The death and resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It's the one event which, if true, changes everything.
At the heart of Christianity is a message known as 'the gospel'—a good-news message that makes incredible claims about both God and humanity. It's also backed up by some of the most well documented events in history. We're so thankful that you've taken some time to check out this message.
Everything centres around this one question: was Jesus who he claimed to be?
He claimed to be the Son of God (Matt 26:63-64), the one who judges (John 5:19-23), the one who forgives sin (Mark 2:5-12), the Saviour (John 3:16) and the Messiah (John 4:25-26). In the four eye-witness testimonies recorded in the Bible, Jesus made many claims like these.
Jesus didn't present himself as just a good moral teacher, a prophet or a miracle worker, but as God himself in human form. In doing so he offended many religious people, yet gained the attention of huge crowds. This claim to be God was the ultimate reason he was executed on a cross. 1
This claim to be God was the ultimate reason Jesus was executed on a cross.
This is the one big question that defines all others: was Jesus really the Son of God? If so, it changes everything. It changes the whole way we see the world and our place in it.
Our understanding of life, death, meaning and purpose will be flipped upside-down. We'll see life through a different lens, and all the other big questions will be approached in a completely new light.
Whatever your background, beliefs, experiences or lifestyle, we hope you will consider Jesus. Jesus says he did not come ‘into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world’. 2 Jesus was a friend of sinners 3—he always had time for the down-and-outs, the most shunned, notorious and controversial members of society.
The message he brought is unbelievably good—the type that no other religion or worldview offers. 4
Bible references: 1 John 5:18 2 John 3:17 3 Matthew 11:19, Romans 5:8 4 Acts 4:12
The gospel is a message that makes Christianity completely different from every other religion or worldview. It offers the free gift of grace.
This is the opportunity to know God, to walk with Him, and have the slate completely wiped clean. 5 Through it we're caught up in His mission and purpose, 6 His great story, and we can have the fullness of life from now into eternity.
This grace is a free gift. 7 It's something that cannot be earned. A price was paid in full on our behalf, and it was paid by Jesus. 8
He took on all our brokenness, our evil, our wrong-doing and died in our place. 9 The perfect judgement of God was poured out on him, and through his death we can swap his light for our darkness.10
We simply believe in Jesus, and follow him. 11
God desires that ‘no one should perish’. Through a free gift, you can know God, receive eternal life, and live it to the full.
The Bible tells us that God has ‘set eternity in our hearts’ 12 and that we are ‘destined to die once and then face judgement’. 13 When our physical body dies, we don't simply cease to exist. Our spirit remains and we will stand before a perfect, all-powerful and holy God.
In this, our greatest need is for forgiveness. 14
If we're honest, we don't live up to our own standards, let alone God's (which is perfection). But He has made a way, through Jesus, for all our failings and wrong-doing to be forgiven. If we accept Jesus, his perfect and sinless life becomes ours, and we're welcomed into eternal life 15. If we reject Jesus, we reject God himself. 16 In doing this we choose an eternal separation from God—the source of all life. 17
The good news of the gospel is that God desires that ‘no one should perish’. 18 Through a free gift, you can know God, receive eternal life, and live it to the full.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” — Psalm 16:11
Bible references: 5 Acts 3:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17 6 Ephesians 2:10, Matthew 28:18-20 7 Ephesians 2:8-9 8 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 9 1 John 2:2 10 2 Corinthians 5:21 11 Romans 10:9 12 Ecclesiastes 3:11 13 Hebrews 9:27 14 1 John 1:9, 1 Timothy 1:15-16 15 1 John 5:11, John 5:24, John 3:16, John 11:25-26, John 10:27-28 16 Matthew 10:33, 2 Timothy 2:12 17 Matthew 25:31-46 18 2 Peter 3:9
The whole of Christianity hinges on this one historical event: the death and resurrection of Jesus. If it could be disproved, the entire Christian faith would fall apart.
The Bible itself acknowledges this reality: “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Corinthians 15:14)
The evidence for both the death and resurrection of Jesus is substantial and compelling. Jesus’s life, arrest, execution under Pontius Pilate and burial in a tomb are among the most well-attested events in the history of the ancient world, and are regarded as settled facts by virtually all experts in the field.
The desire to extinguish Christianity from the very beginning was intense, yet a body, or an explanation, could never be produced.
But the events and evidence surrounding his resurrection are astonishing. After his death he appeared, in perfect health, to 500 witnesses over a period of 40 days. 19 These witnesses were alive when the New Testament accounts were written, preached and circulated in the very city he was executed. At the very heart of these accounts is the claim that Jesus was raised from the dead.
