Welcome back to the Story of Liberty, this is John Bona.
Without a doubt, the most important message of all time is the Gospel of Christ the
Lord. There is no other name on earth or beneath the earth or in the heavens by which
a person can be saved and go to heaven except through the name of the person of
We often hear people say that He was a great man or great teacher or a prophet but
really nothing more. I remember talking to a friend of mine who is a lifeguard many
years ago and we had a discussion about who is Jesus Christ? His answer was
that, "He was a good man, He was a teacher, He was a good guy that was tortured
and killed by mistake." Not long after that conversation the friend died, I did have
an opportunity to tell him who Jesus really was, that He was the only begotten son
of God. I hope he believed, and I hope he is now on heaven.
Let's take a brief look, a little closer look at who Jesus Christ really is. Let me say, first of all, that nobody possesses the qualifications to expound the full character, the greatness of God. In fact, the Bible tells us that we cannot do that. I think we could spend the rest of our lives and even in eternity trying to comprehend who is God.
First, let's take a look at what His father says, God the father. When Jesus was beginning His ministry, He was being baptized by John at the Jordan river right there in the book of Matthew. Remember that the dove, the symbol of the holy spirit descended and a voice from heaven was heard saying, "This is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased." God calls Jesus His Son, not one of my sons or this is a Son of God. Scripture says it very clear, this is my beloved Son. We know that in the great famous verse of all scripture, John 3:16, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. See, the coming of Christ into the world in the advent the beginning of the Christian faith is the greatest benefit in the history of mankind.
The coming of Christ to the world actually defines time. Before He came, all time is dated B.C, after He came, it's all A.D. All the world is forever different, forever changed for the good because He is the universal attraction. The entire history of mankind before His coming was really, in a sense, an awaiting of His great advent into the world. The people were waiting for the Messiah. All history since His coming has been the progression of His spirit in the hearts and minds of men and women and the establishment of His kingdom on earth. There could be no argument about the fact that Jesus is the one person in human history of whom more has been written upon and spoken of than any other person ever.
Just think about of all the books, all the tracks, all the pamphlets, all the newspapers printed over the last 1500 years since the beginning of the printing press about Christ, His incarnation, His preexistence, His ascension, His teachings, His virtue, His miracles, His death, His suffering, His resurrection. If they were gathered into one place, all those writing, where is the building big enough that can hold it? And then what about the countless millions of sermons that have been preached and the uniqueness, the grace, and the power of God? What about the unnumbered host of Christian workers, evangelists, pastors, priests, Christian workers who every Sunday when it comes around magnify Him, preach His gospel as Lord and Savior, wherever they witness to other people about Him on planet earth. Even the name of Jesus is placed side by side equally with God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Jesus is set forth in the midst of his peers, in the one hand the Father Almighty and in the other the holy spirit.
His friends in his childhood they knew Him as Jesus. The name which He
was known in His hometown there in Nazareth and Jerusalem and Galilee.
He was Jesus of Nazareth or said in Hebrew, He was Yeshua. Remember
when the angel proclaimed, thou shall call His name Jesus: for He shall
save his people from their sins. Isn't that amazing in itself that His name
means Jehovah saves, God saves? Christ was also fully human in every
way. We know He was born of the Virgin Mary. He was the seed of David.
He was even the descendant of Adam where told by Luke. He had
brothers and sisters according to the gospel. He had a human ancestry,
at least on his mother side. He also had a human appearance. There was
nothing about Him that caused anyone to think He was anything different
than a man.
See, the veil that God had wore shed out more glory than we could bear.
He was taken as a man by His friends, His disciples and even His enemies.
They said, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" He claimed to be a man even the son of man and He dwelt here about 33 years and He will return one day to have dominion over the earth. He experienced all those things that we experienced. He hungered. He thirsted. He wept. He slept. He was weary some days. He was tempted in all the ways we are, yet without sin. He suffered and then He finally died. He was the very human Jesus but He was also the very perfect Christ the Lord. He had our human nature in all ways yet without one single sin.The Christ is the only perfect man the world has ever known, apart from Him all have sinned. He said "Which of you convinceth of me of sin?" He also said that the prince of world comes and has nothing in Me.
See, there was nothing about Him that the devil could appeal or use. In fact, that is the great confession of the Christian church that Jesus, the Son of God has come to earth in the flesh. What did Jesus say about Himself? Well, He said many things. Here's the few of them, He knew who He was, where He came from, why He entered the world and what the future held for Him. Jesus said, "I and my father are one." He further said after His resurrection, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Just think about that statement, all the power in heaven and earth has been given to Christ the Lord. Christ is omnipotent, He's the God who will judge all earth, He declared that all judgment was given to the son that He maybe equal with the Father.
