Jesus – Fully God & Fully Man
In Luke chapter 3 we see Jesus come to be baptized by his cousin John the Baptizer. When Jesus had been baptized the scripture tells 3 distinct things happened: 1) The heavens opened 2) The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus 3) God the Father spoke saying “You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.” God the Father speaks from heaven and declares that Jesus, being fully man, was also fully God. John chapter 1 declares that Jesus was in the beginning with God, Jesus is God, and without Jesus was nothing made that was made. Furthermore, Jesus declared that “He and the Father are one” and was eventually put to death because he would not stop saying that he was God.
The scripture tells us that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin named Mary. The virgin birth was foretold by God, through the prophet Isaiah, some 700 years before Mary was even born (Isaiah 7:14). Furthermore, in Luke chapter 3 we are shown the genealogy of Jesus. This genealogy begins with Jesus’ earthly parents and extends all the way back to Adam, our first father and the first human which God created out of dust on the sixth day of creation. Philippians 2:6-8 describes Jesus being fully God yet fully man like this: “…though (Jesus) was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Matthew 1:18-25, Isaiah 7:14, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 3:23-38)
Jesus – Lived for Righteousness & our Example
God the Son entered in to human history, adding humanity to his divinity, as the man Jesus. Jesus raised the bar of the Law, revealing that sin is not merely action or lack of action, but in fact a matter of the heart (Matthew 5:21-48). Jesus taught the Law in such a way to show us that we could never live up to it’s righteous demands- “You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48). But Jesus did not come to abolish the Law of God, rather, he came to fulfill it. He lived a sinless and perfect life so that his righteousness would be given to all who would come to believe in him (Romans 3:21-26; Romans 4:4-5; Romans 5:18-21; Colossians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21). To be in the presence of Holy God we must be holy and righteous. The problem is that “No one is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Romans 3:10-11). Part of the good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a sinless and righteous life, fulfilling the Law perfectly, so that his righteousness could be given to those who would come to him through faith.
Jesus healed, taught, rebuked, cast out demons, brought the dead back to life, turned over tables in the synagogue, prayed, slept, ate, drank, traveled, cooked, conversed, became angry, and wept, all without sin and all for the glory of God. Jesus not only abstained from sins of commission, he abstained from sins of omission and sins of the heart and will.
When people asked Jesus what the most important commandment is he responded with “Love God; love people. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the prophets” (Matt 22:36-40). That’s the life Jesus lived. He loved God and loved people, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We see Jesus healing, teaching, casting out demons, performing miracles, and ultimately sacrificing himself on a cross for sin. Jesus stated this many times while on the earth, and through the Holy Spirit and the Bible, it is still stated to you and I: “Follow me.” We follow and imitate Jesus because he lived for our righteousness as our Priest and lived for our example as our Prophet. The scripture tells us that we are the “body of Jesus Christ”, so by the power of the Holy Spirit we are Jesus in the world. We are salt (makes things better) and light (shines all of the time) in this dark and sinful world. Ephesians 2:8-10 is what we cling to for our truth in salvation and for a life of following Jesus Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” We aren’t saved by good works, but by grace alone. We are saved for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. By the power of the Holy Spirit we are to live the life that Jesus lived so we can love like Jesus loved, serve like Jesus served, teach like Jesus taught, all for the glory to God and the joy of all people.
Jesus – Died for Sin
The scripture tells us that Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). He paid the price we could not pay and died the death we all, as sinful humans, deserve to die. Jesus was born, lived, died, and arose so that we could come to a right standing with God by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus emphatically stated; “I am the way the truth and the life, and no ones comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The scripture tells us that “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of
sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus shed his blood so that ours does not need to be shed. Without Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sin, we stand alone before holy God and have to make payment for our own sin. “The penalty of sin is death” (Romans 3:23). Furthermore, the cross of Christ was far more than physical pain. Immediately before Jesus was taken away to be crucified, we see that he is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prays “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” What is this cup that Jesus speaks of? In the Old Testament “the cup” is a metaphor for God’s wrath and judgement on evil doers (Ezekiel 23:32-34; Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15; Psalm 75:8). The cup is God’s wrath, judgement, anger, and just payment that is poured out on sinners for their rebellion and wickedness. Jesus is in great agony in Gethsemane, not because he is fearful of the physical pain that awaits him. Jesus is stricken with agony because very soon he will have the cup of God’s wrath poured out on him for sin. On the cross, Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath and secured the way for all who would believe to stand blameless before their Creator. Jesus is called our sacrificial Lamb without blemish or spot (1 Peter 1:19). He was sacrificed to quench God’s perfect wrath, and only as the unblemished Lamb could Jesus pay this price.
Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t God just wipe the slate clean for everyone? Because all real love and real forgiveness requires sacrifice. The payment, which is death and separation from God, had to be made for sin. All sins are big sins because they are all committed against a big God. God is so holy that he will not just look over our sin, but at the same time he is so loving that he will not abandon us to destruction. If God does not justly judge and pour out his wrath on the evil doer, then he is not loving. God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die and pay the penalty for our sin. Thanks be to God the Father for sending his one and only Son to take our place on the cross.
Jesus – Resurrected for Salvation
Jesus, after living a perfect life for our example and righteousness, dying a substitutionary death on the cross for our sin, resurrected from death to eternal life, conquering satan, sin and death. Jesus triumphed over the grave. “God raised (Jesus) up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (Acts 2:24). Jesus illustrated God’s love, upheld God’s justice, removed our sin, and reconciled us to God. Then, having redeemed us from sin, on the third day, He resurrected bodily from the grave, victorious over death and all the powers of darkness. Light conquered dark, life conquered death, grace conquered religion. Victory, victory, victory and nothing short. Thus, our King won; simple and profound, literally changing everything. Our salvation lies in our Savior’s death in our place and power over death in His resurrection.
(John 3:16-18, Romans 10:9-10, John 14:6, Ephesians 1:13)
Jesus – Judges the World
One day mankind will be given up to be judged by this just Judge. We see in the gospel of John that Jesus states, “if anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” We are not judged by our shortcomings as followers of Christ. But, a judgement does await those who “reject” Christ’s words and work of death-defeating salvation. The world will be given up to judgement, but the Church, also known as the Bride of Christ, will rest easy for He received our judgement so that we might be saved. We are saved from the judgement and the following wrath of the one and only God. We as brothers and sisters are to make judgements and to call each other to repentance, exercise church-discipline, etc, but Jesus is the Judge who will judge the world at the end of time. (John 5:21-23, John 12:48, Acts 17:30-32, Revelation 20:13)
Jesus – The First and the Last
In the book of Revelation Jesus states, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” For Christians, Jesus is the sign of first life (John 1) and the hand that will usher us to our everlasting home on that good morning. The scriptures promise, “Behold, he is coming with the
clouds” (Revelation 1). Jesus is the beginning Word, He is our present hope, and the Church is his bride. Jesus is our lasting fulfillment for he will be the one to bring us out of the great tribulation, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). First and Last. Beginning and End. Alpha and Omega. He is truly the all encompassing Prophet, Priest, and King who reigns, now and forever.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of three distinct offices: Prophet, Priest and King.
Jesus, the Messenger (Prophet), Mediator (Priest), Lord and Judge (King). The only hope for life now and forever.
A PROPHET is a messenger between God and man, who speaks and acts to man on behalf of God. Throughout the scriptures we see many prophets. Jesus differs from other prophets in that h e is not a prophet but the Prophet who came to reveal God the Father to mankind. “And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
(Matthew 21:11, Matthew 13: 57, Ephesians 2: 19 – 21; John 4)
A PRIEST is a mediator between man and God, who presents himself as the representative of another. Jesus is the High Priest of a better covenant. Christ “is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer.” What he offers to the Father is himself, namely, his righteous life and his substitutionary death, which he lived and died in place of sinners. (Hebrews 8:1-3, hebrews 7:10-12, Hebrews 4:14-16)
A KING is a person who has supreme authority over a territory. Jesus stated, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus is the King of the true and lasting Kingdom. He is the one who appoints the kingdom’s citizens, speaks possessively of his kingdom, and who also bards those from entering into the gates of the kingdom. He is the Ruler, the Lord, and the true King. (John 3:1-10; 1 Timothy 6:15)
JESUS IS NOT SAFE, BUT HE IS GOOD
He is not safe, but He is good. He is the King that does what He pleases. It just so happens that it pleased this King to go to a cross to redeem a people for Himself. We hope and pray that you come to see and savor all that Jesus is for you. For your joy and the glory of God!