WHO IS JESUS? – by Gwen Shaw

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CREATION: Thousands of years ago, God created the heavens and the earth. He created the sun, the moon, and the stars. All the trees, flowers, and grasses were made by the God of Creation. He made the birds, the fishes and the animals. But the most beautiful of all of God’s creation was man.
God made a man in His own image, and when He saw that this man was lonely by himself, He also made a woman, from the rib of the man, to be a companion and comfort to him. He called the man Adam. Adam named his wife, Eve.
A beautiful garden called Eden was prepared by God as a home for Adam and Eve. For how long they lived in happiness we do not know; but we know that as long as they obeyed God, they were very happy. Disobeying God is called sin.
TWO SPECIAL TREES: Adam’s duty was to care for all the garden. God placed two very special trees there: One was the Tree of Life; to eat of it meant that one would never die. The other was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve could freely eat fruit from all the trees except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were forbidden to eat of it; if they would disobey God, and eat from it, they would die from this great sin. God did not want man to know evil, so He didn’t want His children to eat from that tree. Even as we do not want our children to learn what sin is and to take part in the evil things of the world, God did not want Adam and Eve to lose the sweet innocence of their pure, clean, and holy relationship with Him. To sin against Him would destroy it.
ANGELS: Long before God created the world, He had created Heaven. God had made thousands upon thousands of beings who served and worshipped Him. These heavenly creatures are known as angels. There was perfect order among these great hosts. The captains in charge of them were chief angels, also known as archangels.
LUCIFER: Some time during those early ages, one of the chief angels, whose name was Lucifer, became proud and rebellious. He won to his side a large number of angels, and together, they began a revolt to seize the power of the throne which belonged to God alone. The outcome of this was that God punished Lucifer and the angels who had rebelled, by throwing them out of Heaven. God prepared a place of final punishment for them: a terrible Lake of Fire in a place called Hell.
DECEPTION: As a result of his downfall, Lucifer, who is the devil, hated God, and looked for a way to “pay Him back.” He wanted to destroy God’s beautiful work of creation. He came into the Garden in the form of a serpent, and by subtlety and cunning he deceived Eve into eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve gave some of the fruit to Adam, who also ate of it, and death came to the human race.
PUNISHMENT: God punished them by commanding them to leave the garden. He did this because He knew they if would eat of the Tree of Life, they would live forever in their sins. Their sin had broken the relationship with God, their Father.
The curse of death came upon the first family because of their sin of disobedience. Since then, all their descendants, the people of this world, are born with an inclination to sin, and the devil encourages one to sin so he can take as many people as he can to Hell with him to get back at God.
When God drove Adam and Eve out of their beautiful home, they grieved deeply. However, God promised them that from among their descendants He would send a Saviour, who would crush the head of the serpent and deliver them from the curse of sin.
PROMISE OF HOPE: For four thousand years, this promise was told and retold from parent to child. Generation after generation waited for the coming of the Son who would take their sins away and free them from the judgment of sin. Every time the people became discouraged in their waiting, God sent His messengers, the prophets, to encourage them to have faith and to hope and wait a little longer.
PROMISE FULFILLED: During the time of the Roman Empire, some two thousand years ago, God fulfilled His promise. The promised Son was called Jesus, which means “Saviour.” God had said that this baby, who was to be born of Mary, a virgin, was the promised and long-awaited Saviour of the world. The angel of the Lord visited Mary and prepared her for the baby’s arrival. The angel told her that it would be a miracle birth, for the baby had no earthly father. Mary was not married at the time of the baby’s conception; nor had she had any sexual relationship with any man. This was no ordinary child, for He was God’s very own Son, who had been willing to take on the form of man, and to be born as an infant.
JESUS’ MINISTRY: Jesus lived for 33 years in the Land of Israel. He showed the people the heart of God by loving them. He healed the sick; He made the blind see; He made the lame walk; He made the deaf hear, and the dumb speak. He cast the evil spirits out of those who were possessed by them; raised to life some who were dead, and did many other wonderful miracles. People loved Him; and many believed in Him and followed Him. But the corrupt religious rulers, puppets of Rome, were jealous of His great power over the people, and they looked for a chance to kill Him.
JESUS CRUCIFIED: One night they seized Him in the early hours of the morning, and brought Him before the religious and political rulers. After an unfair trial, with false witnesses testifying against Him, He was condemned to a brutal whipping and death by crucifixion. This was the Roman method of execution for their worst criminals, a painful and disgraceful death.
JESUS RESURRECTED: They rejoiced at their great victory; but not for long. For, three days after His death, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, rose from the dead, came out of the grave, and showed Himself for forty days to His friends and disciples, who later testified of what they had seen. After this He was taken up into Heaven, where He is today. As Jesus was ascending to Heaven, two supernatural beings suddenly appeared and said to those who were watching, that Jesus would return in the same way that He had left them. Christians all over the world believe that the time of His coming is very soon. We must keep our hearts ready as though He could come today.
WHY HE DIED: Why did He die? Was it because He had no power to save Himself? No! He could have called the angels of Heaven down to set Him free. He was the mighty Son of God. But He died for a purpose. He died to suffer the punishment of sin for us. He was judged by God, His own Father, with the judgment which we should have had. He restored the fellowship between God and man which sin had broken.
This is no fairy tale. It may sound strange to you, if you have never heard it before; but to us who have believed it has become our comfort, our joy, and our peace. If you will believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died for you and rose from the dead, you too will receive forgiveness for your sins, and everlasting life. Jesus will become your Saviour. He loves you. He died for you. He wants you to love Him, and to live for Him and tell others this story which I have told you.
If you reject Him, and turn away from God’s love, you will receive the punishment of sin. What will that be? The second death—tormented in the Lake of Fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. But if you believe, you will be saved from this terrible fate after you die. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
RECEIVING LIFE IN JESUS If, after reading the above brief account of the life of Jesus and His death, you too want to become His follower and belong to the great family of God, then bow your head now, and pray this simple prayer:
“Father in Heaven, I come to You now. I confess that I am a sinner. I know that I have done many wrong and sinful things. I cannot change myself, but you can change me. I ask You to help me. Thank You, Jesus, for dying for my sins. Thank You for taking my punishment for me and for rising from the dead to give me life. Please forgive me now. Please take my sins away. Make me a child of God. I accept You now as my own Saviour. All my life I will love You and live for You; and if necessary, I will die for You. Change my life, and make me pure and holy as You are. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

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