Many things are said about Jesus Christ in attempts to explain him away…
One such claim is that it was the Church, at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD- centuries after his life and death- which conceived the idea that Jesus was not just a man, but God in human form.
LET’S BE NICEA…
First, let me say that I don’t agree with pictures of Biblical characters such as Jesus and Mary being white-skinned. They surely were not. Apologies to anyone who may find the above picture offensive for that reason.
I’ve written before on the subject of the divinity of Christ from the Scriptures: his claims and those of his apostles; comments of first and second century secular historians; his miracles; his execution at the hands of those who accused him of blasphemy for claiming to be equal with God, and so on. Nicea affirmed the divinity of Christ: it didn’t invent it (1). New Testament manuscripts and fragments (but not the Quran which also denies the divinity of Jesus) predate Nicea by up to two hundred and fifty years, and Old Testament Scriptures by more.
At this time of the year, it seems appropriate to offer one particular Scriptural argument which really demolishes the “Jesus never claimed to be God” nonsense.
ROCK N’ SCROLL
Among the Dead Sea Scrolls found in caves at Qumran was a complete scroll of Isaiah, dated to 100 BC (2). In case you didn’t know, that’s “before Christ”.
The words and message contained in the scroll are almost identical to what we have in our modern Bibles (3), effectively countering the claim of sceptics that “the Bible has been changed time and time again over the centuries.” God is able to preserve his Word.
The book of Isaiah, rich in prophesies of future times, wrote this about the coming Christ:
“…to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE…” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).
Isaiah was saying that the coming Christ was no mere man, but the Son of God: his nature would be divine.
God sent his son into the world to die for our sin…
ISAIAH-YOU SAY NO
The final decision of the establishment of Jesus’ time to have him executed came because he claimed to be the Christ:
“The high priest said to him, ‘I charge you under oath by the living God; tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’
‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’
‘He is worthy of death’ they answered’” (Matthew 26: 63-66 NIV).
No, Jesus was not just another teacher hoping to persuade us all to get along, he was God in flesh, with a mission to deliver all those who are willing to be delivered.
Merry Christmas everybody. Merry Christmas, because at this time we celebrate and thank God for sending his Son into the world to save us from our sin and our mortality…