Last edited on 28/Mar/2021
Jesus Is God
When we look at the most reliable historical testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Bible, we learn several crucial facts about his life and identity. Jesus’ apostle, John, starts his Gospel account of Jesus’ life in a most remarkable way:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. … 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1–3, 14, ESVUK)
To John, Jesus (whom he calls “the Word” here) was far greater than an angel, prophet, or man: he is God in flesh, the Creator of all things in existence. As the Creator, Jesus was never himself created, but has always existed alongside God the Father and the Holy Spirit for all eternity as the Second Person (or Hypostasis) of the Holy Trinity (Matthew 28:19). Jesus himself affirmed his eternal pre-existence when he said: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:5) Moreover, Jesus claimed to be God by applying God’s divine name “I AM” to himself (John 8:56–59; 18:3–8), referring back to Exodus 3:14–15, when God said to Moses “I AM WHO I AM. … Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.” Some of Jesus’ other claims to deity are when he claimed to be one with God the Father (John 10:30–33) and when he claimed to be the Son of God, hence equal with God (John 5:17–19).
Jesus Is Our Saviour
Paul the apostle wrote another amazing fact about Jesus’ life:
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15)
To Paul, Jesus was the Saviour of the world in addition to being God, since elsewhere he writes that all people have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Jesus affirmed this by claiming to be the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, God’s Anointed One who would be the Saviour and King of the world (John 4:25-26). As our Saviour, Jesus came to save us from the consequences of sin: death (Romans 6:23) and eternal punishment in Hell (Matthew 25:46). Jesus explained how he would do this: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) In other words, Jesus promised that he would die the death we deserved as our substitute so that we may be free from punishment. Since Jesus’ life is of infinite value because he is both God and man and because he lived a sinless life for us (Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 4:15), only Jesus could do this on humanity’s behalf. The price of his life alone could satisfy an infinite punishment.
Why We Can Trust Jesus
Jesus’ extraordinary claims are confirmed by the miracles he performed, which include: raising people from the dead (Mark 5:39–42), healing multitudes of sick people (Matthew 8:14–17), exorcising demons (Mark 1:24–27), calming the winds and seas (Luke 8:22–25), feeding 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two fish (John 6:1–13), and many more. Even Jesus’ birth was miraculous, because he was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:31–35), not by natural means. What also supports Jesus’ claims is the fact that he fulfilled Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. One example is that 700 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah foretold that Jesus, the Messiah, would be wounded and crushed for our sins (Isaiah 53:4–5) and that he would bear our sins and pour out his soul to death as a guilt offering (Isaiah 53:10–12).
When Jesus was about 33 years old, the Jewish chief priests, who hated him for claiming to be God and condemning their man-made traditions, had Jesus arrested based upon false charges and persuaded the Roman authorities to have him tortured and crucified (Matthew 26:14–16, 59–65; Mark 15:6–15). Little did they know, though, that their evil deeds served only to fulfil the primary Messianic prophecy of Jesus’ life. In fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, Jesus’ apostle Peter wrote in his epistle that:
[Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24, NRSV)
Jesus Is Alive Today
The ultimate miracle which confirms that Jesus is who he claimed to be was his resurrection from the dead on the third day after his death, something that Jesus prophesied would happen multiple times in his life (Matthew 16:21; 17:9, 22–23; 20:18–19). After Jesus rose again he first appeared to his disciple, Mary Magdalene (John 20:11–18; Mark 16:9), followed by “the other Mary”, most likely the mother of James and Joseph (Matthew 27:55–56; 28:1, 9). Then he appeared to Peter, followed by the twelve apostles, 500 disciples, James (Jesus’ half brother), and all the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:3–7), before he ascended back to Heaven (Luke 24:50–51). The apostles Luke and John both testify that Jesus appeared to them as a real man, in the same body he died in which still had the crucifixion marks, and not as a spirit being or in a vision (Luke 24:39; John 20:24–28). Last of all, he appeared to Paul in a vision on the road to Damascus (1 Corinthians 15:8; Acts 9:3–5).
Jesus Is the Only Way to Salvation
Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven (Mark 16:19–20), where he reigns over Heaven and Earth as the King of kings and Lord of lords forever (Revelation 17:14; Hebrews 1:8). He sent the Holy Spirit into the world on the Day of Pentecost (John 15:26; Acts 2:1–4), who creates Christian faith in people’s hearts through the Word of God, the Bible, and the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 12:3). Jesus promised that he will one day come again as the Final Judge to judge all people according to our thoughts, words, and deeds (Matthew 25:31–33), and all sinners will enter the second death: Hell, the eternal lake of fire, as punishment (Matthew 18:8; 25:46; Revelation 20:11–15). But Jesus promised that whoever believes in him will not enter judgement, but have eternal life (John 5:24). He said:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17, NIVUK)
When you believe in Jesus, his blood that he shed for you on the cross cleanses you of all your sins (1 John 1:7), God forgives you (Colossians 1:13–14), and the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, makes his home in you and enters into personal fellowship with you (John 14:23; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17). As a believer, the Holy Spirit will guarantee you a place in Heaven (Ephesians 1:13–14). Faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved (John 14:6).
For a more in-depth article on who Jesus is, please see the below article:
For more information on what it means to believe in Jesus, please see the below article: