by: Waylon McDevitt
Where did It originate?
Christianity began its rise about 2000 years ago in Judea (which is now Israel) with Jesus Christ and His disciples. During this period, Judea was a cross-cultural mecca of cities and farms. The emperor of Rome was the ruler. The Jews at that time hated Roman rule. The polytheistic cultural beliefs of Rome were also pagan and disruptive to Jewish life. Some Jews saw that their only hope was to conform to this change. Others became religious zealots who formed pockets of gorilla resistance against Rome. Still others withdrew themselves into the Judean wilderness to study the Jewish law and wait for the eventual coming of their promised Messiah.
Christianity as a whole
The history Christianity's origin may seem like a fairy tale. For many people living in the 21st century it is really hard for them to believe that these events actually took place. However, the Christian faith, unlike any other religion, is based on historical events, including one of great importance. If Jesus Christ died and never rose to life, then Christianity is a myth. In 1 Corinthians 15:14, Paul gets his readers to grab hold of this central truth, that "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." The evidence for the resurrection is the key to accepting that Jesus is indeed who He claims to be. It is the historical validity of this central fact that gives Christians hope among a world of hurt.
There are over 300 prophecies that span over a period of 1000 years that are recorded in the Old Testament concerning the coming of a Jewish Messiah. Jesus (Messiah) completely fulfilled all of the prophecies hundreds of years after they were written. This baffles many people and could be part of their disbelief.
The Arrival of Jesus.
Jesus was a Jew. He observed the Jewish faith and was knowledgeable of the Jewish Law. In His early thirties, Jesus traveled from village to village, teaching in the synagogues and healing those who were suffering. Jesus' teaching was revolutionary. He challenged the established religious authorities to repent from their self-righteousness and hypocrisy and realize that the Kingdom of God is rooted in service and love. Jesus' teachings stirred the hearts of people and created instability, something the Jewish religious authorities feared. Soon, a faithful group of men began to follow Jesus and call him teacher. These men became His disciples. Jesus taught His disciples about the will of God and about the "new covenant" God will bring to humanity through Him. Jesus helped them to see that mankind is bound to the pain and futility of life as a result of sin. Due to sin, mankind lost its relationship with God. The purpose of this "new covenant" is to restore those who accept it into a renewed fellowship of forgiveness and love with God. What is this new covenant? Jesus himself would pay for the sins of all humanity by being crucified unjustly on a Roman cross. Three days later, He would rise to life, having conquered death, to give hope to a hopeless world. Well, it happened just as Jesus taught, and His disciples were witnesses to an amazing miracle. Their teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, died and three days later rose again to become their Messiah.