Chronicle number one of God’s gospel dealt with the great problem man has before God. It showed the doctrine of condemnation. All need the gospel for all share in the bad news. All, religious and nonreligious, are not just sinners but stand guilty for their sin before God.
For example, one might go out to his garden to get a head of cabbage and find the cabbage is all mushy and rotten. He does not, however, call the police and press charges against the cabbage. For though the cabbage is bad, it is not guilty; it had no moral responsibility. It was just a victim of its environment. But if a thief broke into his house and stole his goods, cabbages included, now he presses charges for the thief was morally responsible and therefore guilty.
This guilt of mankind is not based on feelings or fantasy but on a just process in a divine, legal court of law. (See Chronicle #1 from Romans 1-3 in the Scriptures).
All humanity is guilty before God. This verdict is not based on personal opinion but on God’s legal court with the justice of law.
The person seeking God should not just realize, "I need God to help fix my life." Nor should the attitude be, "I am worth it to have a better life and, therefore, need God’s help." Nor, “to confirm my self-esteem I need to recognize a higher power that loves me."
The attitude God seeks is taking one’s rightful place as a guilty sinner. That is, God seeks one who confesses that he or she is deserving of God’s righteous judgment and in need of God’s salvation on His terms: humble repentance and faith alone. The Son of God taught that the man who said, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” went home justified.
Because God is love, He is not content to leave humanity in the state of guilty condemnation. He has provided salvation. God’s salvation is not found in popular religion, programs, philosophy, or psychology but a Person.
This chronicle will present God’s Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Romans proclaims the gospel of God, it claims that it is "concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord" (1:3).
There are four areas of interest we want to consider about the Person of Jesus the Lord.
a. The Identity of Jesus Christ
b. The Character of Jesus Christ
c. The Role of Jesus Christ
d. The Proof of Jesus Christ
The Identity of the Savior
Holy Scriptures unmistakably reveal Jesus of Nazareth as the second personality of the one triune God. Before His incarnation His name was "the Word". "The Word was God", we are told, and it was by this Word that all things were created. He is truly the "Lord of glory" (John 1:1-3, 14).
A word is simply the expression of one’s heart and thoughts. When "the Word became flesh" (a human person) He visibly expressed the invisible God. The Son has revealed, or declared, the Father (John 1:18). The Greek word for declared is "exegeomai". It’s where we get our word exegesis, which means to interpret, explain or unfold.
In other words, the Lord Jesus is the visible interpretation and understanding of God the Father. His words and works are the expression of the Father’s heart. To reject Jesus is to reject God.
God the Father is the designer of the gospel. Jesus the Son does the visible work for the Father. The Holy Spirit imparts the life of the Son in the believer (2 Cor. 13:14, Eph. 1:4, 7, 5:18). The Spirit takes the objective things of Christ and brings them into a subjective experience in our hearts. It would be impossible for the man, Jesus, to indwell all believers but it is accomplished by the Spirit who is God (Acts 5:3).
For example, one hospital might have the doctor who prescribes a medicine, the pharmacist who prepares it and the nurse who dispenses it.
God reveals Himself in Genesis 1:1 as "Elohiym" which is plural but has a singular meaning. A cluster of grapes has many like grapes in it. Yet we call it a cluster, not clusters – a plurality of one. As another example, I am a father, a husband and a son in one person.
Yet another example of the one triune God is one molecule of water which has three atoms (H2O). When at room temperature it is liquid. When at freezing temperature it is solid ice. When at boiling temperature it is a gaseous steam. It always retains the exact properties of H2O while in different forms and roles. Also, when one has the exact temperature and pressure, H20 enters triple point where it can be water, ice and gas at the same time.
Nature gives the examples and the Word gives us the teaching that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The Character of the Savior
Holy Scripture declares that God was manifest in the flesh (1Tim. 3:16). He that hath seen me hath seen the Father, proclaimed the Son, John 14:9.
As a man, Christ Jesus would be tempted in all points (body, eye and self-will) (Heb. 4:15, 1 Jn. 2:16). However, unlike us, His temptation would be from without (Satan, Matt. 4) and not from within (indwelling sin). Sometimes manufacturers will test a product for you, not to see if it will fail, but to prove to you it won’t. The testing of the second man, Jesus, was not to see if He would sin but to demonstrate He couldn’t, for He was God in the flesh.
The New Testament writers all stress His sinlessness, though in their different personalities.
Peter, the man of quick action and words writes about the Savior: "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth."
Paul, the man of many revelations and knowledge writes about the Savior: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin."
John, the man of inner emotion and love writes about the Savior: "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."
The Hebrews writer who exhorted people to go without their religious camp says: "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Christ’s perfection was accomplished by the virgin birth. Though human, He didn’t inherit sin which is passed through the line of the man (Rom. 5:12). With Him God was well pleased (Matt. 17:5).
Therefore, Christ Jesus alone qualifies as an acceptable sacrifice to God for He alone was fully acceptable in His life. He was perfect in His death for He was perfect in His life.
For example, you would not accept a steak presented to you, no matter how delicious, if in its preparation it fell on the floor and was contaminated by the dog. Because Christ’s life was uncontaminated by sin, His death alone counted as an acceptable substitutionary sacrifice to God.
