by Jon Quinn
About 2,000 years ago God’s Son became flesh. He was the firstborn child of a poor family and lived only about 33 years in our world. Yet no other has had the impact He has had upon our world! As bad as things sometimes get, things would be far worse if not for Jesus!
Jesus once asked His apostles, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They told Jesus of the opinions held about Him and then Jesus asked another question, “But who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13-16).
What is your opinion of Jesus? Why does His name invoke such love in some while exciting such hatred in others? The fact is this: Jesus was much more than a simple Galilean carpenter.
THE PROMISED ONE
The prophets had foretold of a Messiah. He would undertake the most important rescue mission of all: to secure redemption from sin. There were over 300 prophecies made about Him hundreds of years before His birth. All of these prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Not a single one failed.
It had been prophecied that He would enter our world by a miraculous birth, having no human father. This event would take place in a small village called Bethlehem.
(Isaiah 7:14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
(Micah 5:2) But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
(Matthew 1:22-25) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 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. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
(Matthew 2:1-6) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
He would be a descendant of Jesse, the father of David. There is much prophecied about His ministry, but perhaps it is all best summed up by the prophet Isaiah.
(Isaiah 11:1-5) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
This Mighty King and Humble Servant would be slain for the people. Even as He suffered they would mock Him as they cast lots for His clothing, not knowing that it was for them He was giving His life!
(Psalms 22:11-18) Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
(Isaiah 53:1-8) Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
(John 19:23-24) Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
But death would not be the end. He would prosper and receive glory and power. He would live again!
(Psalms 16:8-11) I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
(Isaiah 53:10-12) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
(Luke 24:4-8) And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words,
Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises. There simply is no provision for redemption apart from God’s Anointed One.
Jesus never intended for you to think of Him simply as a great philosopher. He made claims concerning Himself that leave us with only two options: either He was an insane liar or He is who He claimed to be. We believe that His claims are true.
Jesus claimed to have existed before His conception and birth. He claimed to be eternal and equal with God.
(John 5:16-18) And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. 17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
(John 8:57-59) Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
(John 10:30-33) I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
(John 17:5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
He taught that He was the only way to God as the light of the world and that He had the power to forgive sins.
(John 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
(John 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(Luke 5:24) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
He claimed to have been given all authority by God and that one day He would judge every person who had ever lived. He said that even the angels were subject to Him.
(Matthew 25:34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
(Matthew 25:41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
(Matthew 25:46) And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
(Matthew 26:53-54) Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
(Matthew 28:18-20) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
He referred to Himself as the Resurrection and the Life. His proof would be that He would rise from His own tomb on the third day.
(John 11:25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
(Mark 9:31) For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.
Obviously we are not talking about someone who was simply a good human being and nothing more. The only choices are to either dismiss Jesus as a deceiver or to accept Him as God’s Son. He left us no middle ground between the two.
Jesus came to fulfill God’s plan to redeem humanity.
He knew exactly what would happen and how He would be slain. In this we see the supreme example of love.
(2 Corinthians 8:9) For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
(Philippians 2:5-9) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Jesus said that He came down out of heaven to do His Father’s will.
Jesus was faithful in this, even when God’s will meant yielding His own.
(John 6:38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
(Matthew 26:39) And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
He knew our need and came to bring hope.
(Luke 19:10) For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
The Lord was born into our world to be a King
However, He makes it quite clear that His kingdom is not physical, but spiritual.
(John 18:33-37) Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
The Son of God came to die for the world.
As He approached the time of His crucifixion He would not avoid it because it was for this purpose that He came.
(John 12:27-28) Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION
The central fact of the gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day following rose from the dead.
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Since this is such a crucial point in our study, perhaps it would be best to just open your Bible and read thoughtfully the following passages:
DEATH OF JESUS (MARK 15:22-39)
HIS BURIAL (MARK 15:46,47)
RESURRECTION! (MARK 16:1-8)
God has said that our sins demand death. He is absolutely holy and righteous and He cannot merely ignore our sins by pretending that they never happened. But He could substitute His own willing, righteous Son to pay our debt with His own death. Now that this has been accomplished, each one of us has a decision to make: either to accept this great gift of God and the responsibilities and rewards which accompany it, or reject it and face eternal death ourselves which is what we deserved to begin with.
(Romans 3:26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
(Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
LORD AND SAVIOR!
Jesus is presented to us as both Lord and Savior. There is no indication in the Bible that He will be a person’s savior who has not accepted His lordship over his or her life. This means that we must obey Jesus as Lord as we trust Him to save. Jesus Himself has gone on record on this very point. Accepting Jesus’ lordship means that we obey Him.
(Luke 6:46) And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
(John 12:26) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
(John 14:15) If ye love me, keep my commandments.
(John 14:21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Accepting Jesus as savior means we have hope in Him.
(Matthew 1:21) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
(Philippians 3:20-21) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Jesus saves those that obey Him.
(Hebrews 5:9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Jesus is the hope of the world. He is much more than a simple Galilean carpenter/preacher and none of us are ready to leave this world until we have accepted that fact and acted upon it.
LESSON #5 is entitled “ETERNITY AND MAN.” We will examine the differences between temporal, material things and eternal, spiritual things. We will see why it is such a mistake to ignore our spiritual needs and look at the judgment to come.