When my little girl gets excited, she raises her eyebrows and makes a strongman, straining smiley face or runs around shaking her hands in the air. I get a thrill from things like caring for children, setting goals, and jumping. Maybe most of all, I get excited about seeing good friends. Similarly, I relish being able to go to God in thanks, in hurt, or needing advice, knowing from the Bible that he wants to hear from me, strengthen and guide me. But how do we know this is real? My personal search for truth, which continues to this day, leads me to books on historical evidence and textual criticism and gives me a fresh perspective on the gospel.
Once upon a time, a man walked the earth claiming he could eternally quench our deepest thirst, grant us abundant life now, plus eternal life with a loving, all-powerful creator. He taught great compassion and healed many. He was crucified for claiming to be God. The earth became dark in the middle of the day when he died, which a historian recorded as an eclipse of the sun, though it was not time for a solar eclipse. Three days later, his body disappeared from the tomb, and many of his followers experienced seeing him alive. Within one generation, his followers had recorded his works and message, calling themselves Christians. Many of them were tortured and killed for their refusal to stop preaching Jesus’ resurrection.
Thousands of years later, we can calculate that it is statistically impossible for one man to fulfill only the undisputed prophesies that Jesus fulfilled. Even non-Christian historians maintain that Jesus was a Jewish teacher who walked the earth performing mystical acts, was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and was believed by his followers to have risen from the dead. I’m convinced that the Bible contains undeniable truth about a loving, all powerful God who wants a relationship with us. But don’t take my word for it – find out for yourself!