The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
If you are reading this, you probably want a rather straight forward answer about this man named Jesus and I offer a brief answer to that in the next two paragraphs for those who will never read this entire article. If you will though, let me say that if you wanted to realize the scope of the claims He and His followers made concerning Who He is – you would immediately realize that a short and sweet definition could never hope to capture the true answer to the question…Who is Jesus?
Nevertheless, a brief answer is this – Jesus IS the Lord and Savior of all humanity.
Lord means the One with supreme authority concerning something or someone.
Savior means just that – He is the One Who rescues us from separation from God.
He is the ONLY way to have peace with God and this is achieved by:
- Recognizing Who He is as both God and Savior
- Surrendering your role as “sovereign” over your own heart and life to Him
- Acknowledge Him as you forever Lord. This is done TO the Lord directly in prayer and as a confession you make before the world. This is often symbolized by baptism.
True faith (belief) in Jesus is not simply a mental ascent to facts you’ve learned about Him and which you passively agree are true. True faith, is actual reliance upon Him – a leaning of your whole self in surrender to His strength and governance. He literally becomes your Lord by a honest decision of heart in trust, accompanied with a confession of Him to God and before men as your Lord.
Romans 10:9,10 says it this way,
“(9) If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Once you have done this you are literally transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. You are made brand new and become a child of God. Jesus stated very clearly, that He was the ONLY way to the Father! While there may be MANY paths (like this article) which led you to Jesus – there is only ONE way to the Father and that is through faith in (unswerving reliance up) His Son, Jesus Christ!
This having been said, if you truly want to better understand Who Jesus is, you will need at least ONE term under you belt before you can continue. That word is “Godhead”.
It is a simple term with a simple meaning which has HUGE implications. Without knowing this word – understanding Who Jesus is – would quite literally be impossible and His claims would seem immediately to be lies.
“Godhead”, is a term used to represent what many call the Trinity. That is the fact that God is not three personalities of a single entity, but that there are literally three people Who composite the reality that IS God…and Jesus is One of those persons. The other two persons being Who we call the Father God and the Holy Spirit.
So, the first and most important things to know about the Lord Jesus Christ is that He IS and has ALWAYS BEEN an eternal part of the Godhead. He IS God! We will come back to this later…it really is much simpler than it sounds.
Jesus appears throughout the Bible. He is known by many names since all His titles are descriptive of His person and being God, that would take a few names to capture!
According to scripture, Jesus was eternally referred to as ‘The Word’ prior to His incarnation and that He currently is known by that title. Also in the distant future, during what is referred to as the Millennial Reign of Christ, He will be called by that name again (I John 5:7; John 1:1,2; Rev.19:13).
As ‘The Word’, He was the One member of the Godhead Who was actively involved in the act of creation (John 1:1-3) precisely and absolutely literally as stated in the book of Genesis. This in no way contradicts that the Father was the Creator. In fact all three members of the Godhead were directly involved in the process, but the following verse demonstrates the creative process between the Father and the Son.
“God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds;” ~ Heb. 1:1-2
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” ~ John 1:1-4
Jesus Christ was ‘The Word’ physically incarnate as testified to by both biblical and natural historical accounts. We believe His incarnation to be COMPLETELY literal (Heb. 10:5) and of a literal virgin birth made possible by the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit and God the Father.
Luke 1:35 “The angel replied to her: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” – Holman Christian Standard (Emphasis added)
His earthly name of ‘Jesus’ was given to Him by God as a title representing His earthly mission, for Jesus means savior (Matt. 1:21).
We believe that throughout the Old and New Testaments, Jesus (The Word), has been referred to by many names and that these names, as given by God, are functional in nature.
He is referred to as:
- Immanuel – Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23
- Wonderful – Isa. 9:6
- Counselor – Isa. 9:6
- Mighty God – Isa. 9:6
- Everlasting Father – Isa. 9:6
- Prince of Peace (King of Salem) – Isa. 9:6
- Son of Man – Daniel 7:13; Matt. 9:6; 26:64
- Holy One (particularly in reference to His earthly body) – Ps. 16:10; Mk. 1:24; Acts 3:14
- KING of Kings – I Tim. 6:15
- LORD or Lords – I Tim. 6:15
- Sovereign – I Tim. 6:15
- The Word – I John 5:7; John 1:1,2; Rev.19:13
- Jesus – Matt. 1:21
- Christ – Matt. 16:16; 26:63; Jn. 11:27; 20:31;
- Messiah – Daniel 9:25, 26; Jn. 1:41
- …and many, many more!
