How can you believe that a man was God?
When a person accepts the historical fact that Jesus rose from the dead, then we must also reach the same conclusion that Jesus is both God and man. Volumes of books have been written about this subject, but we’ll try to sum it up in a few short paragraphs.
First of all, Jesus proclaims himself as God. He says things like, “If you see me, you see the Father” and “I and the Father are one.” Second, Jesus makes himself the object of faith. He consistently says, “Believe in me” in the Gospels. Everywhere, he equates believing in him with believing in God and rejecting Him with rejecting God.
We also see the disciples calling Jesus “Lord.” The doubting Thomas, on seeing Jesus, cries out, “My Lord and my God” — and Jesus doesn’t correct him! Finally, the Epistles of the New Testament characterize the first Christians as those who worship Christ, refer to Jesus as “Lord” and “God”, plus boldly declare that Jesus and God are one.
A remarkable factor in declaring Jesus as the Son of God were the first Jewish believers themselves. Unlike any other ancient pagan cultures, they worshiped only one God. What could have convinced the Jews that Jesus was in fact God made in the flesh? The Scriptures clearly indicate that it wasn’t a “resuscitation” of a corpse, but the resurrection of a man who embodied the kingdom of God – its love, teachings, and power – during his life. Then, Jesus ascended to heaven! He did not die “again.” In fact, he was present and active in the establishment of the early church and is still active today.
This naturally leads us to the Trinity. God exists and eternally has always existed in three different persons. God is Spirit and cannot be divided up. God fully exists as transcendent Father, while existing as Incarnate Son, while also existing as indwelling Spirit (in the hearts of believers). No one has ever fully understood the Trinity, but knowing it is crucial to the identity of the Resurrected Christ both in our hearts and our minds.
** This question and answer was inspired from the book, “Letters from a Skeptic” by Dr. Gregory A Boyd and Edward K. Boyd, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1994.