Fundamental 3. 

Jesus Christ: Son of God – Born to Die


Truly, the World’s most amazing Life Story.

Christ – because He is God- existed long before He was BORN.

He was with God “IN” the beginning!  John 1:1

We believe as it is written in the scriptures, that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God; yet completely God and one with the Father.

I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)

Jesus is the Mediator between God and humankind, having been sent by God to earth to die for us and forgive our sins. 

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my hand. (John 1:29) 

Consider this scenario:  If you were to wander into a local Religion MegaMart with the purpose of picking up a handy, genuine, high-quality religion; after all “religion’’ is a way to think about God or better yet to have a relationship with Him, what would you be shopping for?

  • Convenience?
  • “Politically” correct moral teachings? Political correctness is the thing of today!
  • Openness to other beliefs? We must be considerate of others beliefs, customs and life styles.
  • Uplifting ceremonies? Loud and lively or quiet and subdued, intellectual church services.

I personally, immediately came to realize that if we were to answer “yes” to any of the above, we would probably walk right on by the Christianity aisle.

You see, Christianity sets itself apart from any other religion, not only because of its message but also because of its Messenger, Jesus Christ.

The same way there are multiple denominations in the world, there are multiple religions.  But of the major religions of the world, only three are monotheistic, meaning they believe that there is but one God.  Those religions are Judaism, Islam and Christianity

Dr. W. H. Griffith Thomas wrote a book entitled Christianity Is Christ.  And that title sums up the heart and uniqueness of Christianity.  Buddha is not essential to the teaching of Buddhism, or Muhammad to Islam, but the person and work of Jesus Christ determine everything about Christianity.

In fact, the founder of Christianity made it clear that we can’t call ourselves a Christian if we like the teachings of this religion even follow them daily but we reject the Teacher” as” God!

Christianity owes its life, its substance and its character in every detail to Christ.

 He was:

  • The author of its teachings
  • The object of its doctrine.
  • The origin of its salvation.
  • The fulfillment of its hopes,
  • The source of its power.
  • The founder of its church, and
  • The one who gave the Holy Spirit as a legacy to those who believe. 

But who is this man, Jesus Christ?

In retrospect, wasn’t His identity the central emphasis, or issue, if you will, of His ministry? He asked his disciple Peter, “Who do you say I am?” (Mathew. 16:15)   

This remains, even today, the pivotal question of Christianity as the history of the church has shown. 

Jesus was and is Fully God.  And, we take Jesus’ claims seriously:

1. Jesus claimed to be God in human form.  If He was a fraud, all the wonderful teaching in the New Testament is fraudulent, too.

2. Jesus claimed to rise from the dead and claim to be alive still.

His disciples made the same radical claim about Him.  If He and His disciples lied, the Christian faith is a lie too.

3. Jesus invites His followers into an experience that is beyond worship, one that includes daily friendship as well.  No other religion can propose this sort of amazing familiarity with the founder.  (That would be impossible since those founders are six feet underground). 

We might be encouraged to know that questions surrounding Christ’s identity were swirling hundreds of years before He was born. 

History is full of men who have claimed that they came from God, or that they were gods or that they bore messages from God – Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Christ, Lao-tze and thousands of others, right down to the person who founded a new religion this very day.

Each of them has a right to be heard and considered.  But a yardstick, a measuring device, external to and outside of whatever is to be measured is needed

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There must be some permanent tests available to all men, all civilizations, and all ages, by which all can decide whether any one of these individuals, or all of them, are justified in their claims.

Two types of tests were used: reason and history.  Reason, because everyone has it, even those without faith; and history, because everyone lives in it and should know something about it.

Wouldn’t reason dictate that if any one of these men actually came from God that God would support his claim?  At the very least wouldn’t you think God would pre-announce His coming?

Throughout the Old Testament, God promised the Jews that He would send a king who would establish God’s kingdom on earth.  This “deliverer” was referred to as the Messiah.  He would be God coming down to earth.

