Before examining the death and resurrection of Jesus, it is appropriate to take a brief look at His life. Even though little is recorded about His life, it is remarkable in many ways. Jesus healed the lame, fed the hungry, made the blind see, and even raised the dead. But who was He? He was certainly a man; only the most blatant ignorance of historical fact would lead one to believe that He never existed. And as a man He did many wonderful things, most of which benefited others. He taught lessons of love, charity, care and concern, again providing hope to many.
He was a very good man. In fact, if there is one claim about Jesus that just about everyone can agree on, this is it: He was a good man. He was kind, generous, loving, and compassionate. Even if you believe nothing else about Him, you will likely agree with this. He claimed, however, to be more than just a man. He claimed to be the Messiah, God in the flesh, from heaven, the Son of God. Herein lies a curious dilemma. Jesus bore all the marks of a very good man, yet claimed to be the Son of God.
How can this be? If He was not the Messiah then He lied and deceived His disciples, causing many to be tortured and even die because of His audacious fraud. Additionally, He did it for no benefit, gaining only death by making this claim. It is absurd to think that Jesus would have been a good man, as the evidence bears out, and yet engage in this great deceit. Think about this for a while, particularly in the context of typical human psychology.
He could only have been who He claimed to be--the Son of God. As we move forward into a review of the resurrection of Jesus, we will see this to be the greatest of all evidence of His true identity.