In This Lesson
The Nature of Christ | His Deity | His Work on Our Behalf
It may surprise you to know that there are more than 200 other names and titles of Christ found in the Bible. Following are some of the more prominent ones, organized in three sections relating to names that reflect the nature of Christ, His position in the Trinity, and His work on our behalf.
The Nature of Christ
Bright and Morning Star
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." (Revelation 22:16)
Venus has often been called earth's "sister" world because it is approximately the same size. When Venus is moving toward the earth, it can be seen in the evening sky, thus it is called the "Evening Star". When moving away from earth, it is visible in the early morning sky and is called the "Morning star".
In its various orbits, Venus appears to change in shape and size as it goes through different phases, similar to phases of the moon. This, of course, is because different parts become sunlit and others enter into darkness.
Venus never really changes but only appears to. And so it is with the Lord Jesus Christ He never really changes, but His appearance and how you behold Him changes, depending on where you are in proximity to Him.
A cornerstone is a masonry stone in the exterior of a large building. It is often referred to as the "foundation stone" and is an indispensable part or basis of the building. Being the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, it is important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
The term first appears in Psalm 118:22 as a prophetic term referring to the Messiah being rejected by Israel: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone."
"...and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone." (Ephesians 2:20 MKJV)
(See also Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:7.)
Obviously, in calling Jesus Christ the "chief cornerstone", the New Testament writers are pointing us to the conclusion that Jesus is the sure foundation on which to build our lives. He is also the One who determines our position and function in the Body of Christ, His Church.
Firstborn over All Creation
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." (Colossians 1:15)
This verse does not mean Jesus is the first thing or person God created, as some cults incorrectly teach. We can know this because the next two verses tell us: "...by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (vv. 16-17)
What this verse in Colossians means is that Christ occupies the status and distinction we would give or assign to the firstborn or eldest, that He is pre-eminent [of greatest importance] above all others, and He is the Head of all things.
Also, the Apostle John asserts: "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3)
"For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption." (Psalm 16:10)
The identification of Jesus Christ as the "holy one" is quite appropriate for Him, and is given to him several times in the New Testament (cf. Luke 1:35; Acts 2:27, 3:14). It is not only an appropriate designation for the Savior, but well adapted to be employed when considering His majesty and ultimate holiness. It is said that our impression of what someone says to us will often depend much on our idea of the character of the person addressing us. Obviously, when thinking about Christ with due thoughtfulness and reverance, it should bring us to a place of solemnity and unquestioning obedience to His Word.
"For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel. Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said: 'I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.'" (Psalm 89:18-19)
"But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you." (Acts 3:14)
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 'The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens." (Revelation 3:7)
(See also Numbers 16:7; 2 Kings 19:22; Job 6:10; Psalm 71:22; 78:41; 106:16; Proverbs 9:10; 30:3; Isaiah 1:4; 5:19,24; 10:17,20; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19,23; 30:11,12,15; 31:1; 37:23; 40:25; 41:14,16,20; 43:3,14,15; 45:11; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7; 54:5; 55:5; 60:9,14; Jeremiah 50:29; 51:5; Ezekiel 39:7; Daniel 4:13,23; 8:13; Hosea 11:9,12; Habakkuk 1:12; 3:3; Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69; Acts 2:27; 13:35; 1 John 2:20; Revelation 16:5.)
Jesus Christ has been appointed by God to judge the world and to dispense eternal rewards or punishment. For those of us who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, this designation should give cause to exuberant praise when we consider that our Judge is also our Redeemer.
"And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead." (Acts 10:42)
"Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:8)
KING of Kings and LORD of Lords
Jesus has authority over all kings and rulers. Not only can none of them prevent Him from accomplishing His purposes, but He actually directs and uses them as He pleases to achieve His desired results.
"...which he will display at the proper time he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords..." (1 Timothy 6:15)
"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, 'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.'" (Revelation 19:16)
Lily of the Valley
The Lily of the Valley flower is found all over the world in temperate and tropical regions. The flowers are very fragrant, white, bell-shaped on long slender stems with the flower itself bowing at the top. It is a sweet and extremely fragrant flower whose scent is almost overwhelming, and its whiteness exceeds that of all other flowers.
"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys." (Song of Solomon 2:1)
The Lord Jesus Christ is compared to the lily because His spiritual sweetness very much excels and transcends the sweetest of anything this world has to offer. Of course, we know that white represents Christ's absolute holiness and purity. Also, the Bride of Christ is depicted in Scripture as being clothed in fine white linen. "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." (Revelation 19:8 KJV)
Lion of the Tribe of Judah
"And one of the elders said to me, 'Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.'" (Revelation 5:5)
The lion is recognized as "the king of the beasts". For God to compare Jesus Christ to a lion, there are undoubtedly some necessary parallels we can make. The lion is known for:
- His Strength
"...the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any." (Proverb 30:30)
Often people make the mistake of supposing Jesus' compassion and love are signs of weakness. Please consider:
Jesus drove the money changers from the temple (cf. Matthew 21:12-13).
