Jesus has been acclaimed as the greatest religious leader who ever lived, as being the most influential person to have lived on our planet, and as being unique to the degree that no one can be compared to Him.
But considering Jesus Christ merely on the basis of an exemplary life and His superior moral teaching will not remove the stumbling blocks to Christianity raised by an unbelieving world. The real test of what one thinks of Him must revolve around who He claimed to be and what He accomplished during His brief mission to our planet. Our conclusion must be that there is no Christianity without Christ; all centers in Him.
The predominant theme of the Scriptures is the Person and the work of Jesus Christ. He is God. He became a human being, died by crucifixion, and was buried. He rose again from the dead. He is the only, all-sufficient Savior of the world. He will come again to this earth. Removing this from the Scriptures robs them of all coherent meaning and continuity.
Deity is the only explanation for all that He was and all that He did.
(1) He was pre-existent with the Father. “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:2, 3, KJV). (Also see John 17:5 and Colossians 1:17.)
(2) He is the Son of God.
(3) He was sinless, as only God can be.
(4) He forgives sin, as only God can.
(5) He performed miraculous works.
(1) His miraculous birth was prophesied 800 years before His coming: “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14, KJV).
(2) The prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:30, 31, KJV).
(3) Jesus demonstrated human characteristics: He became tired (John 4:6). He thirsted (John 19:28), He ate food (Luke 24:40-43), He showed feelings (Mark 6:34), He wept (John 11:35), He knew temptation (Hebrews 4:15), and He died (John 19:30).
(1) He died on the Cross. This is the fundamental theme of the Gospel.
(2) He was resurrected from the dead: This is unique and fundamental to Christianity.
(3) He is our Savior: “Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21, KJV). “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31, KJV).