Have you ever loved someone so much that giving up on them is not an option? Have you ever been passionate about something, that you are willing to go through the challenges that come with it? This is our relationship with God whether we accept it or not. I mentioned in the last blog (God the Father) that not creating us was out of the question for God. Although he foresaw our rebellion, his love superseded every challenge he would face with us. As our God, he knows how to set various events in motion to ensure that his purpose for us is accomplished (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s greatest nature is love, and he has shown this love in the Person of Jesus Christ.
The name Jesus has consistently stirred up various emotions in people. We are human, so it is natural that our opinions of Christ will vary based on our life experiences. Just because you know the name of a famous person, it does not mean you know him or her well. In the same vein, just because you know or have heard the name of Jesus, it does not mean you know him well. During my walk with God, I have come to realize that no matter where I found myself or the choices I make, God never changes and his words are always the same (Hebrews 13:8). I implore you to forget the theories or quotes the world has stated concerning Jesus Christ and let us search the scriptures or bible for the truth.
Many people argue that they cannot trust the bible because men wrote it. This is one of the greatest weapons of deception used by Satan. God knew this would become a problem and he instructed his servant to write in 2 Timothy 3:16 saying “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right”. I am amazed at how easily we believe the tabloids about celebrities and scientific papers about latest discoveries, yet we find it hard to believe the bible. There is so much to the name of Jesus because we can never fully fathom all that God is (Ecclesiastes 8:16-17). However, we will have a brief insight to who Jesus is, his nature and what he has done for us.
Why do I need to know Jesus Christ?
There are many reasons to know who Jesus is. Some are general and some come from my own life experiences. In this life, we need Jesus to teach us how to love, to give us an everlasting life, to see how much of this world we do not need, to know how to live and treat others, to make us righteous or upright, to show us the road to heaven, to help us in our life struggles and to help us fight Satan.
Personally, I was drenched in sin (transgression against God) and I could never seem to move past them. No matter how many times I went to confession, it never made a difference. I ached and cried until I read about the Grace of Jesus Christ in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me). I sat in my room and pondered on this verse. The voice in my heart told me “Chi you may have sinned but because Jesus died for you, you are not condemned. When you fall, Jesus is there to pick you up. When you become aware of the constant presence of Jesus, you are empowered to be better”. The love and mercy of Jesus washed over me like never before and it shook my spirit to its core. How could I not want this God in my life? The bible has the answer to every question we have.
Who is Jesus Christ?
God used his prophets in the Old Testament to reveal the promise and coming of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). The prophets revealed where Jesus comes from (John 3:13; John 6:38-62; John 17:5), who would give birth to him, which tribe he will descend from, where he would be born, when he will be born, his nature, his purpose, his death, burial and resurrection (Genesis 49:10; Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:25; Numbers 24:17; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:7, 9; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 110:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Hosea 11:1). Christ is the Greek word that corresponds to the Hebrew term, Messiah (which means anointed one) (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; John 20:31; Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38). To be anointed means to have oil poured over ones head to show Kingship. God anointed Jesus and thus, gave him authority to act as his representative (Colossians 1:15).
Jesus is the redeemer or savior of humanity (Job 19:25; John 1:29; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9), meaning one who has come to save all men from sin. If Christ means King, then Christians are those who follow and accept Jesus as God, savior and King (Romans 10:9). Jesus’s disciples or followers had no doubt about who he was (Mathew 16:16; John 1:41). In the bible, Jesus is also called; Son of God, grace, bread of life, good shepherd, head of the church, holy servant, Emmanuel (meaning God with us), Lamb of God (because he was the blood sacrifice), Lion of the tribe of Judah (descendant of David), light of the world, mediator, the way, the door, the truth (Matthew 3:16-17; John 1:14; John 6:35; John 10:11; Ephesians 1:22; Acts 4:29-30; Isaiah 7:14; John 8:12; Revelation 5:5; John 14:6; John 10:9; John 8:32).
