With Easter just around the corner, the church is preparing to celebrate Jesus’ sacrificial love and His victory in resurrection. While we look forward to that, now is a great time to reflect on the life Jesus lived on Earth.

While Christians obviously believe Jesus was and is real, it’s important to note that historians honored His life as well. Tacitus, thought by many to be one of the most comprehensive Roman historians of his era, speaks extensively about Christ and Christians in his Annals – and he was by no means supportive of them. Tacitus derides Christians as superstitious and seems to celebrate that Christ’s movement was suppressed when Pontius Pilate executed Him.

Likewise, Josephus, another well-known and well-documented historian of the time, speaks not only of Jesus, but of his family. In Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities, the historian refers to Jesus as “one who did surprising deeds.” Josephus also records that Jesus’ disciples held fast to their beliefs after Jesus’ death and were willing to die martyrs – which is not something that frauds would do.

With these two prominent sources, as well as many other oblique references in recorded history, we can confidently say that even secular academia recognizes Jesus as a real man who walked the earth.

Of course, believers hold true that the Bible itself is ample evidence of the life Jesus lived, and that God’s Word holds true in the present like no simple historical text can. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

As for why Jesus came and what He did with His time on earth, the entirety of the New Testament serves as a source. Still, here are two staff-favorite verses that summarize concisely how and why Jesus lived:

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

As we begin to meditate on Jesus’ tremendous, world-shattering accomplishments and the impact of His death, let’s take this month to reflect on His last days walking the earth and honor the life He lived, as well.

To learn more about evidence for Jesus’ life and why we celebrate Easter, consider Basic Theology or Biblical Apologetics. Visit www.ISOW.org today to get started on an affordable online biblical education!