Jesus Christ was physically of Jewish descent.
Both Mary His mother and Joseph His father had a lineage which could be traced directly to King David who himself was of the tribe of Judah of Israel.
Now, while Joseph was in fact Jesus’ earthly parent he did not participate in the conception of Jesus.
The Bible prophecies of the birth of Jesus being a virgin birth. As such, He was without an earthly father in order that He might be born without a nature inclined towards sin, because the Bible also teaches that sin is transferred though the blood – Lev. 17:11,14; 1 Cor. 15:22.
Jesus’ blood had to be without sin or any defilement of any kind in order for its shedding to fully pay the purchase price of redemption for humanity and all of creation (Rom. 8).
Jesus Christ was subjected to every temptation which is common to mankind yet NEVER having swerved in His entire allegiance to God.
Jesus NEVER sinned in any way whatsoever at any time whatsoever.
His blood remained fully holy throughout His life in order to be a sacrifice without sin, and it is in this way that we believe in a theological concept known as Penal Substitutionary Redemption – yeah, it’s a theological term, but and to make it worse it actually has several variations. However, at it’s core – Penal Substitutionary Redemption means that Jesus took the sentence of death upon Himself which was due the human race because of our rebellion against our Creator. It was not due to God’s “white hot” anger at mankind, but His unwavering fidelity to the nature of the Godhead – which image humanity defiled. This is what made this supreme sacrifice necessary. For God to simply overlook the defilement would be to place mankind on a level of honor and importance above Those Whose image they bear and Whose image they betrayed and defiled. If God so honored us as the creation above the Godhead (our Creators), it would have been to say we, as the house, are worthy of more honor than our Builder – which in itself would have been a lie. God CANNOT lie – so redemption was necessary! This should not be too outlandish a thought for humans since all humans have in innate sense of justice and need to right wrongs rather than just ignore them. We get that from being created in the image of our Creators.
Jesus Christ was physically male and that this was absolutely necessary from a redemptive (not a cultural) standpoint.
Sin entered the world through the man (Rom. 5:12) – Adam.
It was through one man that sin entered the bloodline of the family of mankind. Due to this it was men – not women – who were circumcised into the covenant and that in this way symbolically man was cutting off the dead and external by the shedding of blood in the organ which perpetuates the human family blood line. Therefore circumcision was symbolic of a perpetual (and by extension) eternal covenant. Much of the truth of this is due to the nature of blood as described in Lev. 17.
As such, we believe it therefore require the sinless, pure and holy blood of a male in order to redeem and sanctify mankind once again (Lev. 17:11) and once for all (Heb. 9:12). There has only been on man since Adam Who fits this bill and that is Jesus Christ.
“For the soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the soul.” ~ Lev. 17:11
Man is the propagator of the bloodline and the fact that the basic family unit was placed under man makes redemption a male responsibility. Woman was made FOR man and functions as his glory – I Cor. 11:9. Man was made for God and exists for His glory – I Cor. 11:7. Since sin is an issue between God and man – a male had to be sacrificed.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He did not represent His Own agenda, His Own thoughts or purposes, but He fully and completely submitted Himself to God the Father as a human, even though still in actual nature, Jesus was fully God. This is an example of why good translations and study are necessary. Phil. 2:5-8 DOES NOT say Jesus forsook and left behind His former God-like qualities to become human. In fact, it clearly acknowledges that while human, He still had His Divine nature and all of its ensuing properties. The passage, if clearly translated, reads,
“Who in His true essence of being was fully God, esteemed equality with God a reality to not be tightly grasped, but instead MADE Himself of no reputation, taking on the additional nature of a bondservant, and being born as a human male, and thus obtaining the appearance of a man, He humbled Himself and BECAME obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross.” ~ Php. 2:6-8 (also see Jn. 8:28,29; 12:49,50).
These verses DO NOT imply that Jesus ever became less than fully God, but that in terms of the sum of His parts – He actually became more than God because He was now both God and man.
These verses stress what Jesus took ON – not that He ever left anything of His nature behind.
