The New Testament tells us that after three days in a tomb, Christ miraculously arose from the dead. At first his disciples couldn’t believe that this strange man claiming to be their savior was their teacher Jesus who had died so shamefully on the cross. Soon, however, they were convinced that he truly was the Son of God. Forty days after Christ rose from the dead, he gathered his disciples, promised them that he would return, and commanded them in the meantime to spread his teachings. Then, as his disciples watched on in astonishment, Christ ascended to heaven. Ten days later, the gathered disciples were visited by the Holy Spirit of God, which came from heaven as tongues of flame. This event, known as Pentecost, reaffirmed Christ's promise that he would be with them and all of humanity until the end of time.
Doctrines of Christianity
Christians have a number of additional beliefs about Christ. These beliefs can be sorted into three basic doctrines that all Christian followers accept:
Incarnation: Jesus was God in human form; he was both fully human and fully divine. This proved to Christians that God loved humanity so much that God was willing not only to take a limiting human form but also to suffer on the cross so that the whole of humanity might be redeemed. This belief seemed blasphemous to other religious/cultural groups in the early centuries A.D. and led to the persecution and martyrdom of many early Christians.
Atonement: Humanity was estranged from God after Adam and Eve's sin cast them from the Garden of Eden. Christ, by dying for all the sins of humanity, provides the reconciliation between God and humanity. In fact, Christ is often referred to as the "Second Adam," who comes to undo the sin and suffering that began with the first Adam. Atonement literally means "at-one-ment" with God.