Sometimes we forget that Jesus of Nazareth was an actual person who really lived in a specific time and place in human history.

We forget that this sacred Book that we Christians live by is not a work of religious mythology – it’s an historically accurate document. Actually, each one of the 66 Books contained within the Bible is its own historical document, authenticated by hundreds of eye witnesses, verified by dozens of secular historians from the same time periods in which they were written, and confirmed by the findings of many centuries of archeology thereafter!

The events in the Bible are not legend! They really happened! And the Jesus described in the Bible has been repeatedly verified to have been an actual person, who really said the things the Bible says He said, and who really did the things the Bible says that He did.

We do not study & worship & pray to & believe in & follow a legendary, mythological figure. We follow a real man, who was fully God, who really lived a sinless human life, who died a real, physical death, who was literally buried in a tomb, and who really rose from that tomb and ascended into heaven before the watching eyes of hundreds of actual, historical people.

They really saw this all happen, and they wrote down what they saw so that the world would know. And even their critics and opponents – those who did not want the message of Christianity to spread – even they could not deny what had very obviously and very publically taken place. They couldn’t deny the historical facts of their own lifetimes.

We often refer to the events in the Bible as “stories” and the people in them as “characters,” but this is the language of fiction. The Bible is not a work of fiction. It’s a collection of historical documents – all describing real events that actually occurred, and the historical figures who really participated in those events.

Jesus of Nazareth was a real person. He was fully God – but He was also fully man – a real human being, just like you and me. His humanity was exactly like ours in every way except for sin:

  • He yawned when He was sleepy.
  • He had to cut His fingernails when they grew too long.
  • Jesus sneezed. He had to blow His nose when He got congested.
  • His breath smelled when He woke up in the morning.
  • He has to brush His teeth and use the bathroom.
  • His muscles ached after a hard day of work.
  • He had to figure out to scratch that little place in the middle of your back that itches but you can’t quite reach it.
  • Jesus’ heart broke when people that He called friends betrayed Him.
  • He got angry when vulnerable people were mistreated.
  • He celebrated when His friends got married or had a baby!
  • He grieved and wept when His loved ones got sick and died.

The Eternal Son of God – God, who made us in His image – He descended from heaven to earth and become like us in every way except sin. He made us like Himself. And then, after we messed it all up, He Himself became like us, so that He could enable us to become like Him again.

To become like Jesus, we’ve gotta do three things. We’ve got to do what Jesus did, pray like Jesus prayed, and believe like Jesus believed. And those will be the topics of the next three posts on LikeTreesPlanted.