Jesus Christ is the centre of Christianity. He is the centre of belief, and of life, of every Christian
All that the Christian need know of Him is contained in the
New Testament record;
did many...miraculous signs...these are written that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you
may have life in his Name. (John 20:30)
Some may ask: can we trust that record?
There is ample evidence of the truth of that record both internally and otherwise. But in the end, faith is not a matter of logical proof. As we take the the truth of Jesus on trust we find that it is true (see John 7:17)
What the do we believe about Jesus?
• We believe that Jesus is God. We find for ourselves that this is true; once again we take him on trust. At the end of his life, Paul could write, "I know him whom I have believed" (2 Tim 1:12);
and he had lived "by faith in the Son of God" (Gal 2:20)
• When John wrote at the end of his life about Jesus, he was able to say, "The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father"
• During Jesus' lifetime when faced with the question
"Who do you say that I am?", Peter's reply was "The Christ of God" (Luke 9:20)
• And Jesus, although he made no outright claim during his public ministry (but many thinly veiled ones) disclosed to his disciples, "Don't you know that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me" (John 14:10)
• Jesus was fully human
• It is easy to believe that Jesus was a man and still to believe he did not fully share the human condition: that, somehow, it was all easier because he was God. That is human reasoning! Paul admits that he used to judge Jesus by human standards (2 Cor 5:16). But he tells us that "being in very nature God, (he) did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing...being found in appearance as aman he humbled himself" (Phil 2:6-7,8). He was "made like his brothers in every way"(Heb 2:17)
• Jesus may have had the power and authority of God, but his obedience to God was free obedience, as a human being. At any time, he could have
chosen his own way and rejected his Father. That he did not is the foundation of our salvation
• Jesus was God's Messiah . That is, he was the one sent by God as anointed deliverer. The Jews had long expected a Messiah from God. (Isa 9:6-7; Dan 9:25) The trouble was that the Jews expected an earthly, political deliverer. Jesus came to deliver man's spirit.
• He used of himself not the title Messiah, rather 'Son of Man'- a term which could mean just 'a man', or have a more specific reference to the Son of Man of Daniel's vision (cf 7:13-14)
• Jesus' main message was 'the Kingdom of God'
• Even a cursory reading of the Gospel record can leave no doubt that the burden of Jesus' teaching was that with Him the Kingdom of God was among men. If he was Messiah, then equally He was King. He fulfilled the prophecy of "a King who will rule wisely" (Jer23:5). Through his death, "God exalted him to the highest place" (Phil 2:9) and is worshipped as "King of Ages" (Rev 15:3)
• With Jesus, the rule of God on earth began: a rule that will be fully established in the 'new heaven and
• The coming of the Kingdom impinges on the world, and on each individual life. As the Kingdom comes, order is created out of disorder, health out of
disease and the reign of sin is over. (The references could fill this page: read the Gospels!)
• Jesus' whole life led to his death.
Almost certainly as his ministry progressed he knew death was inevitable: by the time of Peter's confession, He told his disciples specifically of it. (Luke 9:20-21) He knew that the Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled in Him: He was Isaiah's Suffering Servant who would "give his life as a ransom for many" (Matt 20:28). He saw in his death, a new meaning and fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrifices (Mark 14:22-24)
• Jesus' life did not end on the Cross.
He died outside Jerusalem's walls on a Friday afternoon. By Sunday morning his tomb was empty: He was alive again, showing himself to his disciples- still human, but now in a new way- a way that was prefigured in his Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-12).
Now humanity and the power and glory and love of God were indissolubly linked, never again to be
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Cor 15:22)