Jesus’ personal statement of Himself was totally true, when He said,
“Whoever has seen Me, has seen the Father” – John 14:7-9
Jesus Christ literally and physically died on the cross at Gethsemane outside of Jerusalem even as the scriptures predicted and record.
No man had the power to take His life, rather – He offered it up freely by the aid of the Holy Spirit. [Jn. 10:17,18; Heb. 7:27; 9:14.]
Jesus took upon Himself (within His Own body) the sins of the whole world throughout time – I Peter 2:24.
In His sinless death He shed blood and water and that blood provided 100% remission of all humanity’s sins throughout time – (past, present & future).
Jesus was buried as scripture claims, and remained dead for 3 days. This was a scriptural prediction and was to be understood within a Jewish framework of understanding.
Now I know it will “sounds like” a workaround for what really happened, but there is MUCH history to support what constituted a “day” in Jewish culture. Technically, any portion of a day was considered a day. This is even true, to a lesser degree, in English.
If you were on vacation and arrived in a town on a Tuesday night and were asked later on what “day” you arrived, you would say “Tuesday”. You may or may not parse it out as to the hour – but no one expects that it doesn’t count as Tuesday just because you weren’t here for a full 24 hours. So, while Jesus was not dead for a full 72 hours, this constitutes no breech of scripture nor prophecy when viewed by the Jewish mind – which was it’s original and intended audience.
If one views the death of Jesus in this way, which is the only way TO view it, then according to Jewish calendar of days and the dates upon which the feasts and festivals fell that year, Jesus was dead for 3 days.
On the 3rd day He literally, physically arose from the dead by the agency of the Father’s personal Glory and the Holy Spirit – Rom. 6:4 & 8:11. They gave Him the power to take up His life again! – John 10:17-18.
He was glorified and received power and authority composite within His Holy Name – Jesus – Col. 2:10; Phil. 2:9-11.
The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and our justification is made a certain and sure reality by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
Jesus Christ is the One and ONLY way to the Father. There IS NO OTHER WAY TO GOD!!!! There may be MANY paths which lead to Jesus, Who is God, but Jesus is the only way to the Father and THAT is what salvation IS!
The Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father where, as our High Priest, He continues to fulfill the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate – Acts 2:32,33; Heb. 10:12,13; I Jn. 2:1; Rom. 8:34.
Jesus Christ has acted as High Priest, Intercessor and Advocate for all humanity ever since (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2). We, as mankind partake of this redemption and salvation through absolute reliance upon His Person, His finished work of redemption on the cross and our honest confession of Him as our Lord (not just savior). Salvation has been already purchased once for all and is continually offered to all mankind, but must be RECEIVED by faith – Heb. 7:17-28; Rom. 9:9,10; Jn. 1:9; 2:2. If we reject it, there is no other hope for salvation.
It is the will of the entire Godhead that ALL MANKIND are saved and come to embrace the love of these truths – I Tim. 2:4.
Jesus Christ will in reality come again for those Who know Him and love with anticipation His return – II Tim. 4:1,8.
Against Jesus the beast, the false prophet and the anti-christ will make war – Rev. 19:19.
Following these events Jesus will bind satan for 1,000 literal years (Rev. 20:1-6) and throughout this time Jesus will reign on the earth in bodily form.
This is referred to by many as the millennial reign of Christ.
We believe that following His millennial reign, satan will be release for a short time and then the final end of this age will come – Rev. 20:7-15.
After these things, death itself will be made subject to Jesus, every living being in heaven and earth will Glorify God the Father by acknowledging once for all that His Son, Jesus the Christ, IS Lord.
At this point, Jesus will renovate the entire world by fire and make all things new. – Rev. 21:5.
Once Jesus has made subject everything to Himself, He will deliver the kingdom to the Father and will Himself, be subject to Him forever. This is important that we might really realize the price that was paid for us. Even though Jesus IS a member of the Godhead – He is and forever will remain part of creation as a human and therefore, it is fitting that the Kingdom be delivered to the Father.
From that moment on and forever more, we will forever be with God. He will dwell in us and we will dwell with Them and His Kingdom and reign will be forever and ever.
(Also see – Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)
I know this was a LOT of information but believe it or not this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have ANY questions or comments, I would consider it a privilege to hear from you.