Who is Jesus Christ?
You may have seen our slogan: “Projecting Christ”. Sure, you may be wondering: Who is Christ Jesus? "Jesus" is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, a common name that means "savior." "Christ" is a title that comes from the Greek form of the Hebrew Messiah, meaning: "anointed one." In effect Jesus Christ means: “The anointed savior”.
Jesus lived in Galilee around 7–2 BC/BCE to 30–36 AD/CE. He is the central figure of Christianity and the embodiment of how Christians should live. Consequently the beliefs of Christians are based on His life and teachings. Biblical evidence affirms that He was with God during the creation of this world. (John 1:1). According to the bible, he is the Son of God and was God (John 1:1). He however became man not only to teach man how to live but also realign the lost relationship between God and man as a result of sin.
Birth and Early Life
Jesus was born to a Jewess named Mary and a carpenter named Joseph. According to the bible, Jesus was conceived by the miracle of the Holy Spirit before the couple had had any sexual intercourse (Luke 1:27). He was therefore born not as a result of the decision of a human father, rather, by the decision of God. The bible is virtually silent when it comes to Jesus' early life, however we do know that every year, he visited Jerusalem, together with his parents (perhaps for the Passover). At the tender age of 12, while returning from a trip to Jerusalem, his parents realized that he was not in their group. They went back to Jerusalem and found him talking with the teachers in the Temple. We know little of Jesus’ life from the ages of twelve until thirty. He perhaps worked as a carpenter, since Joseph (Mary’s husband) was a carpenter.
Jesus’ ministry and teachings
Jesus was about 30 years of age when he started his ministry (Luke 3:23). His ministry began with His baptism by John the Baptist (Mathew 3). His core message was about love and the nearness of the Kingdom of God. He performed many miracles, signs and wonders and proved to be God manifested in flesh. Truly, His actions and deeds did prove that He was the Son of God. Some of his many miracles include: turning water into wine (s), raising the dead (s) and healing the blind (s). In John 7:16 Jesus declared His teachings as directly from God: "My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me".
He re-asserted this in John 14:10: "the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works."
Jesus as the Son of God
In Matthew 16:13, Jesus asked his disciples: But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered him by saying: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus then blessed Peter and stated: "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven." Jesus thus not only accepted Peter’s proclamation but also attributed Peter’s answer to a divine being. Jesus thus unambiguously declared himself to be the Christ and Son of God.
The Awaiting messiah
The Old Testament was written long before Christ was born. It contains several prophecies about an “anointed one” (“Messiah” in Hebrew) that would appear in the future to rule the people of Israel. The Messiah would “deliver” or “save” all the Jewish people as well as the whole world, bringing them to paradise or Heaven. Right from the book of Genesis through to Malachi several prophecies are written about this messiah. By the works and words of Jesus, he asserted to be this long awaited messiah. This however did not go down well with the Jewish leaders. As a matter of fact, they interpreted Jesus’ assertion as the messiah and the Son of God as blasphemy, for they knew a God would not give birth to anything else but a God. We thus believe that they inferred Jesus’ assertion to be the Son of God as a declaration to be God (John 5:17-22).
Betrayal, Arrest and death
Jesus’ assertion to be God and the long awaited messiah infuriated the Jewish leaders. They thus plotted various vices and schemes to kill him. As God in the form of man, Jesus knew this and told his disciples he would soon leave, though they could not comprehend this. The clearest expression of this was at the "Last Supper," which took place on the night before his death. Jesus also predicted on this night that one of his disciples would betray him.
The betrayer was later revealed, when Judas Iscariot, the group's treasurer betrayed Jesus with a kiss. He did this for 30 pieces of silver. After his arrest, Jesus was abandoned by most of his disciples. Even Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, denied him three times. Jesus was brought before the Jewish chief priests for trial. At the trial, he maintained his stance as the Messiah, though he didn’t say much. He was then condemned for blasphemy and handed over to the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, for punishment. Though he had little reason to condemn Jesus, Pilate condemned Jesus by virtue of the insistence of the mob that had gathered around him.
After his sentence, Jesus was scourged. He was also worn a crown made of thorns, spat upon, mocked and slapped. He was then made to carry his own cross and was crucified on this cross at Golgotha (which is the place of the skull). He may have died from asphyxiation, hypovolemic shock and excessive pain.
Extraordinary events are recorded in the bible upon his death including a great earthquake, the entire land going dark and resurrection of some recent dead men. The body of Jesus was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea, a disciple of Jesus, at Joseph’s request.
Resurrection and ascension to Heaven
According to the New Testament, Jesus arose from the dead 3 days after he was buried. Mathew’s account of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, states that; as it began to dawn on the first day of the week, his followers encountered the angel of the Lord, who announced the resurrection of Jesus. The bible indicates that Jesus made a series of appearances to his disciples after this. He then ascended into heaven by being taken up. According to the bible, a cloud received him out of their sight (Acts 1:9). There are several biblical evidences that Jesus still lives, including post-ascension appearances to many people (such as Paul and John). Currently, he is seated at the right hand of God (1 Peter 3:22) where he intercedes for us.
What does Christ’s death mean to us?
From our knowledge of scripture, we know that Jesus is the Son of God and had all the supernatural powers it took to save himself from the embarrassment of the cross. The question then is; why did he choose to die? To understand this, let’s go to the Old Testament. As a result of sin, man became alienated from God. This resulted in a general penalty of death on all mankind. Because God desired to save the Israelites and all mankind for that matter, He furnished a way of salvation by accepting in their stead the death of an innocent life (i.e., an animal that was sacrificed); this animal bore their guilt and penalty and covered over their sins by its blood shed. This was done yearly on the Day of Atonement.
Sadly however, the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement provided a ‘covering over’ of sins and not a taking away of sin. Christ’s bloodshed on the cross on the other hand is God’s ultimate atonement for humankind, which takes away sin and guilt permanently. Atonement in the Old Testament is thus abounding in symbolism pointing to the atoning death of Jesus Christ. As the perfect sacrifice, Christ paid the full penalty for our sins, reconciling us to God and reviving our relationship with him. Since animal sacrifices were a type of Christ’s perfect sacrifice for sin and found their fulfillment in his sacrifice, there is no more need for animal sacrifices after his death on the cross. By fulfilling and abolishing the Old Testament daily sacrifices Christ not only reconciled us to God but also ultimately saved those who accept him from wrath and destruction, thus fulfilling his title as the anointed Savior. Consequently we as Christians believe that the only way to eternal life and reconciliation to God is through Jesus Christ, his son.
How then do I receive salvation and forgiveness of sins?
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. “Romans 6:23. The verse above sums it all up. Our means of eternal life is through Jesus Christ. We thus no longer need animal sacrifices to draw us close to God. The blood of Jesus is enough to do this for us. How then do we receive eternal life? According to Romans 10:9 “… if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. ”
The answer is thus simple: Just confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, and you’re saved! Hallelujah! If you want to do this, simply pray the prayer below:
“Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and it is for my sake that you came to die. It is your blood that will cleanse me and make me whole. I sincerely believe in my heart that you are the Son of God and believe God raised you from the dead. Today I ask you into my life. Come and be my savior and take control of everything in my life. I repent of all my sins and declare today that I will serve you only all the days of my life. Please be my Lord and personal savior. I thank you for coming into my life today, amen.”
If you did pray this prayer, you are welcome to the Kingdom of God! You are now a child of God! Contact us for more information on spiritual growth and discipleship. We are more than willing to assist you in your spiritual walk with God. God richly bless you!