How is Jesus fully God? Jesus existed with God from the beginning as the second Person of the Holy Trinity (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16; John 10:30-38). Was he human when he came to us? Yes, Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus was every bit human because he was tempted like we are (Matthew 4:1-11). He also sympathizes and understands the weakness that the flesh can cause (Hebrews 4:15). Why did he come to us? Jesus came so that we may not perish in sin but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Satan slandered the name of God in the Garden of Eden. This caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, thus allowing sin to enter the world. Jesus came so that we would understand the heart of the Father, relate to him in a more personal way and to give us back the authority we lost in the Garden of Eden. How did Jesus overcome Satan’s temptations? When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he did not try to reason it out or rely on his own strength to overcome. Instead, he used the word of God to defeat Satan. Brethren, I want to tell you that there is power in the words you profess. We have the word and the blood of Jesus as weapons against Satan (1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 3:18; Revelation 12:11).
The character of Jesus
The life of Jesus Christ is documented in the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of the Bible. Jesus tells us that he and the Father are one and that whoever has seen him, has seen the Father (John 14:9). Every name and character ascribed to God in my previous blog (God the Father) is also ascribed to God the Son. God came in the Person of Jesus so we could touch him, know him, learn to live like him and understand his will for humanity (John 7:16). Jesus did this in the way he spoke and lived among men, and some of these characters include;
- Reverence: Jesus never took the glory for himself but always acknowledged the Father (John 7:16; John 8:28-29). It is very important that no one boasts about doing anything of their own accord but to give glory to God at all times (Isaiah 43:6-7; Isaiah 48:9-11; Proverbs 27:1).
- Faithful to his Father: Jesus did everything by faith and constant reliance on his Father (Mark 11:22-24; Luke 1:37; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Corinthians 2:5; Romans 10:17). Jesus never gave into temptation (Matthew 4:1-11), deception was not found on his lips, he never sought revenge for every offence done against him (1 Peter 2:21-23). I am not saying that we will always overcome temptation but through the righteousness of Christ, we can live as he did.
- Obedience: Jesus shows us that obedience to God comes first before anything else in our lives (John 15:10). Obeying God means love for God. Obedience to God also shows that we trust God more than the things we hold in this world.
- Jesus was pure in heart: Jesus says in Mathew 5:8 “blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. Jesus is concerned about the state of our hearts (our foundation) (1 Samuel 16:7). Out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts and when the heart is not rooted on the firm foundation that is Jesus, the entire being is doomed (Matthew 12:33-34; Matthew 15:18-19). Jesus knows that once the heart is purified and cleaned, the outer bad habits such as lying, pornography and selfish living will cease to enslave us (Proverbs 4:23).
- As the greatest teacher, Jesus spoke a lot about the good news of the Kingdom of God (God’s reign as creator and Christ’s work as the saviour), which is not just a physical place but an eternal existence (Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:15; John 3:3-5).
- As the greatest physician or doctor, he had so much compassion and healed the sick, wounded and demon possessed (Mathew 9:35-36; Mathew 14:14; Mark 6:56).
- Jesus is love: Just as every painter loves his painting, Jesus demonstrated the full extent of God’s love for humanity by his humility (John 6:38; Philippians 2; John 13:2-17), gentility, kindness (Mark 10: 13-16), impartiality (Matthew 21:12-13) and death on the cross (1 John 4:7-16).
- Jesus was prayerful: Jesus demonstrates that constant communication with the Father gives us guidance in times of confusion, strength in times of weakness and a heart of thanksgiving in times of plenty (Luke 18:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Jesus was and is still patient: He waits for us to desist from sin and follow him (2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 3:20). He was patient in teaching and guiding his disciples to the truth. Thus, we are called to be patient with each other and with ourselves.
- Wisdom: Jesus increased in wisdom and favour (Luke 2:52). He encourages us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). This gift can only grow when we study the bible, as it helps us discern good and evil.
