All or nothing
The son of an art collector died in the Vietnam War. When one of his comrades returned from the war, he visited the art collector and gave him a picture that he himself had painted of his comrade. It wasn’t a particularly beautiful painting, but the father liked the picture of his son and it got a place of honor in his house.
After a while the man died and his valuable paintings were put up for auction.
The first thing that was offered there was the picture of the son. But since it had no artistic value, no one was willing to bid on it. A former employee of the art collector, who had also valued the son, eventually bought the painting for $ 10. The auctioneer then surprisingly ended the auction. As expected, there was of course a great deal of excitement among those present. “What about the right paintings?” Someone called out. The auctioneer’s answer was clear: “The art collector stipulated in his will: Whoever takes the picture of the son gets all the other pictures, whoever takes the son gets everything!”
Whoever takes the son gets everything! It is the same with faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul writes in 1 John 5:12-13:
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
1) The 10 commandments are the yardstick for our lives.
Jesus says two things about this: On the one hand, what is meant by “sin“, namely “… that they do not believe in me (Jesus).” On the other hand: We can never live in such a way that we can be saved through it. As an example of how precisely God’s observance of the commandments is understood, he gave the following, among other things. Mt 5,22 But I say to you, He who is angry with his brother is guilty of judgment; but whoever says to his brother: You useless! is owed by the high council; but whoever says: You fool! is guilty of the hellish fire. Under these conditions we become guilty of every single commandment and thus fall prey to God’s judgment.
2) The resurrection of Jesus Christ is now a generally accepted fact and is hardly doubted by any serious historian. In addition to the Bible, there are also reports from historians of the time such as Josephus Flavius: (37 – 100 AD in: Jüdische Antiquities) wrote:
“At this time there was a Jesus, a wise man, if you can even call him a man. For he was the achiever of incredible deeds and the teacher of all people who joyfully received the truth. So he attracted many Jews and also many Gentiles. He was the Christ. And although Pilate condemned him to death on the cross at the instigation of the noblest of the people, his earlier followers were not unfaithful to him. For on the third day he appeared to them alive again, as God-sent prophets had preached this and a thousand other wonderful things about him. And the people of Christians who call themselves after him continue to this day. “
The Bible lists a number of eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. None of them had expected the resurrection, because something like that is unthinkable for us humans.
First of all, there are the women who went to the tomb of Jesus on Easter Sunday to embalm the body according to an old custom. Then the apostle Peter (Cephas) is named, the two disciples who were completely dejected on Sunday and were on their way to the small town of Emmaus. Next, the whole circle of disciples is mentioned, but Thomas, one of the closest circle around Jesus, was not there. The saying of him is known: “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
These encounters between the risen Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples culminated in the event in which he was seen by more than 500 people at once, “most of whom are still alive today, but some have fallen asleep.” Such encounters continue to this day. You can read about some of them on these pages.