He is the judge of the entire world of all time, and further He raises the dead. He gives life to whosoever He will. Jesus is the Father's confidence and from Him the other children of God obtained their knowledge of the Father. Jesus by His sacrificial death made His own received the greatest blessing of all time, "This is My blood of the new testament which is shed for many." He perfectly fulfilled the Father's will and He has all authority and He told us very plainly, very clearly that heaven and earth would pass away but that His words would never pass away.
These statements are perfectly true because Jesus lived before He was born. His beginning as the word was long before, His beginning as a man. In three crisp sentences, announces the way in which Jesus existed in the beginning before all things. In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God. Isaiah said, He was the high and the lofty one that inhabited eternity, whose name is holy. His coming to earth out of the past, unmeasured eternity is clearly made in His claim before Abraham was I am. Remember the woman in Samaria that would talk with Jesus? She said, "I know the Messiah will come which is called Christ. When He is to come, He will tell us all things. Jesus responded to her, "I that speak to you am He." How much clear could that possibly be, the one who is the Messiah, the one who is omnipotent, the one who is the judge of all the earth, the one who is the one who gives life and raises the dead. The one who is eternal could say, "Verily I say to you before Abraham was, I am." When Jesus urged his disciples to search the Old Testament books, He said, "They testify of me." He actually identify themselves with Daniel's prophecy of Messiah, the prince, who would come and vindicate his claim as God's anointed one. Jesus uses the same name that God chose for Himself and reveal to Moses at the burning bush. "Who shall I say has sent me?" asked Moses. And God said unto Moses, "I am that I am. Thou shall say to the children of Israel, I am has sent me unto you." When Jesus was confronted in the garden by the soldiers of the high priest and the Romans we read in scripture, Jesus said to them, "Whom do you seek?" They answer to him Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to them, "I am He." In the English it says, "I am He" but in the Greek it says "I am." There was so much power in those words that the Roman soldiers all fell backwards and fell to the ground. No man could have taken Christ had He not allowed to be taken. He offered Himself. Jesus came when everything was the darkest and most grim in planet earth.
No one in the history the world can be compared to Him, The King of Kings
and the Lord of Lords. No matter how many times you'll admire some
individual throughout history inevitably you will find the feet of clay
because all humans have fallen short, they have their weaknesses,
they have their character faults, and that's all of us. But Jesus is the
all together, perfect and lovely one.
Which of the other religious leaders, Mohammad or Buddha, for
example, died for the sins of their people? Which of them rose from
the dead? Which has even followers who makes such a claim? There
is none. Jesus is all together different from every one of them. Did you
notice in scripture that Jesus never changes a word that He said? He
never says, "Oh I didn't mean that, I meant this." Who could say that?
Nobody. He never apologized for anything. Who can make that claim?
There was never a misstatement. There was never a half truth because
He was truth itself. He was the incarnated truth. There was never an
action. There was never any word that He modified to the slightest degree.
Jesus was the perfect balance of truth and love and mercy and justice. Did you notice that Jesus never asked for advice from anyone? Even Moses, the great lawgiver, had counselors. Solomon, the wisest of man, he sought advice, he sought counsel but Jesus didn't need any. He never went to school. What He received was from the Father and He gave it to us. Jesus was the incarnated wisdom, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Well, people were always asking, what kind of person was Christ? This was the question they kept asking. What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him! Well, we could say that He was what He said. There was no disconnect ever between the teaching of Christ and His life what He actually did. Now, frankly there's a disconnect in all of us in practicing what we preach and every person in the world who has ever talked the moral code. We all fall short to some degree of that. One skeptic said, "Jesus fully carried out His perfect doctrine in life and conduct. He was His own credential." Yes, Christ the Lord was His own credential, He had no college degree, no plaque hanging on the wall to show how great He was. He did what He taught and He taught the highest morality the world has ever known. Culminating at the statement toward the end of the sermon in the mount, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Well, have any of us done that? Have any of us been perfect? No, I don't think so. But He was the altogether perfect Christ. He always did those things that pleased His father. You know, it's interesting that even His enemies could not say anything against Him. Judas who betrayed him said, 'I have betrayed innocent blood." Pilate who condemn him said, "I find no fault in this man." The centurion that pounded spikes into his hands and feet said, "Certainly this was a righteous man. Truly, this was the son of God." The thief that died in agony next to Him said, "We received our due reward for our deeds; but this man has done nothing amiss." The entire world has joined in chorus to say, "Jesus is the moral paragon."
