Jesus Christ : Son of God | Birth, Life, Arrest, Lawsuit, Crucifixion and Death
This article on the traditional Christian approach treats Jesus (Ancient Greek: Ἰησοῦς) as he is seen in the (orthodox Christian) tradition of Christianity, namely that he is the Son of God and is therefore part of the divine trinity. In the traditional Christian approach, Jesus is referred to as Jesus Christ, sometimes also as Jesus the Messiah.
According to Christian doctrine, Jesus is the only Son of God and the God of the Old Testament (Tanakh), through the prophets promised Messiah (eg Isaiah 53:3 and beyond), the Anointed of God, the people delivered from their sins and restores the harmony between God and people, broken as a result of the fall of the first people in paradise. According to the Bible, Jesus was born to save people from their sins. According to the explanation in the gospels, his death made the reconciliation with God the Father possibly because he took the punishment for the sins of mankind: Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." The view that Jesus reconciles man with God with his death on the cross is described as the doctrine of reconciliation. The abrahamitic principle of justification by faith thereby acquired a new meaning: everyone who follows Jesus will be justified (rehabilitated) before God.
Central to the theology of Christianity are the birth of Jesus (Christmas) described in the New Testament, his death on the cross (Good Friday), the resurrection from the dead (Easter), the ascension (Ascension Day), the descent of the Holy Spirit on his disciples (Pentecost) and the return (the Second Coming).
The resurrection from the dead is taken literally by most Christians. This event has a crucial place in Christianity because it expresses for them the ultimate victory over death, and with it an open future. Even Paul mentions in his first letter to the Corinthians the literal resurrection of Jesus made the central point in the gospel: "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless." In other words: the entire Christian faith stands or falls with the resurrection. It is therefore a very important symbol of the hope for 'new life', 'life after this life' and 'eternity with God'.
Course of life of Jesus according to the Bible
To reconstruct the life story of Jesus Christians use the texts that gradually became part of the New Testament from the Bible, and especially the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Every gospel has its own character. The Gospel of John is the most deviant. Although a number of stories are almost literally similar, especially to Matthew and Mark, other events occur only in one or two of the gospels.
The four gospels together contain 4% stories about the birth and youth of Jesus, 62% stories about the actions of Jesus including the teachings of Jesus (that runs together) and 32% the story about the crucifixion and resurrection. In addition, there are a few introductory pieces that do not deal with Jesus' description of life as such (the genealogy, the appearance of John the Baptist, the prologue of the gospel of John).
The birth of Jesus
According to the Gospel of Luke, Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth in the Galilee region of northern Israel, but Jesus was born in Bethlehem (the city of David) because a Roman census was held around that time. Every inhabitant of the area where Herod the Great (37 - 4 BC), the Roman vassal king, ruled had to register in the original hometown of the forefathers. Joseph, Mary's fiancé, was a Judge who descended from King David. He was originally from Bethlehem. That is why he had to travel with Mary, who was pregnant, to Bethlehem to register. They tried to find shelter there. The inn was packed. Finally it became Jesus born in a room where there was a manger (crib is an old word for this), which according to traditional interpretations means that this room must have been a cattle shed.
Joseph and Mary were then visited by local shepherds, who had been informed of the birth of the Messiah by a multitude of angels.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, they were later visited by sages (New Bible translation: more magically translated) from the East, scholars who had taken a long journey to verify the birth of a king, indicated by a newly discovered star. The number of sages is not mentioned in the Bible.
Herod I was the king of the vassal state of Judea of the Roman Empire. The sages paid him a visit for further orientation because they understood from the position of the star that a king's son must have been born. Herod then summoned a number of scribes to accurately ascertain where this king could have been born. Based on a passage from the Old Testament book of the prophet Micah, the scribes could tell the king that it was about Bethlehem.
Dating the birth of Jesus
Since Jesus was born while Herod the Great was still alive, he must be 4 BC at the latest. Because Herod had all children of two years and younger killed, the birth year of Jesus is traditionally placed between 6 BC and 4 BC.
The youth of Jesus
There is little in the Bible about the youth of Jesus. The Jewish family lived in the village of Nazareth in the province of Galilee. The Bible tells us that the young Jesus was circumcised according to Jewish custom on the eighth day and dedicated to God in the temple. After his parents lost him at the age of twelve, during a visit to Jerusalem, and then found him again in the Temple in Jerusalem, where he was discussing with the scribes present there, they did not understand what he said: "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house." Furthermore, it is stated in the Gospel of Luke that he grew up, became powerful and wise, and that the grace of God was upon him. The same evangelist says that he was about thirty years old when he started his public performance.
The public appearance of Jesus
The public appearance of Jesus (described by all four evangelists) begins with John the Baptist. It gathers a lot of followers at the Jordan River and calls on people to repent of their sins and to repentance in view of the final judgment and the approaching end time. Some followers of John the Baptist apparently belong to the later disciples of Jesus. Jesus is also baptized by him, receiving the Holy Spirit from God in the form of a dove that John sees coming down upon him.
In Jerusalem, just before Passover (Jewish Easter), Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples, extradited Jesus to the Jewish high priests for a fee of thirty pieces of silver. The arrest took place shortly after the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with his disciples and washed their feet. In their eyes an exceptional act of humility. Jesus was arrested in the middle of the night in the Garden of Gethsemane, an olive grove just outside the walls of Jerusalem.
He was interrogated by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council of Elders, the chief priests and scribes (presided over by high priest Caiaphas), then by the Roman praefectus Iudaeae Pontius Pilate, tetrarch Herod Antipas and again Pilate, accusing him of blasphemous statements. Although Pilate could not find any reason for the death penalty, he gave in to pressure from Jewish leaders and condemned him to crucifixion, a customary but particularly cruel form of capital punishment for rioters at the time.
The verdict was executed on a hill called Golgotha (Aramaic for Skull Place). Two other convicts were crucified with Jesus. A sign was attached above his head with the text: "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" (Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews), displayed in many paintings as "INRI".
His death struggle lasted six hours, from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon (at that time it was called the third to the ninth hour of the day). Jesus uttered various so-called crosswords during those six hours. Around noon, darkness fell over the entire country, lasting for three hours. When Jesus died after uttering "It is finished" and gave up the ghost, an earthquake occurred that is only mentioned by the evangelist Matthew, where the graves were opened and the bodies of many dead saints to life were awakened. And the veil, the curtain of separation, tore between the Holy and the Holy of Holies in the temple, in the middle, from top to bottom.
To speed up the death of the other two convicted people (at the request of the Jews because of the approaching Sabbath) without having them enter immediately, their legs were broken so that they could no longer rely on them. This did not happen to Jesus because he had already died.
Placement of the body in a cave
The body of Jesus, provided with wraps and herbs, but not yet embalmed, was buried in an unused private grave of the rich Joseph of Arimathea. A heavy headstone was rolled in front of it and the stone was sealed.
The Jewish Council asked the Roman lieutenant governor to keep an eye on everything at the grave, because it was feared that the followers of Jesus would steal his body to claim that he had risen from the dead. It was known to many that Jesus already predicted in his life that he would be killed but would rise from the dead on the third day thereafter. Pilate therefore made some Roman soldiers available to guard the grave.
Resurrection and ascension
On the third day after his death, some carefully returned disciples, including some women (including Mary Magdalene and another Mary) who wanted to see if they could embalming him, discovered that the big stone had been rolled away, the guards had disappeared and it had disappeared. Body, leaving behind the neatly rolled linen shrouds, could not be found. Both in the gospels and in some of the letters in the New Testament, mention is made of Jesus' appearances to large number of (at least five hundred) followers and of conversations and a final meal with his disciples.
At that last meal, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he rehabilitated Peter, who, out of fear, had assured bystanders three times not to know Jesus. Then he said goodbye. Jesus instructed his disciples to spread throughout the world his happy message of forgiveness of sins through his death and resurrection, which established a new covenant between God and man, and he promised them he would return (the Second Coming). He then ascended to heaven (the Ascension). Jesus himself foretold his death and resurrection several times and it happened exactly as he said.
The appearance of Jesus
In the New Testament the appearance of Jesus is almost never spoken of, only that he grew up to be a powerful young man. He was therefore certainly well-off in body and shape. It is forbidden to make portraits among the Jews, and therefore no images have survived among the first Christians, who were mostly converted Jews. In early Christian art, in the catacombs and in the early Roman churches such as the Basilica di Santa Prassede, he is often portrayed as the good shepherd with a clean-shaven face, like an Apollo: a radiant young man in a white robe. However, this was not common among Jewish men who lived around the first century. Other variations on Jesus' appearance from those first centuries are also known.
From around the 6th century, a kind of standardization of the portrayal of Jesus came about and the Jesus appeared that is still mostly depicted today: a European looking man with a full beard and mustache with half-long hair. Indeed, according to the current insights of historians, around the first century Jewish men often wore their hair and beard in this way. For those who consider the controversial shroud of Turin as authentic, the image on it depicts a Jesus that was quite long before that time (between 180 and 190 cm) and powerfully built. The face is very similar to the traditional Jesus portrait. Whether Jesus really looked like this is impossible to ascertain.
An attempt to reconstruct Jesus' appearance was made in 2010 on behalf of History Channel, using the latest graphic software techniques. The image on the shroud of Turin was used as a source of information.