Category Archives: Christology

Jesus, the way

Who is Jesus?

 

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Today we like to think we’re very enlightened, so much more educated than the ancients.  We think we’re bright enough to pick and choose aspects of different religions, tailoring our belief system, and we think this is some new thought.  Actually, the Pagans of centuries ago saw no problem with pledging allegiance to multiple deities from different backgrounds until they found what suited them.

Jesus was clear though when He spoke of the way to God.  Only He can serve as that bridge.  Only through belief on Him can we see heaven.  He is the only way.  We can try out custom-made religions, but in the end they’re empty, devoid of any true meaning.  Christ has the answer.

By God’s grace we’re saved; we can’t do anything to earn our way to Him.  But He extended this grace in the offering of His Son on our behalf for the forgiveness of sins.  This action by God just shows how He expects us to be reconciled to Him.  Only through Jesus.  And only means only.

 Look for this and other devotions about Jesus in the upcoming Exagorazo Press book entitled “Devotions for Disciples:  Who is Jesus?” due out in October 2011.

Jesus, the light of the world

John 8:12  Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

“Let there be light.”  These words were spoken and so it all began.  Time and all that exists came to be only after this one sentence brought about the beginning.  And then, in the course of human history, the true Light came into the world. The one who spoke light into being was the true Light, and in Him all can be enlightened (John 1:9).

Just as we stumble around in the darkness for lack of light, we stumble around in our sin, lost in it, without the Light of the World.  If we walk with Jesus, we will never walk in darkness because He will guide us.  He’ll be the lamp to our feet and the light to our path (Psalm 119:105).

Also, if we walk with Jesus we’ll ourselves be light to the world (Matthew 5:14).  In us, the world will see Him.  They’ll find hope in Him, they’ll see His love.  Our lives will bear witness to the One who sent us, just as His life bore witness to the One who sent Him (John 8:18).

So let His light shine through you.  Others may see it and turn to Him. (Matthew 5:16)

Jesus, the Word of God

Who is Jesus?

John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Before there was anything, He was there.  Before the world, before time, Jesus existed as God and with God.  Nothing that we know was made without Him.  He had His hand in it all – and He still does.

The Word became flesh.  He entered into time and put skin on for our benefit.  He lived and walked among us, to complete a life lived without sin in complete righteousness.  He was God’s revelation of Himself to man, eating and drinking among them, feeling their pain, and laying down His own life, on His own accord.

The treasure of heaven, God’s best, left and entered into His creation.  He bankrupted heaven to be born a baby to a virgin mother of no wealth.  The Word became a servant and showed us what love really is.  Jesus was and is, in every way, God’s way of showing Himself – His character, His love, His example, His sacrifice, His forgiveness.  He is God.

 

Jesus, the victorious one

Who is Jesus?

1 Corinthians 15:57  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

No matter what the scenario, Jesus wins.  Sin?  He conquers it.  Death?  He defeats it.  Enemies?  They stand no chance against the risen Son of God.  He wins – period.

The victory of Christ translates into our own lives, though we don’t always realize it and put it into practice.  The enemies that we face, the trials, the temptations, the suffering – His victory bought ours.  We are more than conquerers in Christ Jesus.  His victory is our victory.

We can’t achieve any of these victories on our own.  WIthout the power of Christ we’re utterly incapable and we’ll never win over anything.  But in Him we can’t lose.  If our goals are His goals and our desires are His desires, we’re assured of victory.

Jesus not only wins in the end, He’s already won.  He’s already triumphed over sin and death, already crushed the enemy in defeat.  Because He won, we can win.  Because of His victory, we get a prize.

 

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Who is Jesus?

John 10:14-15  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

You don’t need to know them, you just need to know Him.  Many Christians spend a lot of time on learning to discern spirits so that when the time comes they’ll know who it is that speaks to them.  The best thing we can do though, is learn to hear the voice of Jesus.

The Good Shepherd said that those who are of His flock know His voice, that all the rest are strangers and we’ll know not to listen to them.  The more time spent with Jesus, the more we’ll know His voice.  We won’t need to practice knowing other voices so as not to listen to them, we just won’t listen to them because they’re not Him.

Only one died for His flock.  Jesus laid down His life for us, the Son of God sacrificing Himself that those who belong to Him would know life.  He laid down His life on His own authority and He took it back up on His own authority.  That’s a voice worth listening to.

Jesus, the perfect Jonah

Who is Jesus?

