Tag Archives: Messiah

“Risen”: A Fresh and Moving Perspective on the Resurrection

I just came back from seeing the new movie, “Risen”.  I recommend it highly.

I have seen a lot of Bible-themed and faith-based movies over the years. Risen is something encouragingly different. You see, the problem with most bible-themed and faith-based movies is they fall short in at least one of the major category. Either the writing is transparent, the acting weak, the directing is misguided or the production is cheap. Risen is a clear difference, hitting on all four cylinders.

Joseph Fiennes solid portrayal in the lead is moving and draws viewers into a well-told story. The story is summed up with one statement. When asked, “What frightens you?” Clavius (Fiennes) responds, “Being wrong. Wagering eternity on it.” Yes, Clavius is a non-biblical/fictional figure, but he becomes the personification of each and every person who has faced the truth of the resurrection and said, it can’t be true. As he proceeds on behalf of the Roman empire in an attempt to prove the false claims, we are reminded of the words of Sherlock Holmes, in The Sign of the Four “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” This is where Clavius finds himself.

For those who are familiar with the account of Jesus resurrection, “Risen” provides a fresh perspective. For those who are not, they will find a compelling investigation as they see events through the eyes of a skeptic who must reconcile what he believes to be true with all the evidence that is laid before him.

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Where You There?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Were you there when the stone was rolled away?
Were you there when the stone was rolled away?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when the stone was rolled away?

Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?

Words and Music are a Traditional Negro Spiritual

It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.

They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
Mark 15:25 – 37

So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
John 20:25

Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
John 19:40 – 42

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.
Luke 24:1 – 8

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:57


There are those songs that have come down through the ages. Songs that speak to our very souls. They come from a place of struggle and sorrow. They embody the deepest cries of our heart, those cries that we often can not even put into words. In America, we trace many of these songs back to some of the darkest days in our history. The days of slavery, when the cry of the heart was to be released from the oppression of this world. These songs place us in the events they describe. They transport us to a new place, a place that separates us from our situation and brings us to a place of hope. This is the case with the old Negro Spiritual, “Where you there?”

The the first verse starts our mind meditating on the events of that Friday two thousand years ago. “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” So our minds begin a journey, looking back to that day. What must it have been like to stand there and see the events of Mark 15:25 – 37.

“It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.

They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.”

Imagine to have spent all those years with him. To have become friends and to have come to believe that he was the promised messiah, only to seemingly have it all ripped away. Imagine witnessing him dying the death of a criminal. The words of the verse continue with what is all to true. “Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.” We shake and tremble at the loss of the one we loved so dear.

The next verse now begins to go deeper into the crucifixion. We read, “Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree? Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?” This is the nature of the crucifixion. Perhaps the most brutal form of execution ever devised by man. To be nailed to a tree, arms stretched wide. Nails through your hands and your feet. (John 20:25) To have to lift your body’s weight to breath, causing the tearing of flesh in the your hands. Every breath excruciating until you finally give up your last breath. This is what was witnessed by those who were present at the crucifixion.

The hymn continues, “Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?” There he was, their Lord and Savior. The man they had followed, waiting to see God’s power revealed, dead on a cross. So they lowered him from the cross and laid him in a tomb. There he laid, motionless with no life remaining. John 19:40 – 42 tells us that “Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” Once they were finished, the tomb was closed with a stone across the entrance and He was left there.

But this is not the end. This is not where the story closes. The next verses ask the question “Were you there when the stone was rolled away? Were you there when the stone was rolled away?” The stone had been placed to close the grave. It was a visual evidence that there was no life inside. It was a place that none would go. Yet we discover it has been rolled away. Luke 24:1 – 3 tells us that, “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb.” Why would the stone be rolled away? Why would someone want to enter a grave?

But we learn that someone did not enter the grave, but left the grave. Luke 24:4 – 8 reads “but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.” He had risen. He was alive. So the hymn turns to asking not a question of sorrow, but a question of joy. “Were you there when He rose up from the dead? Were you there when He rose up from the dead?”

Our savior and messiah is not dead in a grave, but alive. He has conquered death and now He stands as our mean to the Father. When we stop to truly consider the message of the cross and the grave, we need not sorrow, but find joy that if our Savior has conquered death, we need not fear it. In Him we to can have victory. (I Corinthians 15:57) When we are filled with the awe that comes from knowing what he has gone through on our behalf, that he died and rose again, we for a whole new reason declare, “Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.”

