Hello, and thank you for joining me today! We are here to continue the series that we started 2 weeks ago. And specifically, the explanation of the Triune God concept. And today, I am going to try and answer the most asked question in all of history! Who is this Jesus, guy?
Let me start off by assuring you, He is not some guy, but probably the most famous or infamous person in history, as well He should be. But first, let us look at few popular theories on who Jesus is. Many atheists have made the claim that Jesus is just a pagan myth, a combination of the two Greek gods Dionysus and Mithras, however there is no real connections to the myths to how Jesus was or what He did. Most scholars on both sides of the aisle agree that any “connection” is purely coincidental and often times cherry picked and stretched. Some out there like to claim that Jesus was a mere philosopher and actually was not a God at all, not even a prophet. Strangely, this theory completely ignores Christ’s prophecies and miracle workings so they just cherry pick the philosophy of Christ and ignore what He actually did. Maybe you are starting to see a common trend… but just one more theory here. Laughably my favorite theory I found is this, that Christ was a violent revolutionary that never came to bring teachings to His people at all but was just here to free the Jews from the Romans… Let that sink in for a moment, Christ “was” a bloodthirsty man who sought to bring destruction to the Roman Empire. This one is completely out of line with all of what Christ did. Christ preached peace, mercy, and love for all. Not once did Christ ever threaten the Romans directly. He did throw tables in the Jewish temple for they had made a “den of thieves” in the House of the Lord. Christ went as far as to say that they should pay their taxes to the Romans because God cares not about the world’s wealth but what you are to do for Him and His people.
So, who is Jesus Christ then? I have spent all this time talking about who He wasn’t, but who is He and why is He so important? I am glad you asked! Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Man, making Him uniquely qualified to do many things, like be able to sacrifice Himself for our Salvation. Well, let us get started with the facts and proofs of how Jesus was a man. He was born of a human mother and has a lineage that can be traced back to Abraham (Matthew 1, all of it). He hungered (John 21:4-12, Luke 14:12-14, Matthew 9:10-13, and Mark 2:15-17), He felt emotions like sadness (John 11:35), joy (Luke 15:5-7), and other emotions, such as anger (Matthew 21:12-13). But most importantly, He died just as we can. Let us read in John chapter 19, starting in verse 30:
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” (John 19:30-37, New King James Version)
Here we see evidence that Christ bled and died like we all can. With both water and blood coming from His pierced lung, it proves He died of suffocation on the cross as is the cause of death with most crucifixions.
Now that I have assured you that Christ was indeed human, I am not going to spend the rest of the time convincing you that He was and is God. First, let us start with God’s confession of Himself in Luke 3, verse 21:
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22, New King James Version)
So, Jesus wills Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist and God reveals Himself in all forms to acknowledge Jesus, the Son of God, whom completes the Triune. God the Father tells Him (Jesus) that He (the Father) is pleased by His (Jesus’) show of humbleness and for setting the example for His people.
Alright, so what? God likes this Jesus guy, not enough to prove He is God, right? Okay, well good thing I wasn’t stopping there. Jesus is recorded to have pulled over 40 miracles, and we are defining miracles as the following types of events: faith healing, exorcisms, resurrection of the dead and control over nature. This includes His own resurrection from death. These miracles, to name a few specifically include turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), catching large numbers a fish or really summoning (Luke 5:3-10), calming the storm (Matthew 8:23-27), healing a withered hand (Mark 3:1-6), healing a leper(s) (Mark 1:40-45), 3 different resurrections that were not himself (John 11:1-44, Matthew 9:18-25, Luke 7:11-17). Additionally, John annotates at the end of his book this in chapter 21 verses 24-25:
This is the disciple who testifies of these things and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (John 21:24-25, New King James Version)
This shows that there is so much that happened and that Christ did throughout His earthly ministry that was not recorded. Most of His miracles are witnessed by hundreds or thousands with only a few that were left to be seen by smaller audiences, like walking on water or the restoration of the cut ear (Matthew 14:22-23, Luke 22:45-54). No man nor technology at the time could ever perform the things which Christ did. Even today we cannot perform resurrections in the way He did. The closest we have is manual resuscitation through CPR or a defibrillator which only work for seconds, or minutes if you are lucky, after death. Christ rose people and Himself days after which they had passed and been buried. Each one of the resurrections had many witnesses, Christ’s own resurrection had hundreds of people outside of His apostles (Mark 24:13-31, Acts 1:1-9, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). Later, Christ even shews Himself unto Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-20). This occurrence is a little special, so let us read it:
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:1-9, NKJV)
In this instance, Christ appears in His glory to Saul and blinds Him because He appears in His true form. It is described as a light from heaven, and all that Saul and the soldiers then could tell was that a voice was coming down to them. This is where Christ makes His Godship quite apparent, that He could appear whenever and however He wanted to.
Furthermore, Christ makes another appearance a few decades later to the last living apostle, John. Let us turn to the book of Revelation. There is much in the way of prophecy and theology that comes from the revelations that Christ shows John in the visions of what is to come. Let us start in chapter 1, beginning in verse 9:
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hell and of Death. (Revelation 1:9-18, New King James Version)
In John’s exile, Christ appears to him in a form he recognizes “One like the Son of Man”, yet He was different, in ways he could only explain by metaphors with what he knew. Jesus explains that He is God and has been, with His statement that He is the first and last (Alpha and Omega are the first and last, respectively, of the Greek alphabet), He confirms His place as God and rightful ruler of eternity. Also, He shows what He did when His earthly form died, He went to Hell and took the keys from Satan and wrest death from the hands of him as well. This lets us know that He has the rights to all creation, in life and death. In Revelation chapter 19 we see further proof the Jesus is God and always has been when we combine it with the gospel of John. First Revelation 19:11-16:
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16, NKJV)
Here Christ is identified as the Word of God, and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If there was any doubt before this moment that Christ was God, in this moment will all life have no choice but to acknowledge Him as Lord, however, if Christ is God this must mean He was with God at creation! Where does He come in at the beginning of time and creation? Let us look to John 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men… (John 1:1-4, NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, NKJV)
Christ always has been, and always be God. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God is fully God as much as the Father is.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7, NKJV)
So, just to nail it in one more time, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whom is God. And that despite acting in different methods they are one and the same.
Why is Christ important to us? Because Jesus Christ became the sacrifice to God for our sins that we may have eternal life. He is the one that fulfills God the Father’s promises and brings to completion all that was prophesized by the prophets of the Old Testament and He is the one to take all power from Hell and He is the rightful ruler of heaven and earth (Revelation 20:4-15). And once more to John chapter 14, please.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:1-7, New King James Version)
Christ is the one true way to heaven, having belief in Him is to have faith in the Father, and the way to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which we will cover next week. Upon Christ is our faith founded on, that it is by our faith in Him that we can be restored to a new life and new spirit. And I close with this passage from Romans chapter 5:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5: 1-11)
God Bless You.