Notice that Jesus never asked anyone to pray for Him. Remember the night before in the garden of Gethsemane when He was sweating blood, He knew what was coming. But He gathered together His apostles, His friends and He asked them to pray. But notice what He says, "Watch and pray for yourselves that you enter not into temptation." Why did He not permit or ask anyone to pray for Him like all of us would do? The answer is very obvious, He doesn't need prayers, He doesn't want prayers, why? Because Jesus of Nazareth is God Almighty in human form. There on the Via Dolorosa on the very day of His death after being beaten and scourged then unjustly condemned to die, He dragged that cross out to the hill of Calvary and followed by the weeping woman of Jerusalem, He stopped and turned and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, though weep for yourselves for if they do these things in a green tree what shall be done in the dry?" He is God. He does not need our prayers or our concern.
Jesus did come, God Almighty. If He didn't, our world would be sunk into total skepticism and unbelief by now. Religion itself would be totally degenerated. Men would live a hopeless life. There will be no future, no heaven, no judgment to come. Man would be returned to the jungle in order to be everyone against His neighbor. But the idea of brotherhood of being compassionate, love, self sacrifice would have become the law of the jungle. But He did come, thank God, He came and He died for us. Death is an appointment that everyone of us must keep. It is appointed unto man once to die. Jesus knew of His coming death. He constantly predicted it. He knew the manner and the purpose of it. It would take hours to explain all the things He said about that but here's just a few: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." He spoke about the temple of His body. The sign, the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The Son of Man must be lifted up. The Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of men. And they shall kill Him and in the third day He shall be raised again.
He knew the exact moment of His departure from planet earth and when
He did die, He didn't die as a martyr, He didn't die as a victim, He died as
the most victorious death of all time. And he cried with a loud voice,
freely offers that gift of everlasting life in His paradise to all who will
simply trust in Him. He did come and the world is all different but the big
question is, has He come to you? Has He come into your heart to dispel
the darkness of doubt, the darkness of hopelessness? Do you know that
you will be with Him forever in his heaven? Do you know that the grave
is not the end? Do you know that death itself has lost its thing? And when
your time does come, my prayer is that, that moment you will not really
die as Christ said. You will simply pass through that invisible portal
whatever that is we don't know and that you will be immediately with
Christ because He said, those that believe in Him will never die. Your
body may stop functioning, your heart may stop beating but your soul
will continue forever with Christ the Lord for eternity. And think of that
a moment, eternity with Christ in his heaven, eternity as eons and eons of time. Hundreds of billions of years and then it's just beginning.
The fullest revelation of who God is, is made in the person of Christ. No man has seen the father at any time, the only begotten son which is the bosom of the Father. He has declared Him. As I said, it's our desire to reveal some part, to show some part of the glory of Christ as revealed in scripture. As the object of our faith, our love, our admiration, our adoration but even after our utmost endeavor, our diligent inquiry we have to say how little a portion of Him we understand. His glory is incomprehensible, His praises unutterable. So, it was declared, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord. He made Himself of no reputation. He humbled Himself. The Word becoming flesh, who being in the form of God. He is the image of the invisible God. He is the brightness of His glory and the expressed image of His person. That’s in Hebrews 1:3. The word was God and Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God. We enter with fear and trembling upon this high and holy subject. Christ’s name is called wonderful, counselor and even the angels of God are commanded to worship Him. There is no salvation apart from the true knowledge of Him because whosoever denies the Son either his true God had or his true holy humanity has not the Father. Without a great controversy, the great mystery of His godliness is unfolded. God was manifest in the flesh.
He cannot be fully comprehended by any finite intelligence here on planet Earth. No man knows the Son, but the Father. Nevertheless, it is our privilege to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The one born in that Bethlehem manger was the mighty God, Immanuel, the great God and the Savior. He is also the true man with the spirit, a soul and a body for these are essential to His human nature. Two separate natures are united in to one fearless person, the theanthropos, the God man. But, when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law. Yet, this is a surprising conjunction that the holy read itself sets before us that the most high abased Himself.
The Lord of glory assumed the form of a man. The King of kings became a subject. Nothing endears the Redeemer more to the hearts than the realization that it was for our sakes He became poor and abased Himself. Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and richness and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing is our united testimony. He was despised and rejected by men. The prophecy of Isaiah was in the hands of the Jews for 700 years before Jesus was born in that Bethlehem manger.