a) The Reality of Jesus the Messiah’s Death on the Cross and Resurrection
Yes, Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. To tell the truth, I did not always believe this; at one time I actually vigorously rejected these claims. Yet after serious study and meditation I concluded from the Bible that, apart from His birth, nothing is so certain about Jesus as His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Both events constitute the very core of the content and the message of the New Testament (Injil). An amazing amount of space in the New Testament is given to these events.
Even before His death, Jesus Himself frequently announced that He would die and rise from the dead. Non-Christian historians contemporary with these events also testify to these claims of the Bible. In fact, it is virtually impossible to account for the remarkably rapid expansion of Christian faith in such a short period apart from Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and the power of God’s Holy Spirit. It was a movement composed of ordinary people, a movement unassisted by the might of armies or the might of any political, economic or social powers. Biblically speaking, the life of Jesus the Messiah, apart from His death and resurrection, is like a building with no foundation. Likewise the teaching of the Messiah: He taught repeatedly that to lose one’s life is to save it. He did not exempt Himself from His own teaching, but practised what He taught and preached.