, forgive and love our enemies, be kind, faithful, not to desire other people's property, and to do to others what we'd like them to do to us.
The Golden Rule:
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law (Shariaa) and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)
Q : Why were Christ's teachings distinctive from the teachings of others?
Because he was the incarnated eternal Word of God that appeared in the flesh.
Advice & Warnings
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them." (Matthew 7)
Q : What did Christ mean by the wide door and the false prophets?
The wide door indicates the lost majority who follow those who falsely claim to be prophets, although they are not sent by God.
Christ Prophesies about his Death
From that time on Christ began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Christ turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Christ answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Christ had spoken." (Matthew 16:21-23& John 2:19-22)
Christ Proclaims His Divinity
But Christ remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Christ. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy." (Mark 14:61-64)
The Jews didn't Crucify Christ:
Then the Jews led Christ from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. So Pilate came out to them and said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law (Shariaa).” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” the Jews objected. This happened so that the words Christ had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled. (John 18:28-32)
Q : Why couldn't the Jews kill Christ by stoning Him according to their law?
Because they were under the Roman Empire, which didn't allow any of their subjects to have any authority.
The Romans Crucified Christ:
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Christ answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Pilate said. Christ answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. (John 18:37, 19:10,11,16)
Q : Why did the Romans execute people by crucifixion?
Because the death sentence by nailing someone onto a cross was a Roman method to threaten anyone who went against their colonial rule.
The Events around the Crucifixion :
When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots, saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” Others said, "He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”(Matthew 27:35,40,43)
Q : Why didn't Christ escape arrest and crucifixion?
Because only the weak and cheats escape, but rising from the dead and ascending to heaven is the act of the God of life and death.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Christ cried out in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Christ saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”(Matthew 27:45,50,51,54)
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Christ. Now Joseph was a disciple of Christ, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Christ at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Christ’s body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Christ was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Christ there, and rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. (John 19:38-42, Matthew 27:60)
Guarding the Tomb:
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Matthew 27:62-66)
Q : Why did Pilate send guards to Christ's tomb putting a seal on the door stone?
So that Christ's prophecy of His resurrection on the third day wouldn't be fulfilled.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of God came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Christ, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Christ met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Christ said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1-10)
Christ's Appearance to the Disciples
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Christ himself came up; but they were kept from recognizing him. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Christ was recognized by them when he broke the bread. (Luke 24:13-30)
While they were still talking about this, Christ himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And he said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached in his name to all nations. (Luke 24:36-47)
Q : Was Christ's appearance after his resurrection in spirit or in flesh or in both?
He appeared after His resurrection in flesh and spirit together.
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Christ, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time. (Luke 24:50,51, Acts 1:9-11, Luke 24:52,53, I Corinthians 15:6)
Q : Why did the disciples rejoice when they saw Christ ascending to heaven in front of their eyes?
Because they were convinced that their Lord was alive and that He would be always with them by His spirit, and that they would meet up with Him again.