Who is Jesus?
Today's question is, "Who is Jesus?"
The following partial list came to mind as I wrote what follows. This is a very thin cross section of the whole answer:
Jesus is the Alpha.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look — I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.
—Revelation 1:17-18 HCSB
Jesus existed before the beginning. Before anything existed, Jesus was with God the Father, enjoying perfect, unbroken union. This was before the word "before" had any meaning, which is why the words "in the beginning," and "before the beginning" mean the same thing.
Jesus is the Word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.
—John 1:1-4 HCSB
I find it interesting that 1) "Life was in Him" even before life, as we know it, existed, and 2) "that life was the light of men" before any men had been created. Could this indicate that Jesus is our Source, the originator, our most primitive progenitor—even the author and prototype of our original human dignity as manifested in Adam, the pinnacle of God's creation? I think so.
But then, of course, that dignity was lost. And we, being descendants of the fallen man, Adam, suffer this loss of dignity ourselves, to this very day.
Jesus is our Savior.
He is the Savior of mankind. He is the one—yea, the only—man who lived His entire life on this earth without ever, even once, sinning against God. This fact alone should qualify Him as able to pay the price for our sins in sacrificial death. On this basis, if there is a man in all human history who could qualify as a sacrifice for our sins, it is only Jesus, no one else.
But Jesus is more than this. For how can a man aspire to—much less achieve—sinlessness? Ask anyone who has tried… they will all attest to their own failure, unless they are liars. And our common human experience is enough to assure us that we don't need proof that they lie. We know better.
"Nobody's perfect," goes the saying, and it has never been refuted, except in the case of Jesus Christ. Jesus was—and is—Perfect. And we stand in awe of the fact that God now offers to us: perfection. Yes! You can be made perfect. You can break the rule, that universal law of human nature which never stops convicting us: "Nobody's perfect." But now there is a way for us to say, "I am perfect."
But of course, we cannot say it yet. Instead, we must add the qualifier, "In Christ, I am made perfect." And yet it is somehow a present reality, though not without a future fulfillment and manifestation. And this is what we all look forward to, is it not? Is not the newly repentant sinner sick and tired of his own sinful ways? When we are converted, are we not disgusted with our personal past? Do we not, in that moment, experience an awakening realization of our own depravity? Isn't Jesus therefore the antithesis of our own fallen human condition?
And yet! Jesus is a Man. He is human, just as we are human, yet without sin. How is this possible?
It is possible because Jesus is God. We all would like to be god, all of us have tried to be god, and all of us have failed in our attempts—because we're not God. I am personally intrigued by the fact that whereas we would each (if only secretly) fancy the idea of being equal with God, the scriptures report that "… Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage." (Philippians 2:5-6 HCSB). I find that interesting.
This fact adds gravity to the bold statement that Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers (Hebrews 2:11). This same scripture tells us that Jesus proved Himself capable of paying the price for our sins by passing the test that we have all failed:
For in bringing many sons to glory, it was entirely appropriate that God — all things exist for Him and through Him — should make the source of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers…
—Hebrews 2:10-11 HCSB
So it is clear that Jesus is our Brother. It is surely a testament to God's grace and humility that He would have His Son (through Whom we and everything were created, and in Whose image we are made), after we had sinned and forsaken Him, return nonetheless to become like us, setting aside His eternal attributes of omniscience and omnipotence, His glory and power, in order to redeem us from our own fallen and depraved state.
For although mankind once enjoyed uninterrupted communion with God—though Adam was in perfect fellowship with the Alpha—he nonetheless consciously chose to turn his back on God and walk away. Yet Jesus, our Creator, our Savior, revisited us—not by invitation, but by the volition of God—humbled Himself, even unto death, and hence has called us His brothers!
And He shall return again to consummate His relationship with those of us who are His.
Jesus is Judge.
He shall judge all people, believers and non-believers. Every person who ever lived will face Jesus, man to man, as it were, and give account for every thought, deed, and word. On that day, Jesus, the Word, will have the final word. How good it will be on that day to be among those whom He calls His brothers!
Jesus is the Omega.
He is the end. In the end, all things will be made right, for all will be in Christ. There will be no more ugly reality, no more evil, no more destruction nor devastating effects of sin—indeed, no more sin. Men and women will be made perfect in Him, and we will see nothing but righteousness as far as the eye can see. When we look upon humanity, we will see only His image, in which we were originally made. Our dignity shall be restored. And He will be our God, and we will be His people, forever and ever.
“Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.”
Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come! ” Anyone who hears should say, “Come! ” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.
He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!