So if God sent anyone from Himself, or if He came Himself with a vitally important message for all men, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that He would 1. Let men know when His messenger was coming. 2.  Where He would be born. 3.  Where He would live.  4. The doctrine He would teach.  5. The enemies He would make.  6. The program He would adopt for the future.  And 7, the manner of His death.

To the extinct any one of the messengers conformed to these announcements, one could judge the validity of his claims.

Now reason should further assure us that if God did not do this, then there would be nothing to prevent any impostor from appearing in history and saying “I come from God,” or “An angel appeared to me in the night and gave me this message.

In such cases there would be no objective, historical way of testing the messenger.

To each individual making such a claim, reason says, “What record was there before you were born that you were coming?”

With this test one could evaluate the claims being made. (At this preliminary stage, Christ would be no greater than the others).

Socrates had no one to foretell his birth.  Nor did Buddha have anyone to pre-announce him and his message.

Confucius did not have the name of his mother or birthplace recorded, nor were they given to men centuries before he arrived so that when he did come, men would know that he was indeed a messenger from God.

But with Christ it was different.   Predictions in the Old Testament about this Messiah were many and specific.  These predictions are referred to as prophecies because prophets were the ones who announced them.  All gave clues as to how the Messiah could be identified, where and when He would be born, His family tree, when and how He would die, and more.

There were no predictions about Buddha, Confucius, Lao-tze, Mohammed, or anyone else but Christ.  Others just came and said, “Here I am, believe me.”  They were only men among men and not the Divine in the human.  Christ alone stepped out of that line saying, “Search the writings of the Jewish people and the related history of the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. “

The prophecies of the Old Testament can best be understood in light of their fulfillment:

When we look at the various Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, and compare the resulting picture with the life and work of Christ, can anyone doubt that those ancient predictions pointed to Jesus Christ and the kingdom that he alone would establish? 

Clues about the Messiah:

Would come from Israel – Numbers 24:17

From the tribe of Judah- Genesis 49:10
and Family of David –Isaiah 11:1

Born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2

Born of a Virgin – Isaiah 7:14

Childhood in Egypt – Isaiah 9:6

Announced by a Forerunner – Isaiah 40:3

Ride into Jerusalem on a Donkey – Zechariah – 9:9

Suffer for Sins of Others – Isaiah 53:4-6

Given vinegar on Cross – Psalm 69:21

No broken bones on Cross – Psalm 34:20

Men gamble for his clothes – Psalm 22:18

Specific dying Words – Psalm 22:1

Come back to life after dying – Psalm 16:9-10

Satisfied by Christ

Matthew 1:1-17

Luke 1:31-33

Luke 2:4, 6-7

Matthew1:18, 22-23

Matthew 2:13-21

Matthew 3:3

Matthew 21:2, 4-5

2 Corinthians 5:21

Matthew 27:34

John 19:33, 36

Matthew 27:35

Mark 15:34

Acts 2:31

From an historical point of view alone, here is uniqueness that sets Christ apart from all other founders of world religions.  And once the fulfillment of those prophecies did historically take place in the person of Christ, not only did all prophecies cease in Israel, but also there was a discontinuance of sacrifices when the true Paschal Lamb was sacrificed.

What separates Christ from all men is that first He was expected; even the Gentiles had a longing for a deliverer, or redeemer.  This fact alone distinguished Him from all other religious leaders.

A second distinguishing fact is that once He appeared, He struck history with such impact that He split it in two, dividing it into two periods, one before His coming, the other after it.

Buddha did not do this, or any of the great Indian philosophers.  Even those who deny God must date their attacks upon Him, A.D. (After His Death) so and so, or so many years after His coming.

A third fact separating Him from all the others is this:  every other person who ever came into this world came into it to live, He came into it to die. 

For Christ death was the goal and fulfillment of His life.  The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death.  But in the person of Christ, it was His death that was first and His life that was last.

