Who is Jesus?
The most important information to know is Jesus is not a myth. History records that He existed. He was on earth from 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33, during the reign of Judean king - Herod the Great. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically. History refers to Him as a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He was born under the Roman occupation of Israel. Jesus' parents came from Nazareth, a village is the province of Galilee. He was born a Galilean Jew. His early life is recorded in the Gospels or New Testament in the Bible, a record of stories from Creation to Revelation, comprising of 66 books. There is quite a gap not recorded in the scriptures, from the time of His childhood till He was 30. The writer of Luke records His age to be about 30 years when He began His ministry.
Jesus’ life and birth was prophesied or shown to many who existed hundreds/thousands of years before He was born. The prophet Isaiah, in the 53rd chapter, recording events that would mirror the life and death of Jesus. Isaiah writes in Chapter 7 verse 14, “The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)”. He was born of a virgin, named Mary. She was engaged to a man named Joseph when she miraculously became pregnant. The Gospels of record angelic visitations to both Mary & Joseph to announce the birth of the Son Of God, whose name would be Jesus. The English name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע (Yeshua), a variant of the earlier name יהושע (Yehoshua), or in English, "Joshua" meaning "Yah saves".
The significance of the birth of Jesus into the world was His outrageous claim to be the Son Of God. This claim is what causes humanity to pay attention as to why the Son Of God, who is God Himself would be born, and why He would die and be seen by many upon His resurrection.
It all starts in the beginning.
Genesis records the creation of the world, God creating a beautiful planet with a man and woman to care for it. The book also records The Fall; the man and woman, Adam & Eve making a decision to disobey God and obey an enemy bent on their destruction. Sin entered creation upon this disobedience. Sin separated men from God, and the only way for redemption would require a blood sacrifice. Moses records the Jewish nation sacrificing animals in order to cover their sins for a year, but relationally - the relationship with God for many was lost in the guilt and death, a consequence of sin. The requirement to be righteous and have life was followed by observing rules and regulations that would prove impossible for men to follow.
Here comes the pinnacle of the story. Jesus.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him."
Humanity was not able to redeem itself. Jesus came as a sacrifice for sins, and to be the ultimate Savior & Redeemer of the people He created. He came to reveal God to humanity, by many works and teachings recorded throughout the New Testament, also the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies.
700 years before the birth of Jesus Isaiah writes;
- ..And because of His experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for man to be counted righteous..
- Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. Yet who of His generation protested? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand. After He has suffered, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
- For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
- Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of His word, and one breath from His mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.
What did He come to do?
- Jesus came to save humanity from its sins, instituted by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
- Jesus made salvation available to the whole world, not just a small, select group of people.
- The word “redeemed” means a price was paid. Jesus paid the ransom for sin, on humanity’s behalf. To redeem them that were under the law, that all might receive the adoption of sons (Galatians 4:5)
- He came to fulfill the law, which men could not fulfill. Failure to keep any one of the more than six hundred Jewish laws resulted in curses and punishment. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).
- He came to be a mediator of a better covenant. But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6).
- He came to bring good news to the poor.
- He was sent to comfort the brokenhearted.
- To proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
- He was sent to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
- To all who mourn...He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
- Jesus came to earth to bring grace and truth. Grace and truth are both the same; Jesus brought them simultaneously. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
- Jesus was born to pay the price for sins. The ransom was expensive, and no one could afford it. He was our peace offering. And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
- To give everlasting life. For those who are born again, that life has already begun. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16) We do not need to be afraid when we miss the mark, because Jesus has already taken care of all our sins.
- To end condemnation and replace it with salvation. Condemnation has to do with the idea that we are not enough. We no longer have to deal with that: Jesus is enough. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1). For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). We can forgive others because we, ourselves, are forgiven. We no longer have to condemn others. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).
- To make the Holy Spirit available to all of us. The promise fulfilled that He would be Emmanuel - God with us. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear (Acts 2:32, 33).The Holy Spirit is our invisible partner and guide. He leads us through life and directs our steps. Hebrews 13.5 … I will never leave you nor abandon you.
Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor from God; it is the truth that makes men free.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.