Issues: The Search for the Historical Jesus
Yes, Jesus existed. But he is much more than a historical figure. Both Jews and Gentiles have been gripped by the person of Jesus as they read the Gospel accounts. If even non-believers must acknowledge Jesus’ existence, then the Gospels make it evident that he has the power to change our lives.
No celebration of Purim is complete without the traditional reading of the story of Esther. She is one of the few, true heroines of the Tanach. And, from what we read, her story isn’t exactly as pretty as her face. It’s gritty and (unfortunately) relatable to readers who may have rocky histories of their own.
But what really made an impact was when I came across Jesus. No one on the entire spectrum of the human race, from the most spiritual to the atheist, can remain indifferent to him. You cannot help but like him – his wisdom, compassion, and love. Every time I read Jesus’ words and learned about his deeds, I wanted more. He was the Jesus I never knew.
Unfortunately, one of the most common phrases a Jewish person can hear is this: “The Jews killed Jesus.” Such condemnations have plagued the Jewish people for the last two thousand years, acting as the fuel behind countless anti-Semitic atrocities throughout history. They have emerged from the mouths of self-proclaimed Christians, from atheists—from both those who consider themselves religious and those who do not. And it has to stop.