Jesus – The Second Person of the Godhead
Jesus, also called Jesus Christ, is the Son of God (John 1:34). He is the express image of God the Father (Hebrew 1:3) and the second person in the Godhead (John 1:1-3). He is one with God the Father (John 10:30) and equal with Him (Philippians 2:5-6). Jesus is both the Creator (John 1:1-3, 14) and Redeemer of the world (Revelation 5:9). God the Father is love (1 John 4:8), and Jesus came to demonstrate His love to us (1 John 4:9). God’s love is unselfish (1 Corinthians 13: 4-5), as He only desires the best for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
The Hope of Mankind
Because God’s kingdom is based on love, He created humans with the freedom of choice. Humans can live forever in peace if they are obedient to God’s law of love (Isaiah 1:19). To choose the devil’s way is to choose sin instead of love, which leads to death. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Sadly, our first parents disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). They disconnected themselves from the love of God and were cast out of the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23).
The Plan of Salvation
The Godhead felt infinite compassion over the fallen human race. Jesus, God the Son, offered Himself as a ransom to redeem mankind of the penalty of sin (John 10:17-18) He came into the world and lived a perfect, sinless life to be our example (2 Corinthians 5:21). The innocent Son of God died on our behalf so we can obtain the free gift of eternal life. There is no greater love than this, that someone would die for those whom they love (John 15:13). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16.
There are over 120 prophecies foretelling the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ. These were written hundreds of years before His coming. They are found throughout the Old Testament, leading up to His first advent. The first prophecy was given to Adam after the fall. It stated that the serpent (the devil, Revelation 12:9) would bruise Jesus’ heel in the process of Him crushing the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). This was about 4,000 years before the coming of Jesus as Messiah.
Many prophecies predicted Jesus’ mission on earth. They described how He was going to suffer and shed His blood to redeem mankind (Isaiah 53). Other prophecies told of signs that signify Jesus as Messiah, such as His virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14). Another sign was the star upon His arrival (Numbers 24:17). Some prophecies identified important events in Jesus’s life, such as Him riding upon a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). One prophecy pinpoints the exact year for Christ’s baptism and also crucifixion. This was foretold 600 years before it happened (Daniel 9:24-27, Ezra 7:7-14).
God wanted His people to have enough evidence to believe in Christ and accept Him as their Savior. When the prophecies are fulfilled in an exact manner, it gives evidence that the source can be trusted (Isaiah 46:9-11). “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19). For more, check: What are some of the Messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled?
Jesus came to earth in the form of a man (Hebrews 2:17). However, He was given power from His Father to do miraculous works (John 10:32). He was given the power to raise the dead (John 11:37-45), heal the sick (Matthew 4:24) as well as feed thousands with only a few loaves of bread and fish (Matthew 14:16-21; 15:34-37). Jesus gave sight to the blind and restored strength and ability to the lame (Matthew 21: 12, 14). There are many other miracles that Jesus performed, we can but list a few (John 2:1-11, John 9:1-7, Luke 8:43-44). The miracles of Jesus were to be a means for people to see the power of God in Him, that they would believe in Him for salvation (John 2:23). “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John 10: 37-38).
God’s Gift of Salvation
Salvation is available for all those that accept the sacrifice of Jesus on their behalf (John 1:12). Those that reject Jesus’ offer of salvation will have to die for their own sins because the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Accepting Jesus Christ comes by confessing Him verbally and believing in Him in your heart (Romans 10:9).
We are cleansed from our sins as we confess them to God (1 John 1:9). As Jesus lives in our heart, we then can live a life of obedience to God by His grace (John 14:15). We can only do this as we abide in Jesus (John 15:5). God’s power becomes ours (1 Corinthians 15:57). We stay connected to God through daily feeding on His word (John 5:39). We should also spend time with Him in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). There may be mistakes along the way, but God is patient with us and will never give up on us (1 John 2:1-2). “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6).
Our Heavenly Advocate
After Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He resurrected on the third day (Acts 10:40). He revealed Himself to His disciples and sent them on the great commission to tell all the world what He taught them (Matthew 28: 18-20). After 40 days, Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1: 3, 9). Jesus returned to heaven to sit on the right hand of His Father (Acts 2:33, Hebrews 8:1).
Jesus’ role in the plan of salvation is described as the great High Priest (Hebrews 3:1). He came to earth as a sacrifice, like a Lamb slain (Revelation 13:8). Then, He ascended to His Father in the Sanctuary which is in heaven (Hebrews 8:1-2, 9:11). Jesus now ministers on our behalf in the heavenly Sanctuary ( Hebrews 7:27-28). He also promises that He is preparing a place for His people for when He returns to take them to heaven (John 14:1-3).
The Soon Coming of Christ
Jesus will do his work of intercession until all have had an opportunity to hear the gospel (Matthew 24:14). Then, He will come again to take His people home (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). No one knows the day nor the hour of His coming (Mark 13:32). However, we are to live as a people ready to see their Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6).
It is for you and every person that Jesus came to offer freedom from sin (Matthew 1:21) and the free gift of eternal life through Him. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
Jesus once asked His disciples a question which He asks you today, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16: 15).
In His service,