The study of Jesus is one of the most important studies that a person can do. Who is Jesus? Was He or is He?
But before we delve into this important topic, I will first explore the Old and the New testaments.
Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Malachi 3:6, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
I have heard it said that God is different, meaner, more exacting in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament, because of Jesus, we see a kinder than God depicted in the Old Testament.
Let’s take a brief look at the two parts of the book, The Bible.
While the Bible is a unified book, there are differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament, however they are complementary. The Old Testament is foundational; the New Testament builds on that foundation with further revelation from God. The Old Testament establishes principles that are seen to be illustrative and consistent with New Testament truths. The Old Testament contains many prophecies that are fulfilled in the New. The Old Testament provides the history of a people; the New Testament picks up on that story and gives additional prophecy and insight as God’s people approach the end of the world. The Old Testament shows the wrath of God against sin; the New Testament shows the wrath of God against sin at the final earth shattering climax. The Old Testament shows God’s mercy, patience and long suffering because of His love for mankind. The New Testament continues by showing the lengths that God has gone so that none would perish and all would have everlasting life.
The Old Testament predicts a Messiah (see Isaiah 53), and the New Testament reveals who the Messiah is (John 4:25–26). The Old Testament records the giving of God’s Law, and the New Testament shows how Jesus the Messiah keeping and reinforcing each of God’s Ten Commandment Laws. The Old Testament sees God establishing The Mosaic Law and the New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled that Law (Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 10:9). In the Old Testament, God’s people, the Jews; are to be a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy People (Exodus 19:6, Deuteronomy 14:2), in the New Testament, God’s calls His people to be a Holy Nation and Royal Priesthood(1 Peter 2:9)
Jesus: The Bible refers to Jesus many different ways. I found over 200 names by which Jesus is called or referred to. Some are: Alpha and Omega, Arm of God, Beginning of Creation of God, Beloved Son, Branch, Creator, Deliverer, Faithful Witness, God, Great High Priest, Head of the Church, I Am, Immanuel, King of Kings, Lawgiver, Lamb, The Life, Light of the World, redeemer, Resurrection and Life, Root of David, Savior, Word. Just to name a few.
Did He arrive on the scene late in Earth’s history, over 4000 years after creation? Can Jesus be found in the Old Testament. Not just referred to as the “coming Messiah”, but is there evidence that Jesus interacted with mankind before He came as a babe in Bethlehem?
Daniel 3:22-25, “Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
How can this be? Is Jesus not the Son of God, yet clearly in Daniel, Jesus appears with the three in the furnace.
Witness: One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced. (Free Dictionary.com)
Acts 10:43, “To Him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Peter here is stating that to Jesus give all the prophets witness.
Testify: To make a statement based on personal knowledge in support of an asserted fact; bear witness”
John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
Read John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
John 5:37, “37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.”
If this is the case, then who was it that Moses saw, when placed in the cleft of the rock, as He passed by?
Can you think of other places in the Old Testament where God’s voice was heard of shape was seen?
John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
These two scriptures teach us an important fact: The Father has not directly spoken to or been seen by any human being at any time.
The Word, described in John 1:1-3, the Bible goes on to say in verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
The Word was made Flesh must mean that the Word existed at some time in a non-flesh state, then became flesh.
Jesus also said that He knew and saw Abraham. John 8:56-58, “56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
By identifying Himself as “I AM,” Jesus claimed that He had eternally existed. Christ identified Himself as the God of Abraham and Moses, and the One who led Israel out of Egypt. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
How can this be? Jesus the Creator?
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Colossians 1:16-18, “ For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Psalms 33:6, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.”
Why did Jesus, the Creator have to come and be born, live and die?
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved”
1 John 4:9-1, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Love, yes, God Loves us and wants all to live. Jesus made a way.
He came to do away with the Mosaic law. This law is described as a curse, and against the people. Jesus through his life, fulfilled the law and through His death became the ultimate sacrifice.
Galations 3:10-13, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”
What is the significance of the Lamb of God dying for our sins?
How does that make sense in light of what we know about the Mosaic Law?
What does this tell us about the Character of Jesus?
What does this tell us about the Character of God?
Read John 15:1-10. What does this tell us about the requirements of benefiting from the sacrifice that Jesus made?
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.