Jesus in Christianity

Jesus (on the left) is being identified by John the Baptist as the Lamb of God.[1]

In Christianity, Jesus is believed to be the Son of God and in many mainstream denominations the second Person of the Trinity. Christians believe that through his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, God offered humans salvation and eternal life.[2] He is believed to be the Jewish messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity. These teachings emphasize that as the Lamb of God, Jesus chose to suffer on the cross at Calvary as a sign of his obedience to the will of God, as an "agent and servant of God".[3][4] Jesus died to atone for sin to make us right with God.[5] Jesus' choice positions him as a man of obedience, in contrast to Adam's disobedience.[6]

Christians believe that Jesus was both human and divine—the Son of God. While there has been theological debate over the nature of Jesus, Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus is the Logos, God incarnate, God the Son, and "true God and true man"—both fully divine and fully human. Jesus, having become fully human in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin.

According to the Bible, God raised him from the dead.[7] He ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God,[8] and he will return to earth again for the Last Judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.[9]

Core teachings

Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize key elements of the shared beliefs among major denominations based on their catechetical or confessional texts.[10][11][12] Christian views of Jesus are derived from various biblical sources, particularly from the canonical Gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles. Christians predominantly hold that these works are historically true.[13]

Those groups or denominations committed to what are considered biblically orthodox Christianity nearly all agree that Jesus:[14]

  • was born of a virgin
  • is a human being who is also fully God
  • did not sin
  • was martyred and buried in a tomb
  • rose from the dead on the third day
  • eventually ascended back to God the Father
  • will return to Earth.[15]

Some groups which are considered to be Christian hold beliefs which are considered to be heterodox. For example, believers in monophysitism reject the idea that Christ has two natures, one human and one divine.

The five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus are his baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.[16][17][18] These are usually bracketed by two other episodes: his nativity at the beginning and the sending of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) at the end.[16][18] The gospel accounts of the teachings of Jesus are often presented in terms of specific categories involving his "works and words", e.g., his ministry, parables and miracles.[19][20]

Christians not only attach theological significance to the works of Jesus, but also to his name. Devotions to the name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity.[21][22] These exist today both in Eastern and Western Christianity—both Catholic and Protestant.[22]

Christians predominantly profess that through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, he restored humanity's communion with God with the blood of the New Covenant. His death on a cross is understood as a redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation and the atonement for sin[23] which had entered human history through the sin of Adam.[24]