The Role of the Savior
Though equality with God was already His, the Lord Jesus Christ did not selfishly cling to the privileges and authority that goes with that. He waived His rank over all the heavenly host where His every command was obeyed and every knee bowed in deserved reverence. He left the environment of painless paradise. He laid aside or veiled His clothing of brilliant glory (Matt. 17).
He didn’t become a cherub or an archangel but a mere man. As a man, He did not become a king or a president or a sports hero but rather a slave. As a slave He obeyed everything. He just didn’t obey the positve things like doing miracles, but obeyed even to the death of a criminal’s punishment: the cross (Philp. 2:6-8).
Christ never ceased to be what He intrinsically was because of what He became.
For example, the president of a large company leaves the position of president and becomes the mail boy. While he left the rank and privileges of president and will no longer be found sitting as the head of the board making decisions, having his coffee brought to him, or being chauffeured in a limousine – he never stops being who he was. He is the same human being.
Old Testament Picture
In Exodus we find that the ephod (vest) of the high priest was to be an interwoven garment of linen fabric and gold metal. The gold was to be beaten into thin strands of thread and intricately interwoven into the varied colored fabric. Thus you would have one high priest’s ephod which would be a combination of fabric and precious metal (Exodus 39:1-3). Depending on the light, sometimes the garment would appear as shining gold and at other times as dark, drab material.
The gold speaks of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the fine linen, His spotless humanity. At different times, His divinity or humanity would be more evident.
This is why at times in the gospels, one will see the humanity of Jesus as obvious. He is under the Father’s authority. There He is seen as a servant obeying His Father’s will regardless of the consequences. There He is subject to human frailties and pain. He falls asleep and eats with sinners. There He doesn’t know the day or hour of His coming for His authority (the Father) did not reveal it yet. There, rather than giving orders, He takes them and willingly acknowledges the Father’s superior rank over His slavery. There He obeys to the death of the cross and suffers as an apparent weakling.
At other times He creates, reveals the future, forgives sin, controls nature’s fury, and displays the raw power of God in raising a decaying corpse from death.
The Proof of the Savior
The Father does not ask one to have blind faith, nor to "throw away one’s brain." He gives two undeniable evidences to the reality of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on which to rest one’s faith. As Romans 1:2-4 states concerning the Person of God’s gospel:
Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures, Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
There is the evidence of prophecy and the evidence of resurrection.
A. The Evidence of Prophesy
To predict things accurately requires Divine attributes. One would have to foreknow the future. And how about the power to arrange it to happen? The longer the prediction, the more it defies logic. One might predict the winner of the super bowl a few weeks beforehand, but they have much information about the teams. However, to accurately predict the superbowl winner 700 years ahead of time is a different story. In Isaiah 41:21-26, God challenges other gods (religions) to predict the future accurately as a proof of their claims of realism. God alone has taken the risk of prophecy to present His Savior so you can be assured of Him.
|Exact Location of Birth -Country – Israel
County – Judah
City – Bethlehem
|Jesus Our Lord|
|Exact Racial Roots –
A Semite- from Abraham
A Jew- from Jacob (Israel)
Royalty- from King David
|Time coming- before destruction of second Jewish temple- He came before AD 70||539 BC
|Exact type of transportation- a young unbroken donkey- thy king cometh…riding on an ass||516 BC
|Would be rejected-crucify Him … we have no king but Ceasar||712 BC
|Exact amount He would be sold out for- thirty pieces of silver||494 BC
|Exact method by which He would die- pierced hands and feet-crucifixion||993 BC
|Exact drink He would be given in death- gall with vinegar||993 BC
|Exact dying words-"My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me"||993 BC
|Exact words of enemies- "He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him"||993 BC
|Exact type of burial for body- make grave among the rich||712 BC
Those who study the science of mathematical probability claim that for one person to fulfil just 8 aged predictions accurately would be the possibility of 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That’s one in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
B. The Evidence of Resurrection
As the ancient prophets predicted, the Messiah was rejected and crucified. He rose again. Though cut off, He lives again to see a seed or offspring as also forecasted (Isa. 53:8-10). It was man who crucified Him but it was God who raised Jesus from the dead. Now by resurrection we have two verdicts of Jesus Christ.
Verdict 1 – Man with his religion
Christ was worthy of death for blasphemy– claiming to be God. Though He was a good teacher of moral and family values and showed social compassion with His miracles, He deserved capital punishment, the cross.
Verdict 2 – God
God disagreed with man’s verdict. Though God allowed His Son to die as a sin sacrifice, He showed He accepted it and Jesus by raising Him from the dead on the third day, and exalting Him as Lord to His own right hand.
God, by resurrection, declared and proved Jesus to be His accepted Son. Which verdict to you agree with? When one repents of man’s verdict and agrees with God’s that Jesus was right, God then counts that person as right (righteous) with Him (Rom. 10).
One cannot now say, "I am right with God" and disagree with God’s verdict: Jesus is Lord.
The Lord Jesus is the only one God raised from the dead and exalted to His throne. This is God’s assurance to all (verified and recorded by many witnesses, 1Cor. 15:3-9) that Jesus is indeed Lord and the coming Judge Who alone is to be believed (Acts 17:31). If God is perfectly satisfied with Christ Jesus and His sacrifice demonstrated by resurrection, shouldn’t you be?