However, during a brief three year public ministry, his impact was such that it changed the world—including the change of our calendar from B.C. to A.D.
H.G. Wells, the famous historian, once said about Christ: "I am not a believer. But I must confess, as an historian, this penniless creature from Galilee is irresistibly the center of history."
No other person ever made the stupendous claims that Jesus did. He claimed to be the Son of God, the promised Jewish Messiah, and the only way to God for all mankind. He claimed to have power to forgive sins and to give people eternal life. Above all, he claimed to be God, saying, "I and the Father [God] are one."1
Socrates once said, "Oh, that someone would arise, man or God, to show us God." Four hundred years later Christ came and claimed to be that person.
But was Jesus Christ the Son of God? If not, he would have been the greatest impostor who ever lived?
Lew Wallace, a distinguished general and literary genius, and Robert Ingersoll, a notable skeptic, agreed to write a book that would prove Christianity to be a myth.
After two years of research, however, in some of the leading libraries of Europe and America in preparation for writing this book, Mr. Wallace had a transformation of attitude. He was only up to the second chapter when he fell to his knees and prayed, "My Lord and my God."
This penniless creature from Galilee
is irresistibly the center of history.
After studying the evidence, Wallace became convinced of the deity of Jesus Christ. He then wrote Ben Hur, one of the greatest novels ever written about the times of Christ. Later, Robert Ingersoll had this to say: "In using my speeches do not use any assault I may have made on Christ, which I foolishly made in my early life." A similar thing happened to one of today's leading Christian authors and spokesmen, Josh McDowell. His outstanding book that supports Christianity, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, began as his attempt to deny Christianity.
Jesus Christ, however, is not the only religious leader who claimed to be God, but he is the only one who ever convinced a great portion of the world that he is. He is also the only leader who ever claimed that he would rise from death.2 According to historical evidence, he did. He was seen by the women who visited his tomb and found it empty, by the disciples, and by more than 500 other witnesses.3
Christ's resurrection was also recorded by Josephus, the Jewish historian, in his Antiquities. Josephus was a Jew writing to satisfy the Romans, so his report of Christ's resurrection wouldn't have pleased the Romans at all. He would not have included it had he not believed it to be true.