Saturday, December 8, 2018
Who Is Jesus?
At Christmas time, many celebrate the birth of infant Jesus. The story has much emotional appeal even for nonbelievers, thanks to the pregnancy of a young teen out of wedlock, the rejection she must have experienced from her community, her fear of losing her betrothed and even her life, and her fiance’s acceptance and protection of her and their infant (Luke 1:30-38; Matthew 1:18-25).
Then there is the dramatic appeal that lends itself to nativity displays and holiday pageants: the long, perilous journey of the young mother and her husband to Bethlehem, only to be relegated to a humble stable filled with barnyard animals; angels singing to shepherds on the hillside, filling the sky with glory and the air with song; the shepherds running to the manger to worship the infant (Luke 2:4-20); the star of Bethlehem leading kings from exotic nations, bearing expensive treasures, to worship the future King (Matthew 2:1-11).
But who is Jesus, really? Those who identify themselves as Christians should believe that He is the Son of God (Luke 1:35; Galatians 4:4; Matthew 3:17), sent in human form by God the Father (John 1:14) to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice to pay our sin debt by dying on the cross, to reconcile sinful man to holy God (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).
Christians should believe that after an earthly ministry of teaching, healing, and being a perfect example of obedience to God (John 5:30), that Jesus not only died willingly at 33 years of age, but that He rose again on the third day (John 10:17), so that all who trust Him have eternal life (John 3:16).
Many people, even those from non-Christian religions, believe that Jesus was a good man, healer, and teacher, and they even acknowledge that he died on the cross. But fewer people accept the supernatural dimensions of the Christmas story and of Jesus’ life – that He was born to a virgin (Jeremiah 31:22; Luke 1:27-38; Matthew 1:20-23), that He performed many miracles (John 2:11; 20:30-31; 21:25), that He rose from the dead (Matthew 17:9; 28:7; John 2:22; 21:14; Acts 17:3; 1 Corinthians 15:20), and that He ascended into Heaven (John 3:13; Ephesians 4:10).
Those who place their faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6) have accepted Him as our Redeemer (Job 19:25; Psalm 19:14; Isaiah 47:4), Who alone (Acts 4:12) can save us (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13) from eternal punishment in hell that our sins deserve (Romans 10:13). His completed work on the cross (John 19:30) was sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world (Acts 17:31; 1 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:21), and His perfect righteousness enrobes all who trust Him (Romans 3:22; Isaiah 61:10).
Jesus is the Messiah (John 4:25) promised in Old Testament prophecy to deliver us from our sin (Daniel 9:25-26). He is the great High Priest Who once and for all delivered us from all our sins (Hebrews 10:10-14), and Who now sits at the right hand of God the Father (Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 7:56; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 10:12; 12:2) interceding for us and defending us against the accusations of Satan (Romans 8:34).
Yet He is so much more! In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9). Jesus Christ, the Word, is the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:13-16), the Son of God Who was made flesh to save us (John 1:14). From the beginning He was with God and He is God (John 1:1; 10:30; Philippians 2:6), and without Him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3). Not only did He speak the worlds into existence (Genesis 1; Psalm 33:6-9), but He continues to sustain the universe, holding the planets in their orbit, the stars in their course, and our lives in the palm of His hand (Colossians 1:12-20).
Our Lord Jesus Christ is not only the beginning, present throughout eternity past, but also the ending, the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13), the King Who will reign over the Millennial Kingdom and beyond through eternity future. Truly He is the same, yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
As we celebrate the Nativity, let us not lose sight of the fact that the tender Infant laid in that lowly manger was actually our Creator; He is our Redeemer, Sustainer and High Priest; and He will be our King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16) to Whom every knee will bow (Romans 14:11) and every tongue confess His glory!
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
© 2018 Laurie Collett