Summary: Th Apostle’s Creed - I Believe in Jesus Christ
By Danny Saunders
A few nights ago Ali & I watched the third Matrix move, Matrix Revolutions. And at first we had no idea what was going on. We had to stop the video and talk about what had happened in the first 2 movies and where the story was up to before we could go on. Luckily we had actually seen the first 2 movies so we did have some idea of the story line. But it would have been impossible to watch the film without knowing what had happened in the first two movies.
It would be a bit like watching the Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King, the 3rd movie without having seen the first two movies .It would be a bit frustrating missing all that character, plot and story development from the first 2 books. You can see what’s happening in the last movie but all the background and context is missing, so the story seems to lack some substance and meaning.
Well it can be a bit like this for many Christians who start in the New Testament but forget to look into the Old Testament for all the background, context, substance and meaning that the OT provides. Sure we can understand the NT story about Jesus by itself, but if you really want to understand the identity of Jesus & the character & plot development, we need to read the Old Testament, first books in the series
Today we’re looking at the identity of Jesus. What does it mean when we say in the Creed: I Believe…in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord,…
Jesus didn’t enter the world in a vacuum. If we’re going to understand who Jesus is, we must understand what the OT prophecies said about him, what were the expectations of the OT and how are these expectations fulfilled in Jesus.
For Christians, Jesus is the center of our faith. Christianity is not about a set of abstract ideas or beliefs, it’s about a person. The identity of Jesus is a serious question if the claims about Jesus are true then they can’t be ignored & these claims are so huge that they must impact our lives.
So who is Jesus? Who do you think Jesus is? What clues do we find in the OT passages that were read out? 1. What does it mean that Jesus is the Christ?
If you look at verse 20 of Psalm 89 you’ll see that David was exalted and anointed as God’s chosen servant, God’s king. You might remember these old stories from Sunday School, the prophet Samuel was told to go to Bethlehem to the home of Jesse where one of his sons would be anointed as king [1 Sam 16].
Psalm 89 goes on to recount the promises that God gave to David in 2 Samuel 7, that God would establish David’s throne forever and that his would be an everlasting dominion, his line and his throne will be established forever. So David is seen as a king anointed by God, & David is given promises that his line will continue forever.
These promises given to David would be like God promising our current Queen Elizabeth that her line and her house, the House of Windsor would be established and would continue forever. So good old Charles will have his turn, followed by William and so on for all time, a guaranteed line and kingdom, established forever.
The expectation of a king that would rule Israel forever is clear in Psalm 89. Look at verse 26 to 29. The Psalmist is talking about this king that they were expecting:
26He shall cry to me, ’You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’ 27 I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him, and my covenant with him will stand firm. 29 I will establish his line forever, and his throne as long as the heavens endure.
This expectation of a Davidic king is fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus prays to God his Father in the garden of Gethsemane. [Col 1] Jesus is called the first born of all creation and also the first born from the dead because he is the first to die and be resurrected, In Revelation [1:5], John calls Jesus the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of the Kings of the earth. So it’s the kingdom & throne of Jesus that is established forever.
The very words "Jesus Christ" point us to his identity. The angel tells Mary that she must name her son Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. [Matt 1:21]. The name Jesus means Saviour or God saves.