BASIC BIBLE PRINCIPLES
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21);
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (v. 23);
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
The birth of Jesus was a miracle; his conception was brought about by the power of God, the Holy Spirit. He had a human mother, Mary, but his father was God, not Joseph. By this, Jesus was both Son of man and Son of God. His birth was greeted with joy by the angels in heaven, and with rejoicing on earth by those men and women who had anticipated his coming. The references above show that here was one who was to be a saviour for those condemned through sin to death, one who would show the character and purpose of God to men and women through his life and teachings, and one who would ultimately rule God’s Kingdom on earth.
He was born at a time of God’s choosing—“when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman” (Gal. 4:4)—in fulfilment of promises and prophecies given over thousands of years and faithfully recorded in the Old Testament. In Luke 24 we see the Lord Jesus, after his resurrection, confirming this to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (v. 27) and to the eleven gathered at Jerusalem (v. 44). The Law, the Prophets and the Psalms all speak of the one who was to come, born of a woman, destined to suffer and die as a sacrifice for sin, yet to be raised and then reign gloriously. The New Testament opens by confirming his link to the promises made to David and Abraham: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mt. 1:1).
Son of man
Although Jesus was conceived by the power of God, he bore the same nature as all men, and was subject to trial and temptation just as we are. It was not that he was unable to sin because he was the Son of God, but that he chose not to, even though he had a nature that would prompt him to follow fleshly desires. Here is the greatness of his victory. He among the millions of men is the only one who could say to his enemies, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” (Jno. 8:46). The writer to the Hebrews makes the point very clearly: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (4:15).
This victory over sin, this complete obedience to the will of God, was not something that was achieved easily. Again in Hebrews we read of Jesus: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him That was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (5:7,8). The Lord Jesus Christ was the only one who could say, “not my will, but Thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42), and fulfil this in every aspect of his life, even to the laying down of his life on the cross.
So we see that Scripture clearly shows us the humanity of Christ, and how essential it was that he should be of the same nature as all men, that in overcoming sin he might be the perfect sacrifice for sin for all men and women.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus was always aware of the responsibility that he carried and what lay before him—death on the cross. His knowledge of Old Testament passages that spoke of his betrayal and suffering, such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, must have been a heavy burden to carry. Yet he did not turn from the path set out before him, but, “when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk. 9:51). Twice Matthew records that he tried to make his disciples aware of the suffering, death and resurrection he was to experience (17:22,23; 20:17-19).
Thus he completed the work that God had set him to do, having declared, “Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God”. The result is that “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ” (Heb. 10:9,10). It was his complete obedience to the will of his heavenly Father that made his sacrifice acceptable and his resurrection sure. To him is due all praise and glory, for he has made eternal life possible for men and women by his overcoming of sin and death:
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9,10).
The Old Testament principle, established in Eden, that without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sin, and confirmed in the Passover when Israel came out of Egypt, was fulfilled in Christ for us: “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7).
Son of God and King of kings
All the Gospels declare early on that Jesus was the Son of God (Mt. 3:17; Mk. 1:1; Lk. 1:32; Jno. 1:14-18). Because he was born by the power of God, he was the Son of God, and had the strength to overcome his human nature (Ps. 80:17; Isa. 11:2-5). As God’s Son he had a desire to hear and obey his Father: “The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back . . . For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” (Isa. 50:5,7). Because of his claim to Divine Sonship, the Jews tried to stone him (Jno. 10:29-39), and his confession that he was the Son of God was used as grounds for condemning him to death (Mt. 26:63-66).
It was “for the joy that was set before him” that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame”, and as a result “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). As the Apostle Paul shows in Acts 13:33, the day of Christ’s resurrection was the day spoken of in Psalm 2:7 when God said, “Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten thee”. God brought Christ forth from the grave to die no more, and bestowed on him “a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), confirming his inheritance, even the Kingdom and the saints. Glory and majesty now belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, and will be his in the Kingdom age, as is clearly seen in the Scriptures (Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:10,11).
The Lord Jesus Christ has made it possible for men and women ultimately to dwell with God.
“This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (Jno. 17:3).
This leaflet is produced by The Testimony Magazine, 26 Tiercel Avenue, Norwich NR7 8JN, to encourage personal and ecclesial study of Bible principles. Further copying for distribution is encouraged.