Who is Jesus?

jesus-shepherdJesus was a real man in history who was born during the reign of Caesar Augustus (when Rome controlled Israel), ministered, crucified, died, buried, and rose again. His life, death, and resurrection touched thousands then, and billions since. Real people witnessed His birth, ministry, death, return to life, and ascension. Some of them wrote about these remarkable events in a collection of books known as God’s Word, or “The Holy Bible”.

Jesus is the Son of God. God, our Father and Creator, first promised the coming of the Saviour to Adam and Eve after their fall into sin when He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” [Genesis 3:15]. From then throughout the Old Testament, prophets and others among God’s people spoke and wrote of His coming and work of atonement for all people; Isaiah chapters 42,49-56 is one of the greatest examples of these prophecies concerning Jesus.

Jesus is both God and man. Through miracles, the casting out of demons, and the authority of His teaching Jesus confirmed His divinity; Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 1:21-28; Luke 7:1-10; John 11:1-46; John 21:24-25. God incarnate as a man is a wonderful mystery beyond human reason to comprehend in this world.

Jesus personifies God’s love.  Because of Adam and Eve sinned, all are corrupted with sin from conception and are cursed by death in this world as a punishment. Sin is the cause of every evil act, incessant temptation, hurtful word, terrible calamity, harmful transgression,   blasphemous thought, and statement of unbelief. But this existence was never God’s intent at creation. He desires all to be saved [2 Peter 3:9]. And so out of His love for us He came down to us as Jesus, His Son, the personification of love.

His apostle, John, records this in his first letter:

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” [1 John 4:7-10]

Our sins are atoned for and we are forgiven through repentance in faith. Out of His boundless love, God, as His Son Jesus, paid the ultimate price for our sin through His innocent suffering and death so that we could live with Him forever [Romans 6:1-5].

‘The Crucifixion’ (Andrea Mantegna – 1457/59)

By Jesus’ promise, all who accept God’s gift of faith [Ephesians 2:8] and believe in Jesus [Acts 4:10-12] are guaranteed eternal life with Him in heaven after we die, and in the new creation [Revelation 2:10, 21-22] when He returns again on a day that no one in this world or heaven knows [Matthew 24:36,42-44; Acts 1:6-11]!

In his book, Mere Christianity, author and apologist C.S. Lewis said of believing in Jesus:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

‘The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road’ (James Tissot – 1886/94)