The desire to extinguish Christianity from the very beginning was intense. Yet Jesus' body, or an explanation, could never be produced. His disciples, who had previously showed cowardly traits, we're now prepared to suffer and die in defence of this story.
As incredible as it sounds, the only feasible explanation that accounts for all the evidence is that Jesus really did die and rise from death. But if there is a God, nothing is impossible. In fact, this sort of thing should be expected.
If you would like to explore the evidence surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus, the video below is a fantastic presentation by Lee Strobel. Former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, Strobel is an investigative journalist who originally sought to debunk the resurrection and prove it false. In this video, he details the length and breadth of his investigation, and how it impacted his life.
Bible references: 19 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
The Alpha course is an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith. It’s relaxed, low key, friendly and fun.
Our Alpha course is a series of nine evenings. At the beginning of each evening a free meal is served, giving you a chance to get to know others, relax and enjoy yourself.
Then there’s a talk, addressing key issues like ‘Who is Jesus?’ ‘What happens when we die?’ and ‘What about suffering?’. And then there’s an opportunity to discuss what you’ve heard, share your views, and ask anything you like. Alpha is a place where no question is too simple or too hostile.
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The Alpha Course is completely free. Come along for one evening, and if it's not your thing, there's no pressure to come back.
Shot at our Hampden Park venue, the video below will give you a flavour of Alpha at Kings
Get a taste of the Alpha course through episode one of the Alpha film series
Jesus died in our place. The death that we deserved was paid for by him. We can have the total forgiveness of sins and everlasting life with God as our Father.
What Jesus has done for us is amazing. It's something that cannot be earned through good works, or bought at a price. It can only be received as a gift because it's so unbelievably expensive. 20 It cost God everything, the very best thing he had: his Son Jesus. 21
All that's required is that we reach out and accept this gift. We simply believe in Jesus and follow him. 22
It cost God everything, the very best thing he had: his Son Jesus.
Believing in Jesus means believing in everything he said and did. In essence, it's believing that:
— he is the Son of God 23
— that he died on a cross, and rose from death 24
— that we have all led sinful lives and are all in need of forgiveness 25
— that God is faithful to forgive, and can make us completely clean 26
— that Jesus is the only way to receive eternal life 27
Following Jesus means we are committing to turn away from all that we know to be sinful (things we know are against God). We are choosing to place him as number one in our lives, and nothing will be more important: not sex, money, work, relationships, or anything else that would ordinarily claim our hearts. 28
With God's help, we will do our best to follow His plan for our lives and submit every part of ourselves to Him. In doing this, we understand that His plan is made in perfect love and is for our good 29. Even though life can be tough, He will ultimately bless us beyond anything that we can hope or imagine 30.
We wholeheartedly believe that following Jesus is the most important decision you could ever make. It's a decision that can be made with a simple, honest prayer. Here's one we suggest, which you can use to commit your life to Jesus:
Dear Lord God,
Thank you for the amazing love you have shown me through Jesus. I believe he is your Son, and died on the cross in my place.
I am sorry for all the things I have done wrong in my life. [Take a moment to list a few things on your conscience.] Please forgive me. I will turn away from all the things I know to be wrong, and I place you first in my life.
Thank you that through Jesus I am completely forgiven and set free. Just as you have forgiven me, I forgive everyone who has sinned against me. [Take a few moments to think of anyone you still need to forgive].
I welcome you into my life, and I welcome the plan you have for me. I pray for your help and strength in living this new life.
Thank you Lord God. You are my Heavenly Father and I am now your child.
If you did, we would love to hear from you, and find out how we can support you in following Jesus (no matter where in the world you live). Email our Alpha team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (+44) 01323 521125 and ask to speak to one of our Alpha team. We're available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (GMT).
If you've just decided to follow Jesus, one of the best things you can do is start by telling someone and finding a good church to go to. We would love to help you in this. The Bible tells us it's very difficult to live the Christian life on our own. We all need to be part of a community, part of Jesus' extremely large extended family.
Bible references: 20 Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 4:10 21 John 3:16 22 Romans 10:9, John 3:36 23 John 3:16, John 1:14 24 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 25 Romans 3:23-24 26 1 John 1:9 27 Acts 4:12 28 Mark 12:30, Matthew 10:37-39, Matthew 6:33, Exodus 20:3, Philippians 3:8 29 Jeremiah 29:11, 1 John 4:7-12, Proverbs 3:5-6 30 2 Corinthians 9:8, Philippians 4:6-7, Psalm 23, Philippians 1:22-24