- Generosity and service (Mark 10:45): Small acts of kindness are enough to bring our fellow brethren to Christ. In the act of service, Christ becomes real to you. I know as human beings, it can be exhausting because the list of people to help is long. My advice is start from your household. Be generous to your wife or husband by doing things they least expected you to do. My mother-in-law always says “when you open your hands, God will always fill it up”.
- Forgiveness (Isaiah 43:25-26; Matthew 6: 14-15; 1 John 1:9): I saved this character for last because it is essential to everything God stands for. It is because of God’s forgiveness that we are still breathing despite our sinful nature (Micah 7:18-19). Forgiveness is very essential in every Christian’s life because our heart is very important to Jesus (Luke 17:3-4; Colossians 3:13). You live in perpetual agony and bondage when you do not forgive. I shared what happens to an unforgiving Christian in my previous blog “Bring your soul to rest by forgiving”.
Is Jesus Christ our only salvation from sin?
No other religion has had a God who came down to us, lived among us, died (Isaiah 53:3-5; John 19:30; 1 Peter 3:18) and rose from the grave to set us free (Luke 24:39-44). Jesus declares “he is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6; James 1:18).This salvation that Jesus gives us is free and we did nothing to earn it. All we need to do is believe in what Jesus has done (John 10:38; Acts 16:31; Romans 10: 9-17) because in him is no sin at all (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Imagine you are charged with manslaughter, you didn’t mean to commit such a crime, you are young, you are scared of the sentence and you wished someone would save you from this. Just before you are taken away to jail, someone runs in with evidence that exonerates you or an argument that shows you are not to be condemned for this act. Imagine the relief and overwhelming gratitude that overtakes you. This is how I felt when I realized what Christ has done for me on the cross.
My sins should cause me death, should have hampered my future but every time I speak the blood of Jesus, I instantly know in my spirit that I am saved and forgiven. God keeps every covenant he makes with his people and the blood covenant Jesus made on the cross is no different (Luke 22:20). This is the ultimate sacrifice and I will share a few things that the blood has accomplished for you and me;
- His blood justifies and makes us righteous before the heavenly Father (Romans 3: 24-25; Romans 5:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
- His blood cleanses us from every sin. 1 John 1:7 says “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”.
- His blood frees us from the curse of the law and from bondage (Galatians 5:1). The law tells us do good to get good, do bad to get bad. Now the blood of Jesus gives us unmerited favour or grace that cannot be earned but freely given to those who believe in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:13; Romans 8:1-2; Ephesians 1:7).
- His blood has paid our debt once and for all, and grants us victory over Satan (Hebrews 9:28; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13-14; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 12:11). His blood took back the power of death from Satan (Hebrew 2:14).
- His blood grants us forgiveness from every sin (Ephesians 1:7). Matthew 26:28 says “This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”.
- His blood spares us from the wrath of God. Many people argue that if God is love, he should not be angry at us. As an example, your earthly father may love you but it does not stop him from flogging or chastising you should you misbehave. I would like to remind us that God is not man, he is Lord, sovereign and most of all, he is holy and should not be taken for granted. The blood of Jesus causes the Father to look at us through the eyes of his son. The righteousness and purity of Jesus becomes ours as well (2 Corinthians 5:21; Revelation 1:5).
- His blood grants healing and life to our spirit (1 Peter 2:24; John 6:53).
- His blood grants us direct access to the throne room of God. No need of a teacher or pastor or priest (Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:19-22). 1 John 2:27 says “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit, just as it has taught you, remain in him”.
- His blood has called us to be separate from the world (Galatians 2:20).
Jesus is the “I AM” and he will return again as judge over the earth (2 Corinthians 5:10; Act 17:31; John 5:22-30). In the meantime, he has sent us the Holy Spirit (Third Person of the Trinity) (John 14:15-31). The Spirit is one who will teach us all things and remind us of everything Jesus said and did for us. I urge us all to take the time to know and reconnect with Jesus. This world is only temporary and it is nothing compared to the eternity we shall experience after death. Only when you truly know Jesus can you say like Peter “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mathew 16:15-16). To me, Jesus is my Lord, my savior, my best friend and constant support. Who is he to you?