Today a look at the most important character in the Christian Bible, and unarguably in history altogether! Many people such as historians and theologians have their personal and professional opinions about who Jesus was. However, this blog post is intended to reveal what the Bible teaches about Jesus.
Christians believe that Jesus is alive today. This is why we speak about Him in the present tense – who He is. As we will also be talking about the life that He lived on earth, it is also acceptable (and common practice) to talk about that in the past tense – who He was while down here on earth, the life that He lived among us.
Jesus the Messiah
Jesus did not just appear out of nowhere in history. He was born into the Jewish nation, who were then also known as Israelites. In the Jewish holy writings (The Old Testament), a figure known as the Messiah had been foretold at various points. This Messiah was to have a very special and unique role of leadership among the people of Israel. Christians claim that Jesus is this Messiah (although the vast majority of Jewish people disagree with this. Jewish people who do believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah are called Messianic Jews.) Christians claim different parts of the Old Testament are prophecies about the coming Messiah, which Jesus fulfilled.
Why Jesus had to come
In Christian understanding, God created the world to be perfect, and the people in it to interact with Him and with one another freely, in love, unity, respect etc. This is how the world was supposed to be.
Then in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve sinned against God, or “fell”, as Christians describe it. From that point on, the whole of humanity has been separated from God. From that point on, human beings have been born with a sinful nature, utterly separated from God. That applies to every single human being that has ever been born since, except Jesus Himself. Jesus came to reunite the human race with a loving but judgemental God. (I deliberately use the word “judgemental” as I know it has negative connotations, but I want to emphasise the fact that God can and will pass judgement on humanity.)
The only way that Jesus could reunite us with God was through dying in our place. He was a perfect sacrifice as He had no sinful nature, and He had never sinned, and this alone could pay the price to buy our acceptance with God. Jesus accomplished this by dying on the cross.
How Jesus lived
While He was down here on earth, Jesus lived a perfect life, that is, one that was free from sin. So Jesus did not do any of those small things which we typically brush off as part of being human. However He did get angry, and He once angrily overturned the tables in the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem.
Because He was perfect, Jesus also showed us how human beings are to live with one another, so Christians look at Him as our perfect example of how to live our lives down here on earth. This is where the popular phrase came from “What Would Jesus Do?”, commonly abbreviated to “WWJD?”. We Christians believe that the closer we can get to the standards of Jesus, the closer we can get to excellence in our everyday walk down here on earth.
Jesus is God
As Christians, we believe that Jesus is more than a perfect human being, who showed us how to live. We believe that Jesus is actually God Himself, who came down to earth. This is a mark of how much God loved us, that He Himself took on human form, to die in our place. The Bible teaches that while on earth, Jesus temporarily put aside His divine royalty and majesty and glory. This far exceeds that of any human king or emperor that has ever lived or could ever live. Instead, He came down to earth and was born into extremely humble circumstances, and instead of lavish luxury on earth He had to work as a carpenter to support Himself, and He died the death of common criminals and slaves (crucifixion). Because He was God He demonstrated divine power while down here on earth, through a wide range of incredible miracles that He performed, including healing people who were ill, casting out demons, and bringing people back to life after they had died.
Fully God and fully man
Christians believe that Jesus as a man was fully human and fully divine at the same time. So it was not that He was half God and half man, but rather 100% God and also 100% human. He lived, He breathed, He walked, He slept, He woke up, He grew. At one point He also died. However, He did not sin. Jesus came and showed us what God is like.
Where Jesus is now
Jesus died, but He did not remain dead. He performed the greatest miracle of history by rising from the dead all by Himself! (That is, no-one else raised Him). After this, He went back up into Heaven, where the Bible teaches that He is currently sitting at the right hand of God the Father, where He is asking God the Father to show mercy to Christians.
Jesus is coming back!
The Bible teaches that Jesus is going to return to earth again. This time He is going to come in His full majesty as the King of Kings (and Lord of Lords!) This is known as the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is going to gather all His children, that is, those people who have accepted His work of reconciliation and surrendered their life to Him, and we are going to live forever with Him! Hallelujah!
Maranatha – and so Lord, please come quickly! 😉
Photo of Christ Statue by Wanderson on Pixabay