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There Is A Redeemer

There is a Redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son;
precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One.
Thank you, O my Father,
for giving us your Son,
and leaving your Spirit
till the work on earth is done.

Jesus, my Redeemer,
name above all names,
precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
hope for sinners slain.
Thank you, O my Father,
for giving us your Son,
and leaving your Spirit
till the work on earth is done.

When I stand in glory
I will see his face;
there I’ll serve my King forever
in that holy place.
Thank you, O my Father,
for giving us your Son,
and leaving your Spirit
till the work on earth is done.

Words and Music by Melody Green, 1982

 


I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
Job 19:25

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:15

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:31

This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 48:17

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9 – 11

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Revelation 22:4


 

As we enter the Lenten season we begin to prepare ourselves for the remembrance of Holy Week and the joyous celebration of Easter. With this in mind I want to take these weeks to reflect on the incredible gift that God has given us through his sacrifice and resurrection. The gift of redemption, for those who have put their faith in Christ have a Redeemer. We are reminded of this in the simple, and beautiful words of “There is a Redeemer.”

The words begin by reflecting on different titles for Jesus. The first verse reads “There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son; precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One.” When we look at each of these titles, we begin to have revealed a full picture of our Savior.

We have a “Redeemer”, the one who paid the price we owed and restores us to fellowship with God. Job, who had everything taken from him, could stand and say in chapter 19, verse 25, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”

“Jesus”, the name we know the Savior by, is in fact the Greek form of the name Joshua (Yeshua) meaning Salvation. This is why the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

It continues with the words, “God’s own Son”. Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 4:15 tells us that “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”

Next we find the title, “Lamb of God.” A direct reference to the sacrificial system for making atonement for sin. In John 1:29 we read the words proclaimed by the John the Baptist when he “saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for the sins in our lives.

“Messiah” and its Greek counterpart, Christ, refer to the prophesied deliverer of Israel. The anointed one of God. Jesus is the prophesied deliverer. John 20:31 tells us,“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

He is the “ Holy One”, the one who is set apart. Isaiah 48:17 tells us, “This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” God Himself is the Holy One.

Each of these titles carries great weight and meaning. Each tells us of the characteristics of Jesus. When we take time to understand these titles we come to a profound understanding that He has a “name above all names.” A truth that is shared by Paul in Philippians 2:9 – 11 which says, “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Yes, He is the “Redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son; precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One.” For these reasons and so many more, He is not simply someone to be praise, He is “hope for sinners.” A hope that is founded in His great sacrifice, for he was “slain” that we might live. This is the message of Romans 5:8 which tells us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

It is this hope that we can stand in. We can know that we “will see his face” and that we will “serve (our) King forever in that holy place.” A promise to all who believe. As the Bible comes to a close in Revelation 22 we read in verse 4 that, “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”

God has given us hope. Hope that is not based in wishful thinking, but in the truth the Jesus is our redeemer. And in a final thought we are reminded that through all of this, we are not left alone. The Holy Spirit dwells within those who have put their trust in Jesus. So we join with other expressing the feeling in our hearts, “Thank you, O my Father, for giving us your Son, and leaving your Spirit till the work on earth is done.”

 

 

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Come And Worship

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds, in the field abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing;
Yonder shines the infant light:
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations;
Ye have seen His natal star.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Though an Infant now we view Him,
He shall fill His Father’s throne,
Gather all the nations to Him;
Every knee shall then bow down:
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.
Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Words by James Montgomery, 1816
Music by Henry T. Smart, 1867

 

 


The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Genesis 22:15 – 18

This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Haggai 2:6 – 7

God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.
Psalm 47:8

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left
Matthew 25:31 – 33

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9 – 11


 

 

Most of us are very familiar with our little world, but far to often we can not see beyond our world. We fail to think about people in the next house over, let alone the other side of the world.  We simply see others as different and figure we share very little with them.