The scripture describes Him as the “Lamb slain as it were, from the beginning of the world.“  He was slain in intention by the first sin and rebellion against God.  It was not so much that His birth cast a shadow on His life and thus led to His death, it was rather that the Cross-was first, and cast its shadow back to His birth. 

(His has been the only life in the world that was ever lived backward.) 

Jesus went from the known to the known, from the reason of His coming manifested by His name “Jesus” or “Savior” to the fulfillment of His coming, namely, His death on the Cross.

“Bethlehem became a link between heaven and earth.  God and man met here and looked each other in the face.  In the taking of human flesh, the Father prepared it, the Spirit formed it and the Son assumed it.  He Who had an eternal generation in the bosom of the Father now had a temporal generation in time.  He Who had His birth in Bethlehem came to be born in the hearts of men.” For what would it profit if He were born a thousand times in Bethlehem unless He was born again in man?

So when asked, who is this man Jesus? Is He God? 

What does John 1:1 tell us?  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. “ And in John 1:14, “and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

The Divine Nature, which was pure and holy, came into a sinful and corrupted world to die for our sins.  He himself was without sin neither was He affected by the corruption in the world.  Through the Virgin Birth, Jesus Christ became operative in human history without being subject to the evil in it.

Jesus was not only fully God – He was also fully man, fully human. If He were not fully human, He could not have represented us on the Cross.

Christ did not gain one perfection more by becoming man, nor did He lose anything of what He possessed as God.  There was the Almightiness of God in the movement of His arm, the Infinite Love of God in the beatings of His human heart and the Unmeasured Compassion of God to sinners in His eyes.

God is now manifest in the flesh; this is what is called the Incarnation.  The whole range of the divine attributes, such as power and goodness, justice, love, beauty, were in Him.  And when Our Divine Lord acted and spoke, God in His perfect nature became manifest/evident/obvious to those who saw Him and heard Him and touched Him.  As He told Philip later on:  “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. John 14:9.

As a man He has gone through our human experience (Hebrews 2:16 – 18) and He is fully able to understand and sympathize with us.

Jesus referred to Himself as a man; “As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God” (John 8:40)

In the Gospel Jesus called himself the “Son of Man” eighty times.

What men call the Incarnation is but the union of two natures, the Divine and the human in a single Person Who governs both.

Jesus is not man becoming God, but God incarnate coming into human flesh, coming into it from the outside. His life is the highest and holiest entering in at the lowliest door.

This should not be too difficult to understand; for what is man but a sample, at an immeasurably lower level, of a union of two totally different substances, one material, and the other immaterial, one the body, and the other the soul under the ruling control of a single human personality.  In other words flesh and spirit.

God, who brings together body and soul into one human personality, notwithstanding their difference of nature, could surely bring about the union of a human body and human soul with His Divinity under the control of His Eternal Person.  This is what is meant by  “And the word became flesh; and came to dwell among us.” John 1:14

The Person that assumed human nature was not created, as is the case of all other persons.  His Person was the pre-existent Word or Logos.  In other words, He always was!!

Christ’s humanity was as real and genuine as His deity.  We must maintain belief in both, emphasizing neither at the expense of the other.

St. Athanasius said, relative to Jesus two natures, “He became what He was not; He continued to be what He was”!!!!

  1. A. Finlayson once wrote “However we explain it, Jesus’ two natures, saving faith has always reached out to One who is perfect man, true God, the one Christ. In the strength and fellowship of this faith we, as Christians, are called to abide.”

A proper knowledge of Christ’s person is crucial in understanding His work.  If He were not the God-man, His work could not have eternal and personal significance for us.

There is no more succinct and clear explanation of Jesus Christ’s coming than an early Christian hymn in Philippians 2:6-11:

He had the very nature of God.

He made Himself nothing.

He humbled Himself.

He became obedient to death.

He even went to death on a cross.

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This is the Bible’s answer to “Who is Jesus Christ?”


04 Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Summary Fundamental

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