This is the first part in a series on Christianity. The first part of truly understanding Christianity is understanding its Jewish roots. So today's post is about the true origin of Christianity.
The True Origin of Christianity
The most fundamental belief in early Christianity is that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. This is what is meant by the word "Christ" (Christos in Greek). The Jewish Messiah was a political and religious figure who was predicted throughout the Old Testament. His predicted roles were to: 1) defeat Israel's enemies, 2) lead the world to worship Yahweh, 3) bring world peace and, 4) rule the entire world. Furthermore, some Old Testament passages suggest that the Messiah might be God himself (Zechariah 12-14).
As you may have noticed, such a figure is worthless if he is dead. You simply cannot be both dead and King of the world and militarily defeating Israel's enemies. This is why the death and crucifixion of Jesus was so initially disappointing to His disciples. Like all other Messiah claimants, he appeared to have simply come and gone, failing at his mission, dying at the hands of the Romans.
But a radical and unexpected dis-confirmation of this disappointment occurred during Jesus' resurrection. Due to the 1) appearances and 2) empty tomb, the disciples came to believe that Jesus had once again risen to life. No long was all hope lost. Because of his resurrection, he really can fulfill all these Messianic perogatives in the end times.
The fact that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, who was crucified and resurrected from the dead is the starting point for what Christianity really is.
But if Christianity is so Jewish as I claim it is, why don't Christians follow the Old Testament? Why was Jesus subversive to the current Jewish leadership of his time?
The answers to these questions are a key part in understanding Christianity, and will be explored in Part II.