Part three of my series concerns the Biblical view of Christ, without the adulterations performed on it by certain cults. I’m showing that the Old Testament God and the Son of God are One: that is, that the Son of God is God, just as the Father is God.
One Bible teacher has commented that Christ is on every page of the Bible: not necessarily his name or his own words or actions, but some direct or indirect reference to him or his lineage, a shadow, a prophecy or a type, or a piece of the jig-saw of God’s plan of the ages. Having studied the Bible for the thirty-three years that I’ve been a Christian, I could very easily believe that statement to be true. Even though the Bible is a collection of books written by dozens of authors over many hundreds of years, I’ve discovered plenty of material which confirms to me that the Bible from cover to cover testifies that Jesus is the one and only Son of God, so that the Son of God is God, and not a mere man. Of course the Jews, to whom the Old Testament “belongs”, would not agree, but that disagreement has also been fitted into the Plan of God concerning Christ, and we find Old Testament prophecies that they will, one fine day, recognize who he truly is.
The following is a very small and condensed sample of what could be written concerning the Biblical Christ. I’m not using any technical jargon because I didn’t go to cemetery – I mean seminary.
All scripture references are from the NIV version-sorry KJV fans.
ONE GOD, THREE PERSONS
As you read, remember that the Bible teaches that there is only one God (e.g. Isaiah 44:6, 1Timothy 1:17) and that that one God exists as a trinity (three persons in One), which is why He spoke to himself, saying
“Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1: 26-27).
It is also why the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were present together at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17).
Jesus spoke of two or three members of the trinity on other occasions, for example, when speaking to his disciples on the night before his crucifixion, he said:
“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father…” (John 15:26).
JESUS AND GOD: EQUAL IN STATUS AND IN ATTRIBUTES
(OT=Old Testament, NT=New Testament)
1: ONE SAVIOR
OT: “Apart from me (God) there is no savior” (Isaiah 43: 11, also verse 3; also see Hosea 13:4);
NT: “The living God, who is the Savior of all men” (1 Timothy 4:10);
NT: “A Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord…” (Luke 2:11);
NT (Peter talking about Jesus): “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
NT “…while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
2: ONE CREATOR
OT: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1);
NT: “…in these last days he (God) has spoken to us by his Son …through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his word” (Hebrews 1: 1-3);
NT: “He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God…For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” Colossians 1: 15-16).
3: THE FIRST AND THE LAST
OT: “I (God) am the first and I am the last…” (Isaiah 44:6; also 48:12);
NT: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” (Revelation 1:17-18). When did God ever die?
4: THE ONE WHO WAS PIERCED
OT: “This is the word of the Lord…the Lord, who stretches out the heavens…They will look upon me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child…” (Zechariah 12: 1-10, esp. v 1 and 10);
OT: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5);
NT: “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood…Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who have pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him” (Revelation 1: 5-7).
5: THE “I AM”
OT: “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13-15);
NT: (Jesus) “Before Abraham was born I AM” (John 8: 52-59);
NT: “I am the resurrection” (John 11:25); “I am the true vine” (15:1); “I am the gate” (10:7); “I am the good shepherd” (10:11); “I am the way, the truth and the life” (14:6); “I am the first and the last…”
6: THE ETERNAL ONE
OT: “You (God) are from all eternity” (Psalm 93:2; Isaiah 26:4);
NT: “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began”
7: THE COMING ONE
OT: “The Lord will go out and fight against those nations”…” On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:3-4).
Verse 5 “…then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him”.
Verse 6: “On that day there will be no light…”
NT: “The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light”…”At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear”…”they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory” (Matthew 24: 29-30).
NT: “Then the kings of the earth…and every slave and free man…called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come…” (Revelation 6: 15-17).
8: THE JUDGE
OT: “The Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats” (Ezekiel 34: 17-22).
NT: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory….and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25: 31-33).
9: GOD RAISED JESUS, JESUS RAISED JESUS
“God raised him from the dead” (Romans 10:9).
“Destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days”…”the temple he had spoken of was his body” (John 2:19-22).
“I lay down my life, only to take it up again” (John 10:17-18).
10: THE KING OF ISRAEL
OT: “This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6).
OT: “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up”…“to worship the King, the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 14:16-17).
OT: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
NT: “They took palm branches and went out to meet him shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel’”…”Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, ‘Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt’” (John 12:12-15).
NT: “Then Nathaniel declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49).
NT: “Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied” (Matthew 27: 11; also Mark 15:2).
JESUS WAS NOT MISREPRESENTED
I’ve heard it said that Jesus has been misrepresented – that he never did claim to be God or the only Son of God, even in the Bible. As noted in some of the above scripture references, he clearly did, and as I wrote in previous parts of the series, the claim that Christians invented his divinity centuries after Christ is bogus and unsubstantiated: another desperate attempt to sweep the Son of God away and to turn some away from the path to eternal life. Here are a few more examples of Biblical claims about Christ:
1: SIMON PETER’S DECLARATION
“…he (Jesus) asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets’.
‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’
Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon…for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven’ (Matthew 16; 13-17).
2: PHILIP’S REQUEST
“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’
“Jesus answered, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.’ (John 14: 8-9).
3: THOMAS’ CONFESSION
“Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them”…Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your fingers here; see my hands’…’stop doubting and believe.’
“Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:26-29).
4: THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
5: THE TESTIMONY OF PAUL
“Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen” (Romans 9: 5).
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF SOME OTHER BIBLICAL EVIDENCE
It’s true that Jesus didn’t go around shouting “I am God! I am God!” What would you think of anyone who did that anyway? You would either think he was crazy, or you would sarcastically ask for evidence. Jesus gave them plenty of evidence. The gospels are full of miracles. Jesus walked on water, stilled the storm, raised the dead, healed the sick, fed the multitudes, and rose from the dead. How many people do you know who are able to do those things? This alone is ample evidence that the Biblical Christ was no mere man. So we don’t see people doing miracles now – isn’t that the point – that only God can do miracles? Isn’t a miracle something very much out of the ordinary?
Some will protest, as though revealing the one piece of evidence necessary to show that Jesus was only a man, that when he was on the cross he cried out “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?” This is supposed to prove that Jesus could not be God and also be wondering why God had forsaken him. The simple answer to this one is that Jesus was both man and God, and it was his humanity which was “cursed” by God on the cross. The Father hid his face from the Son, as Christ paid the penalty for your sin by his death: that was the plan all along.
Similarly, people say that God would not need to pray to God, as Jesus did. Refer again to the fact that God exists in three persons, yet in perfect unity. Jesus maintained that unity by only doing what the Father wanted him to do-nothing more or less.