Jesus has to be the most extraordinary person who has ever existed. Born over two thousand years ago in a rural town in the Middle East he spent the first few years of his life as a refugee. He never owned a home, never married or had any children but chose celibacy. In his twenties he left the family business and started to speak about what life with God looks like.
Jesus chose a small group of close followers who travelled with him learning about life and God and telling others about this life. He was willing to talk with anyone whatever their background. He was often accused of spending time with the wrong kind of people. He challenged religious authorites and was particularly critical of hypocrisy and double-standards. His teaching was both orthodox and radical. Jesus claimed that if people trusted in him they could experience a new life with God that otherwise wouldn't be possible. His teaching and extraordinary claims about himself were accompanied with supernatural incidents and miraculous healings that meant it was difficult to ignore the things Jesus was saying. Whatever people thought about him, they had to conclude that he was definitely someone special from God.
Jesus continued to attract big crowds and his growing popularity increasingly became a concern to the political and religious leaders of his region and country who felt threatened by him. They were determined to silence Jesus. In one tumultuous week in Jerusalem everything came to a head. Jesus was betrayed by a friend and follower. False charges were brought against him and he was arrested and tortured. The majority of his followers and friends feared for their own lives and fled. Jesus was publically executed in front of a crowd. His body was placed in a tomb and the tomb was sealed. It was a tragic end to a life that had sought to serve God and help others.
Incredibly, three days after his death reports started to surface that Jesus had risen from the dead. The close followers of Jesus were reunited and soon they saw the risen Jesus for themselves. Everything Jesus had said about himself and life with God started to make sense after he came back from the dead. They came to realise and believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that his teaching, life, and victory over death were part of God's plan to rescue and restore the human race from ourselves and from the tyranny of evil. Today there are currently around 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, which is nearly a third of the estimated global population of 6.9 billion, who have placed their trust in Jesus and believe in his promises.