Letter to editor (Mattoon-Charleston Gazette)
Just who was Jesus of Nazareth?
There are a number of people who believe that he did not really exist. They are small in number and generally dismissed as being on the fringe with regard to intellectual knowledge or integrity.
There are some who believe that he existed, but are quite hopeful that he was not who he claimed to be. Why is that? Because if he was actually who he claimed to be, then he was God in the flesh, and it will be before him that man will stand on judgment day.
There are some who believe that he existed and that he was a good man, but mistaken concerning those things of which he spoke.
All of this can be tested.
The New Testament is a historical document that presents itself to humanity whereby many of the claims within can be tested. That is, they can be verified to be true or shown to be false.
More than that, however! Jesus was more than a man that changed the way people think and live. He was a man who helped people understand love, kindness, charity and what it means to have a firm resolve to stand opposed to evil.
It cost him much, but in the end, he gave people the opportunity to have life.
Atheism, agnosticism and secularism of today, a lot like it was during the days of Jesus, was an ideology of despair, discouragement and destruction. Jesus came and turned all that upside down. In fact, he delivered this ideology to the ash-heaps of intellectual suicide.
Who was Jesus? He was the man he claimed to be. He was the Son of God who was killed, buried, resurrected, and it will be before him that we will all stand on judgment day.