I believe among others, that Christianity is the oldest “religion” known to man. There are many religions that were way before Christianity that came along about 2000 years ago. Did Christianity begin 2000 years ago with a man named Jesus? Let me begin with saying that Jesus did not come to bring something completely new, He did not start a new religion and new doctrines. God’s truth is never-changing. Jesus did not just suddenly appear and brought a new message or believe to the people. The Old Testament is all about Jesus and the promise of a Savior was given long ago, long before Jesus came to the earth. The first gospel message can be found in Genesis: “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Gen 3:15.
It is widely understood that this verse is a Messianic prophesy. This prophesy was given by God in the Garden of Eden, you can not go any further back as the Garden. Throughout the Old Testament God gave progressive prophesies concerning the Messiah. In the old the new is concealed, in the new the old is revealed. When we get to the New Testament, and we look back at the Old Testament, it’s all clear. In the Old Testament the gospel was there from the early beginning. The Bible is a book of redemption. The Bible does contain history like the creation and the beginning of mankind, kingdoms, people and places, but the main purpose of the Bible is redemption, God’s plan of salvation for fallen man.
Jesus is all over the pages of the Old Testament, there are many prophesies concerning His first coming and many allegories that pointed to Christ. Abraham offering up Isaac on Mount Moriah which is the temple mount today, a picture of what God would do 2000 years later. Joseph in Egypt, he was not recognized by his brothers at the first meeting, but they recognized him at the second time they met. A picture of the first coming of Jesus and He was not recognized as Israel’s Messiah, which will happen at His second coming. Moses lifting up the bronze serpent in the wildness on a pole, and everybody that looked up to it was healed, a picture of Jesus lifted up on the cross dying for the sin of the world and giving healing and life to those who would look upon Him and believe. He was the Rock in the wildness bringing forth water, He was the Bread that came from heaven and so much more.
The 70 weeks of Daniel given by the angel Gabriel gave the exact time and day when the Messiah would ride into the city of Jerusalem. Zechariah prophesied that the King would come riding lowly on a donkey. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on what we now know as Palm Sunday. Nothing was by coincidence, God had a divine plan and time schedule and Jesus came at the appointed time, His hour. The day the Lord has made. There are over 300 prophesies concerning the first coming of Christ, and He has fulfilled them all. Jesus was nailed the cross at the time of the morning offering on passover, He gave up His Spirit at the time of the evening sacrifices. This day was also predicted long ago and God had a certain day in mind and Jesus died on that exact appointed day. Old Testament believers were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, they believed God, thus it was accounted to them as righteousness.
Today we look back at the cross and the finished work of Christ and because we believe by faith we are accounted righteous before God through Christ who is our righteousness. The gospel i.e the good news is therefore much older than 2000 years, the gospel and the coming of the Messiah goes all the way back to the beginning. There are many religions today and in the past, but they are all man-made and they are all man centered. The Christian faith is not really a religion per say, it is a relationship with the true and living God. Christians worship and serve the God of creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The God that is truth and His word which is sharper than a two-edged sword. If you read this and you are of another faith, like Islam or maybe Hinduism etc. consider Jesus and the claims He made. He came to die in our place, God did what we could not do for ourselves. He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus said that He came to set us free from bondage. Are you in bondage to sin or religion? Do you want to be forgiven of your sins and have eternal life? Jesus promised that those who would believe will never die. He died for us and rose from the dead to overcome death and give eternal life to those who would believe. Jesus is God and only God can forgive sins, all other gods are impostors and they do not exist.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” Exd 20:2-5
Many religions have made their own gods made out of wood, metal, in the likeness of man, they worship the creature rather than the Creator. These gods do not move, they can’t hear or speak. They are dead, they cannot give life eternal, only the true and living God of the Bible can. There is only one way to be reconciled to God the Father, and that is through His Son Christ Jesus. May you find Him and feel His peace and His love. May you realize how much He loves you.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16