Summary: In reference to Dan Brown’s DA VINCI CODE, evidence for the divinity of Jesus Christ is presented.
IS JESUS GOD?
475 Col.1: 15-20
1. My kids gave me a copy of The DaVinci Code for Christmas 2003. I finished reading it on New Year’s day. As an author, I was wishing I had written it until I got to chapter 56 on Jesus’ deity. Suddenly, that spoiled the whole book for me.
2. Brown, Dan (2003), The DaVince Code. New York: Doubleday, p. 233.
3. Next to the events in the Christian scriptures, the most important event in Christian history is the conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity in 312 C.E.
4. Here’s the story: Constantine’s troops were positioned at the Milvian Bridge just outside Rome. They were preparing to overthrow the Roman Emperor Maxentius. Victory would make Constantine the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. The night before the battle, Constantine saw a vision that changed his life and the history of the church. Eusebius of Caesarea, who was both a historian & a confidant of Constantine, wrote that the Emperor was praying to a pagan god when “he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross in the light of the heavens, above the sun and an inscription, Conquer by this, attached to it. . . Then in his sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the sign which he had seen in the heavens, and commanded him to make a likeness of the sign. . . and to use it as a safeguard in all his engagements with his enemies” (M.A.Noll.Turning Points, Baker, 1997, p. 50). He had his army sprinkled in baptism as they marched by the river, crossed the bridge, and won the battle, fighting under the banner of the Christian cross. Later he issued the Edict of Milan, decreeing that Christians were no longer to be persecuted.
5. The DaVince Code makes a startling charge: that Jesus’ followers only considered him to be a human being until Emperor Constantine “upgraded” his status to deity almost 300 years after his death at the Council of Nicaea, in 325 C.E.
6. The humanity of Jesus has been thoroughly questioned by Docetism which maintained that He only appeared to be human. Cf. “The Human Side of Jesus” (Strobel & Poole, p. 78).
I. THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES PROMISED A MESSIAH
1. His decent from Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob: Gen. 12:3; 17:19; Mt. 1:1,2; Ac. 3:25.
2. His birth in Bethlehem: Mic. 5:2; Mt. 2:1,6.
3. His crucifixion with criminals: Isa. 53:12; Mt. 27:38.
4. Piercing of His hands & feet on the cross: Ps. 22:16; Jn. 20:25.
5. Soldiers gambling for his clothes: Ps. 22:18; Mt. 27:35.
6. Piercing of His side: Zech. 12:10; Jn. 19:34.
7. His bones would not be broken at His death: Ps. 34:20; Jn. 19:33-37.
8. His burial among the rich: Isa. 53:9; Mt. 27: 57-60.
II. THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES CLAIM JESUS IS GOD
1. Considering the table dating the N.T. books (McDowell, p. 24), Jesus’ deity had been proclaimed & believed by Christians for over 200 years before the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E.
2. The easily remembered passages are found in the 1st chapters of Jn. , Col., Heb., 2 Pet., & Rev.
1) Jn. 1:1-3a: “In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God, & the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him & without him not one thing came into being.”