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Who is Jesus?
Thank you so much for your question. As a result of the consequences of our personal response to Jesus, this is probably the most important question a person could ask. Let’s try to unpack this to find out why Jesus, a man who lived in Israel two thousand years ago, is so special and relevant to us.
The Bible gives Jesus the full title of Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:14). The eternal God revealed himself to Moses and the Israelite nation as ‘I AM’ (in Hebrew, YAHWEH). During his ministry on earth this was one of the ways Jesus referred to himself (John 8:58) YAHWEH was translated as kyrios (Lord) in Greek. It is the title that the New Testament writers give to Jesus. The bible explains that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. (Romans 1:4; John 5:20) He is the second person of the triune God - by, through and for whom all things were created (Colossians 1:15-17). Considering Jesus, we cannot help but come face to face with this startling claim: Jesus is the Lord our God, worthy of our love and worship.
However, Jesus is also fully human. The incarnation is one of the central truths of Christianity. He is Immanuel: God with us, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-25). It was not the beginning of his existence, rather the point in history when he took our nature to himself. Since his incarnation he is now one person with two natures, divine and human (1 John 4:2). We are made in the image of God, but sin has corrupted our human nature, causing us to be separated from God and placing us under his just wrath. In his love, the eternal Son was sent by God the Father to save us. He is the perfect human being; the complete image of God. He was made like us in every way in order to free us from the power of sin and death (John 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-15).
Old Testament (OT) Israelite Kings and Priests were anointed with oil. Prophets spoke with expectation of a promised coming King who would usher in the blessings of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) which means ‘anointed one'. So to begin to appreciate who Jesus it’s helpful to consider his promised role as prophet, priest and king.
In the OT many prophets were sent by God, revealing his commands, promises or warnings of judgement. Jesus is the archetypal prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2). He spoke with divine wisdom and power, accomplishing many miracles, people were amazed at his authority. He not only spoke the Word of God but is the Word of God. He is the author of creation, the author and subject of all Scripture, perfectly revealing God to us (John 1:1-5, 14-18; 8:28). “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
In Israel, God revealed his willingness to dwell among his people, but a sacrificial system was imposed because of the barrier caused by sin. To turn away the anger of God against the sins of his people, priests were appointed by God to offer spotless substitutionary sacrifices and intercede on behalf of the people. A high priest offered an atoning sacrifice once a year and carried the blood into the presence of God (Leviticus 16). It highlighted the necessity for our sins to be removed in order to access and receive the blessings of our Holy God.
Now we have a great high priest who ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God (Hebrews 4:14). He is our representative and sacrificial substitute (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:2). In God’s loving will, Jesus was sent to live a perfect righteous life which he freely offered up on the cross to deliver us from punishment and remove our sins forever. The fact that he rose from the dead proved that God has accepted once and for all Jesus’ atoning death on our behalf (Hebrews 7:26-8:2; 10:11-14).
After his resurrection, Jesus ascended bodily into heaven. There is a new Man, our representative in the very presence of God. His work as high priest is to continually intercede on behalf of his people. He has experienced our life, knows our temptations and sympathises with our weaknesses. He has compassion on us and through his death secures every blessing of God for his people (Hebrews 4:14-5:4). If we are trusting Jesus, God receives us as his children and Jesus’ perfect life is attributed to us. When the Father looks on his Son, he sees us; when he looks on us he sees his perfect Son, in and through whom we have direct access to God our Father (Ephesians 1:3-10).
Thirdly, the OT promises the coming of a King greater than all (2 Samuel 7:11-16, Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 7:13-14; Zech 9:9-17). Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He is King over all creation, Head of the church, worthy of our love, service and praise. Having conquered sin and death through his humiliation, God has exalted Jesus to the highest place, giving him a Name that is above every name. At the right hand of God the Father he has been given all power and authority to distribute the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit to sinners who repent now and believe in him (Acts 2:32-36; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-20).
The good news is always about the King: the one who brings both Salvation and Judgement. (Isaiah 52:7-10; 61:1-2). The goal of history is the appearance of Jesus, when every knee will bow and acknowledge that he is the rightful king over all the earth. Jesus has been appointed as judge over all the earth. The Word which saves is also the Word by which all people will be judged. If we have been forgiven our sins and made right with God now through faith we can look forward to that day with joy (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10). Jesus will raise the dead, right every wrong, cleanse his world of sin and usher in a new heaven and earth. To be redeemed by his blood is to be brought into real hope and freedom and serving of our Saviour King.
In summary, the fact that Jesus is both God and Man assures us of his ability to save. The Saviour willingly came to suffer and die for our sins, purchasing full and free salvation for us. When we trust in him God removes our sins and his righteousness is given to us. The name Jesus means the Lord saves (Matthew 1:21) and Jesus restores us by faith to a personal, fulfilled and everlasting relationship with God. All of this and more is included in the Name Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Would you like to know more about what Jesus has done for you? If so, then please watch the video on the main part of our site, and I hope you will also be encouraged to repent and believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey:
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at http://www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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