Basic Christianity Series #7: Jesus Christ
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Jesus Christ–God the Son
If there is one word that captures the message of Jesus Christ and his centrality in the Scriptures, it’s the word life. These things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name (John 20:31). Any series on Basic Christianity has Jesus Christ as the principal figure before, after, and throughout all of time. The many attributes of God are not “things,” but are, in fact, in the person of Jesus Christ—God the Son.
A study of Christ must include his virgin birth, his youth, his torment and death on a rugged cross, his burial in a borrowed tomb, and, above all, his triumph over death and the grave. Certainly without the resurrection, Christianity is a colossal hoax. He lives! Jesus Christ lives today and forever! He is life eternal!
Jesus Christ is the second person of the Godhead and existed long before he took on the form of humanity. If Christ did not preexist, then he could not be God since God is eternal. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together (Colossians 1:15-17).
The Lord’s virgin birth was necessary. Man’s original sin and fall from grace ushered in the reality that all of humanity, born in the generations following Adam, enter the world in a state of spiritual separation from God: In the same way that sin entered the world through one person, and death came through sin, so death spread to all human beings with the result that all sinned (Romans 5:12). That lost spiritual condition was passed from generation to generation. If Jesus Christ had been born by both Joseph and Mary he would have come into the world like all humans, dead in sin, in a lost condition, apart from God and without eternal life. To circumvent that issue, Jesus was conceived in the virgin Mary through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit: The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). Thus, through his miraculous birth, he entered this world spiritually alive and made possible the return of life to those who were spiritually dead. It was vital that he enter this world with life, so he could surrender his life as payment for the sinful state of all humanity. As a result of his sacrifice, the good news establishes God’s offer of life to the human race, through faith in his son Jesus. This is the truth of the gospel which can be received or rejected. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life” (John 3:3-6).
It was to bring “life” that Jesus Christ became flesh and dwelled among us as both man and God. Scripture tells us he took on the form of man and was expressly referred to as man. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). In his position as man he subjected himself to temptations; he learned obedience through the things that he suffered; and he dealt with fatigue, hunger, anger, and pain. Yet, in his divine nature he was fully God—absolute deity in all of its fullness. Thomas, who doubted for a time, ultimately proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:28-29). Jesus clearly possessed the attributes of God—among them life, truth, love, and holiness. His humanity and his deity are uniquely united and bound together to form one person who existed before the foundation of the world. The Scriptures are consistent in their statements that God the Father can be reached only by coming to him through Jesus Christ. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me (John 14:6). Since God cannot die, the Savior of mankind could only die if he became fully human—a man indwelt with eternal life. It was essential that God provide a God-man Savior. The world was given that person in Jesus Christ: I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying (John 11:25).
Christ also demonstrated each of the primary attributes of eternal God. He claimed and displayed the power of Omnipotence. Jesus came and told his disciples, I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made wine from water, and fed the multitudes from a child’s small basket of food. He was Omniscient, expressing an understanding and knowledge of things only he and his Father could have known. Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead (Matthew 16:21). Finally, he professed to be everywhere existent—or Omnipresent. Where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them (Matthew 18:20).
Christ is the head of his people—the Church. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church (Ephesians 1:22).
Christ is the shepherd of his people. I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father (John 10:14-15). He is the protector of his people. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me (John 10:27-28).
Christ is the vine through which his people have life, value, and purpose. I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…he prunes the branches that bear fruit so they will produce even more (John 15:1-2).
Christ is the light that brings understanding to his children as they pass through a sin-darkened world: I am the light of the world (John 9:5).
Christ is the truth. The foundation of all truth is in him. I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).
Eternal life is not a “thing” passed on to you by Christ. Eternal life is a person. Jesus is eternal life. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life (1 John 5:12).
History confirms the death of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s statement It is finished! (John 19:30) put a final stamp of completion on his purpose for coming to earth as a man, living a life of sinless perfection, and giving his life as payment for our sins. Of course, it doesn’t end there. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). After his resurrection, when Mary Magdalene saw him, her first statement to some of the disciples was I have seen the Lord! (John 20:18). It was clear now to all who knew him—he was friend, teacher, God the Son, Messiah, the Lord of all.
If you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ, he is your Savior, your Lord, your Life. His peace is your peace. His rest is your rest: I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give (John 14:27). Don’t let your hearts be troubled…I am going to prepare a place for you (John 14:1-2).
As God gave Jesus power to do the things that he did, so will he give you power to live in his ways. I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). There is nothing that can come into your life that is beyond your capacity to deal with. You are an overcomer because you are in Jesus Christ and his Spirit resides in you.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).