Matthew 12:41  The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

The story of Jonah is one of redemption.  The prophet was sent to a people that God wanted to reach with His message.  Jonah’s dislike of the people caused him to initially refuse the assignment.  But as we know, he eventually did go and the people did receive God’s message of repentance through Jonah.  Despite their turning their hearts toward God, however, Jonah still refused to love these people.

Contrast this with the story of Jesus, who obediently went to the people God wanted to reach.  Unlike the Ninevites, these people rejected Jesus’ message and did not turn toward God.  And here, unlike Jonah, Jesus chose to love them anyway.  He came out of His love and He remained in His love.  Then, in the ultimate act of love, He died for those who had rejected Him.

Jesus was the perfect missionary.  He lived out a perfect life as an example and spoke with authority.  Though the people rejected Him, He fulfilled the call of Jonah, making Him the perfect Jonah.

Jesus, the perfect Moses

Who is Jesus?

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Long ago, God handed down the Law through His servant Moses.  We know the Ten Commandments but many more rules and regulations were established for God’s people – to show them how to be holy.  If one could keep all of the Law, they could be righteous.  The problem is, no one can keep all of the Law.  The Law does not have the power to enable us to do what it says.  It can guide, but its power ends there.

That’s where Jesus comes in.  He fulfills the Law because He’s perfect, but He also sets us free from the Law so that we don’t have to live under its burden.  Because He is righteous, we can be righteous through Him instead of through keeping the Law.  In Him we have forgiveness for the times we haven’t kept the Law because only one who has perfectly kept it has any right to grant that forgiveness.

His grace makes us free to obey out of love instead of obligation.  In fact, the more we understand His grace the more we want to obey.  The Law shows us sanctification, Jesus empowers us to achieve it.  He is the fulfillment of Moses’ calling – the perfect Moses.

Jesus, the perfect Adam

Who is Jesus?

Romans 5:18  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

Adam, the first created man, was made to glorify God.  In everything he did from having dominion over the earth to naming every animal created, Adam was meant to be an image-bearer of God.  He was created in the image of God.

As you know, the story goes that Adam didn’t succeed at being perfect, holy, or righteous.  He, along with the first woman, Eve, introduced sin into the world.  They changed the whole story.  No longer could mankind live in harmony, in perfect communion with God.  The direct link between God and man was broken.

But Jesus also bears the image of God.  He wasn’t created, like Adam, He’s always been.  But where Adam fell short , Jesus succeeded perfectly.  Death came through Adam because he brought sin to humanity, but life came through Christ because He defeated sin and brought righteousness to humanity.

We needed one who had lived a perfect life free from sin to be our perfect sacrificial atonement for the forgiveness of our sins.  Jesus is that one, the one perfect image-bearer of God.  Because of Him, the image of God is us has been restored.  He is the fulfillment of Adam’s calling – the perfect Adam.

Jesus, the high priest

Who is Jesus?

Hebrews 5:5  So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”

In the days of the Old Testament priests, a sacrifice was made on behalf of the people by the High Priest.  This would atone for their sins for the period of one year.  In this way the priest brought God and man together.

Jesus is the perfect High Priest because He serves as both the priest and the sacrifice.  He brings God and man together by the shedding of His own blood, not that of an animal.  The sacrifice of this perfect Lamb is once and for all, not just to atone for a limited period of time.

Jesus didn’t appoint Himself to the position of High Priest, but He’s the only one who can fill the role perfectly.  Unlike all other High Priests who had to offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as those of the people, Jesus can atone for our sins by offering His own life in the place of ours.  And that’s just what He did.

Jesus, the friend

Who is Jesus?

John 15:15  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Can Jesus really be your friend?  The Creator of the universe, your BFF?  Well, it all depends really.  The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that we do not get to decide if we’re friends of Jesus.  He chooses us, not the other way around (John 15:16).

Secondly, there are stipulations to being a friend of God.  “If you do what I command you,” He says (John 15:14).  With Christ we don’t get a genie in a bottle who we can manipulate to get what we want.  We get a loving God who cares about us but expects us to give our lives to Him.

Are you a friend of God?  Is your whole life His?  You don’t get to take your ball and go home in this friendship if you don’t like what you’re hearing.  If the Lord of all chose you as His friend, you’re never going to be apart from Him.  In good times and in bad, He’s by your side.  When you need Him, He’s there.  When you fall, He’ll pick you up.  And best of all, He gave His life for you.  There’s no greater love than that (John 15:13).