The story of Jesus Christ

The story of Jesus Christ is well founded in history. In the most direct sense, it can be found in the four Gospels of the New Testament. Historical analysis of the Gospels shows that they can be trusted to be what they purport themselves to be, namely accounts of Jesus’ life by eyewitnesses, either given directly, or at one remove.

The story of Jesus Christ did not end with his death in AD 30, or even with his resurrection. It has continued, as it were vicariously, in the life of the Christian Church, which can be metaphorically understood to be being prepared to be his “bride” (Rev. 19:7). More directly, the New Testament declares that Christ lives in the lives of individual Christians (Rom. 8:10). The meaning of that statement can be seen in the life of those Christians who have committed themselves to live in accordance with Jesus’ power in their own lives.

The story of Jesus Christ did not start with his birth in 4 BC. Christ was, and is, at the centre of God’s plan for this world. It was God’s purpose from before the creation (before the Big Bang, if you can accept this) that the transforming power of Jesus Christ would be offered as a free gift to all mankind, freeing us from bondage to a life lived in self-seeking gratification.

Jesus’ arrival had been foretold by the Israelite prophets. They did not know how this would actually work out in history (1 Pet. 1:10-12), but they spoke as they were led by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21), revealing God’s plan, which was that Christ would suffer on behalf of all mankind, bring the hope of salvation to all people, and then be raised in glory.

Jesus’ coming was not to “fix a problem,” certainly not an unexpected problem, but it was the central act in God’s deliberate purpose of creating a holy people for his purposes, just as the Israelite prophet, Jeremiah, had prophesied about the coming new age some 600 years earlier.