This day is called “Maundy Thursday” or “Holy Thursday.” Christians observe it as the day that Jesus served the Last Supper to his disciples and washed their feet before He was betrayed and crucified. Maundy is taken from the Latin “mandatum,” the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos.” (A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you.) That statement was to explain why He performed a duty that normally was given to the lowest of servants.
Some 2,000 years after his death, Jesus remains one of the most controversial figures who has ever walked the face of the Earth. Christians consider Jesus to be the Son of God the Father, the second person of the triune God and Savior of the world. Members of most of the other major religions are willing to regard Him as a prophet or great teacher.
If you will examine the Bible, which offers four separate accounts of His life and works, you must believe that Jesus was, in fact, who He claimed to be or that He was a complete lunatic. There can be no middle ground.
Jesus made it clear that He was sent by the Father to save sinful man through His sacrificial death. In John 6:38, He said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” A further explanation was provided in verse 40: “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
Is there any way to God without the Son? Not according to Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Jesus made it clear that He was God incarnate in John 10:30 when He proclaimed, “I and the Father are one.” He made the claim again in John 14:7. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Jesus was the only major religious figure to claim equality with God.
Was Jesus the promised Messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures? He answered that question definitely in John 4 for the woman at the well. “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”
During His trial before the Jewish council, Jesus was asked directly, “Are you the Christ (promised Messiah)?” He answered directly, “I am.”
Jesus Christ was worshiped as God many times, and He accepted such worship as appropriate.
The Hebrew Scriptures pointed the way to the promised Messiah and went into great detail about his birth, life and the exact method of his death through prophecy. Prior to the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples about his death on three separate occasions, but they did not want to believe Him. The third account is in Matthew 20:18-19 and Luke 18: 35-40. “Behold we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and will deliver Him to the gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”
Easter marks the day that Christ rose from the grave to conquer death and prove that He is God. In the 40 days that followed, He appeared to many. On one of these occasions there were more than 500 witnesses. The resurrection of Christ is perhaps the best-attested historical event of ancient times. If the resurrection had been false, the Gospel accounts never would have stood the test of time.
After Jesus’ death, His fearful disciples scattered. However, after seeing the resurrected Christ, they willingly suffered persecution and death for their faith.
In 1578, the Catacombs underneath Rome were discovered where 7 million Christians executed for their faith were buried. The carvings on the walls verify the resurrection story.
If you will examine the evidence, you can choose to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord or you can choose to believe He was a lunatic, but to say that He was simply a great teacher is intellectually dishonest.
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