But as Christians, we begin to realize that our world is not so small.  That as we travel around the world we will find those with whom we share the most important thing.  We are brothers and sisters, fellow members of God’s family.  A family made of those called from around the world.  This theme is found in the Christmas hymn, “Angels From the Realms of Glory.”

The hymn begins by  discussing the ever familiar story of the angels proclaiming the birth of Christ.  We of course know that they appeared to the shepherd to declare the news of Christ birth as found in Luke 2.  But James Montgomery presents us with an interesting thought.  He writes, “Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth.” Montgomery presents us with a vivid image of the fact that the birth of the Messiah was not just for  Israel.  He was born for “all the earth” as a fulfillment of Genesis 22:18 where God told Abraham, “through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed”

As we continue through the hymn, we find more that we know. Just as the shepherds are a familiar part of the Christmas story, so are the Magi, whom the hymn refers to as Sages. The Magi came, not from Israel, but from a far land to the east. They came to worship the newborn king, following the star they had seen. So the hymn continues, “Seek the great Desire of nations; Ye have seen His natal star.” Yes, Israel had anxiously awaited the coming messiah, but the gift of peace with God that He would bring “is desired by all nations” as found in Haggai 2:7.

Montgomery continues this theme when he writes, “He shall fill His Father’s throne, Gather all the nations to Him; Every knee shall then bow down.” Jesus, the King, will sit on His Father’s throne over all the nations. (Psalm 47:8) This is the vision that Jesus Himself presents to us in Matthew 25:31 – 32 were we read, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him.” Jesus is the King of the nations, and one day all people will bow before Him.  (Philippians 2:9 – 11)

Yes, Jesus is a gift that God gave to the whole world.  (John 3:16) A gift that would lead to salvation and forgiveness.  A gift that would bring peace between God and man.  When we accept this gift given that first Christmas, we can then with “All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son.”

 

 

Read more about “Angels From The Realms of Glory.”

The Rest of the Story


Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Shabbat service at a local synagogue. A friend of my younger sons was going to be taking part in the service and his family had invited us.

It was a memorable experience as we sang with the Cantor, prayed with the Rabbi and worked our way through the service. While the Rabbi did not give a sermon, as this was a special service, we did get to see a faith steeped in rich tradition and history. I could not help but be moved by the reverence and truths relayed about God in the prayer book. (Fortunately there was an English translation as my Hebrew is a bit rusty.)

These are the chosen people of God described throughout the Bible. A people who have worship God in the same basic structure for more than 2000 years.

Just like me, they too worship the only God with praise, and joy. The words of the prayers speak of the gifts of God, the peace of God and that all is to the glory of God. Dare I say, they worshiped with a reverence to often missing in the Christian church.

To worship in this setting, it was clear that God spoke to my heart. But as my spirit was lifted toward God, I had one thing pound over and over. They are missing the rest of the story.

I remember listening to Paul Harvey tell “The Rest of the Story” on the radio. Paul and his team would take a significant person in history and then proceed to research around them to find out what had happened in their life that had helped make them the person we knew. Sometimes he would do the same things with significant events in history. It should be noted that in their research they had to have at least two independent sources confirming the story for it to make it on air.

When he told the story he did not begin by revealing who or what he was talking about, but rather he would tell the unknown story they had found in their research. Only after peaking your interest and fascination with the story would he reveal who or what he was talking about to the amusement, surprise and sometimes shock of the audience. He would then conclude with his trademark “and now you know, the rest of the story.”

In much the same way I felt like I was listening to a Paul Harvey story but before the person being spoken about was revealed, the radio was shut off. I wanted to stand up and shout, that “all of these prophecies, scriptures and laws point to the man known to the world as Jesus of Nazareth.”

That is the most exciting and liberating part of the story. No longer are we justified through the law, no longer do we need sacrifices for our sins, no longer must we enter into the presence of the Lord through rituals. For God has sent the promised messiah, the living tabernacle of God, Emmanuel – God with us. (Isaiah 7:14) He has sent the one who paid the price in full for our sins as prophesied in Isaiah 53:5 “by his wounds we are healed.” Through the Messiah we are forgiven and only through the Messiah may we enter into the presence of God. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but through me.” John 14:6 It is simply through faith in the Messiah that we receive salvation. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourself, it is the gift of God – not by works, so no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. This means we are free to not depend on our obedience to the law for salvation but to obey God for the right reasons. For the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind … And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 [Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]) And while He has commanded it, we do not love simply because of the command, but “we love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 In addition, we obey God that He might be glorified by our actions. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

The good news is here. All the waiting, all the hoping and all the praying have come to fruition. The Law and the Prophets have been fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17) The messiah has come and his gift of salvation is available to all who believe. (Acts 10:43)

This is Jesus of Nazareth, “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

“And now you know, the rest of the story.”

