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Summary: In the person of Christ we are presented with two complete and integrated natures, the human and the divine. At his birth He was named “Jesus”, the Greek form of Joshua, meaning “the Lord Saves”. Jesus is not man becoming God but God incarnated into fl

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“I am the Alpha and the Omega ­— the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge” Revelation 21:6

In the person of Christ we are presented with two complete and integrated natures, the human and the divine. At his birth He was named “Jesus”, the Greek form of Joshua, meaning “the Lord Saves”. Jesus is not man becoming God but God incarnated into flesh. Colossians 2:9 clearly states: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”. Jesus Christ was and is coexistent and coeternal with the Father and The Holy Spirit. Jesus was fully God and fully human, He experienced physical and emotional experiences. Being fully human He needed sleep and refreshment (Matthew 8:24), He experienced hunger and thirst (Matthew 4:2; John 19:28), He experienced love and compassion (Matthew 9:36), He even wept (John 11:35).

Possibly the clearest explanation of the person of Jesus Christ is found in Philippians 2:6-11 (NIV) “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, the glory of God the Father.”

The deity of Christ is integral to everything He did and said. Jesus claimed the authority of God, for example in Mark 2:10 He said He had the authority to forgive sin. Jesus claimed omnipotence by stating that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18). He demonstrated His power over nature by stilling the waves of the storm (Mark 4:39). He demonstrated His power over physical disease by healing many (Mark 3:10). His power over death was shown by the raising of Lazarus (John 11:43-44) and His own resurrection. John 1:3 describes Jesus as the Creator: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

It is also vital that we understand the work of our Lord – what He has done, is doing and will do. Jesus was the perfect human, He was without sin in word, thought or deed. This perfection qualified Jesus to become the pure sacrificial offering for our sin. Jesus made it clear that He had come to “seek and save what was lost” (Luke 19:10) and to “give His life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45. On a number of occasions Jesus spoke of His death and resurrection (Mark 8:31; 10:32-34; Matthew 16:21). In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the truth and validity of His teachings and actions are fully confirmed. Our sins are forgiven through the death of Jesus and His resurrection is the guarantee of the our resurrection: “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

In Isaiah 53 there is a list of fifteen specific details that were fulfilled exactly in the death of Jesus. Verses 3-12 speak of His suffering, rejection by His people, silence before His accusers, taking our sins on Himself, being treated unjustly, burial with rich people, and His resurrection from the dead. The coming of Christ in Bethlehem as the Suffering Servant, answered the hope of God’s people for a Messiah who brings forgiveness and redemption for his people. Through the cross and the resurrection, Satan has been judicially conquered so that “by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).

We do not believe in a dead saviour, hanging on a cross or lying in a grave, we believe in a risen, triumphant Lord who plays an active part in our lives today. The ascended Christ is our mediator, our advocate and through Him we have free and confident access to God. We can “approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16).

To know who Christ is and what He has done leads us to a place of joy, wonder and awe of our Saviour who: “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9.

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