The Doctrine of Christ


Who is Jesus of Nazareth? This question as been pondered in the minds of many for two thousand years. For the answer to this question has impact on everyone from the lowliest beggar, to the mightiest King.

So who is Jesus of Nazareth and why, is he called Christ. Let me answer the second question first. Contrary to what many may think, based on it usage, Christ is not a last name, rather is a title. It is derived from the Greek word [christos], which means anointed or chosen one. It is the same as the Hebrew word Messiah. So when you hear Jesus referred to as the Christ or as the Messiah, these are the same thing. It is calling him the anointed one of God.

Now, back to the first question, who is Jesus? Jesus was a man, born into this world (Luke 2:5-7), who lived (Luke 2:52) and died (Mark 15:43-45). However the story does not simply end there. For Jesus what not simply a man, Jesus was also God incarnate [in flesh] (John 1:1, 14). He is the eternal God, the great I am of the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2), who existed from the very beginning in co-existence with God [the Father] (John 1:1, 17:5). He is simultaneously fully man (Luke 19:10, Galatians 4:4) and fully God.He was the true God who took on the form of a man and faced all temptations that men face, to an infinite degree (Hebrews 4:15, Philippians 2:6-8). If Jesus had been simply God, but not man his sacrifice would have been inadequate, as he could not represent man. Had he been simply man, but not God his sacrifice would have been inadequate as he would have been imperfect. Jesus was fully God and fully man and there for was the only adequate sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:1-14)

Now while Jesus was fully man, he did not have a human father, rather the Holy Spirit came upon the virgin Mary and she gave birth to a son, Jesus Christ (Luke 1:35, Matthew 1:18-25) Though Jesus Christ was fully God, when He came to earth, He voluntarily surrendered the rights that came with His being God.He did not give up His being God, but willingly set aside His position as God to become man and face all temptations that man faced.In fact, Jesus did not only lower Himself to becoming a man, but came to serve man and die in his place.(Mark 10:45, Philippians 2:5-11).

Some have questioned the whole death of Jesus, but let me be clear, Jesus death on the cross was not simply passing out or “swooning” but was a true physical death. (Matthew 27:45-54, Mark 15:33-41, Luke 23:44-49, John 19:28-30).It was necessary that it be a true physical death as His death was a sacrifice that paid the penalty for the sins [anything not up to God’s perfect standard] of man (Matthew 20:28, I Timothy 2:6).As God is perfect and just, the sins of Man are an affront to His being. Therefore, the sins of Man needed a perfect offering to satisfy a just God.Jesus, being fully God and fully man was a perfect man. He therefore was the only adequate sacrifice to pay the price.His death on the cross fulfilled the prophecies of the messiah to come found in the Old Testament (Zechariah 2:10-11, Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12).It is through His death that our sins may be forgiven for His death was a sufficient sacrifice for the entire world, but it was only efficient for those who would believe (John 1:12, Romans 3:22).

After his death on the cross, Jesus was laid in a grave for three days and on the third day the Father raised Him from the dead in the perfection of the resurrected body (John 20:11-17, 26-29, I Corinthians 15:3-8).He was the first to be resurrected and through his resurrection, the door was opened to eternal life for those who believe (I Corinthians 20:20-21).

Jesus now sits at the “right hand” [the place of honor] of the Father (Acts 2:32-34), where He sits in authority over the church (Colossians 1:18) and serves as an advocate for believers (Hebrews 4:14-16).Jesus will one day return to claim those who have proclaimed belief in Him and have been forgiven (Acts 1:11, I Thessalonians 4:16-17) At the end of time He will sit in the judgment seat as all humanity stands before Him and He will separate those whose sins have been forgiven through belief in Him from those who are the unregenerate of the world (Matthew 25:31-46).