The officers sent to arrest Jesus came back empty-handed because of His words (cf. John 7:32, 45-47).
The angry mob parted as Jesus passed through (Luke 4:28-30).
The roar of a lion has been compared to the voice of God. "The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:8)
"They shall go after the LORD; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west." (Hosea 11:10)
"...and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded." (Revelation 10:3)
Jesus referred to Himself as "living water". Note that water is the only substance on earth that is naturally present in three different forms: liquid, solid, and gas [as in steam]. Thus, it's a perfect picture of the Trinity, as all forms of it are distinct and yet all three forms are water [H2O].
- "Living" Water Is Pure Water
"Your Word is very pure [meaning true]; therefore Your servant loves it." (Psalm 119:140 MKJV)
"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him." (Proverb 30:5 MKJV)
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)
"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart." (1 Peter 1:22)
(See also John 8:46; 18:38; Hebrews 4:15; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:15, 19.)Pure Water Is Strong and Supportive
To illustrate this truth, take a razor blade and float it in a bowl of water. Next, add a little detergent [soap powder] and watch it sink! In the same way as pollutants alter the water's properties and make it "weak", many legalistic and ritualistic pollutants had been added to Israel's religion, making it only a shadow of what God intended.
"...then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves." (Jeremiah 34:16)
"But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned." (Ezekiel 20:13)
"...in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations." (Ezekiel 44:7)
The water supported Peter until he allowed his faith to be polluted by doubt (cf. Matthew 14:22-23).
Jesus, the "Living" Water, Reflects the Glory of God
Just as pure water reflects images, Jesus Christ is a true reflection of God.
"He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature." (Hebrews 1:3)
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord..." (2 Corinthians 3:18)
"In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Jesus, the "Living" Water, Cleanses from Unrighteousness
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." (Matthew 23:25-28)
"Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you." (John 15:3)
"...that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word..." (Ephesians 5:26)
"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:19-22)
A Potentate is defined as "a ruler; one who wields controlling power; a sovereign; an emperor, king or monarch". The name deals with the subject of government.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder..." (Isaiah 9:6)
"...which he will display at the proper time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords." (1 Timothy 6:15)
One day, God will finally provide the perfect government that will be headed up by His Son.
Prince of Peace
- The Promise
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful . . . Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
- War Is One of the Signs of the End of the Age
[Jesus answered them,] "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom..." (Matthew 24:7a)
According to the Canadian Army Journal, a former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, aided by historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India came up with the following statistics:
Since 10 A.D., there have been only 292 years of peace. During these 2000 years there have been 14,531 wars, large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. There have also been more than 10,000 peace treaties intended to remain in effect forever, which were terminated, usually in about two years.
Statistics on World Wars I and II include the following:
There were approximately 70 million human fatalities, not to mention the millions of refugees and orphans left behind. This toll represents 6,697 deaths per day for World War I and 26,940 per day for World War II.
After reviewing these few statistics, we must agree that man is not capable of bringing peace to this world. We can't even keep the covenants of peace treaties for more than two years!
Only a holy, all-powerful God can possibly bring about the peace we all seek. Many look forward to the promise of Isaiah 2:4 - "He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
- Natural Disasters Another Sign of the End of the Age
But war isn't the only disaster that needs God's peace. Jesus said: "...and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places." (Matthew 24:7b) Thus, we should also include a list of the devastation caused by earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes [cyclones], wildfires, famines, and plagues. However, as it is difficult to obtain accurate data on many of these disasters, we are including here statistics only on earthquakes.
If you're one who is quick to dismiss these disasters and say that these things have always been, consider the following statistics on major earthquakes1, "major" being defined as 7.0 or greater magnitude:
While the financial costs and that of human lives lost can be calculated for earthquakes as well as the other disasters we mentioned earlier, there is no way to measure the emotional toll these disasters have effected on their victims.
- Truly, the World Needs Peace!
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." (Romans 8:19-22)
The Bible tells us that true peace comes only from God.
"Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD Is Peace [Jehovah-Shalom]." (Judges 6:24)
"May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!" (Psalm 29:11)
"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints." (1 Corinthians 14:33)
God's Word promises that one day Jesus Christ will bring a lasting peace.
"From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. . . . And I saw the beast [Antichrist] and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur." (Revelation 19:15-16, 19-20)
- Jesus Christ Is Our Personal Peace Now
Until that day when Christ eliminates His and our enemies, the only true peace available to any of us now is that which can be found in Jesus Christ.
"For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility." (Ephesians 2:14-16)
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)
"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful." (Colossians 3:15)
Jesus did not come to bring peace to the world, as in the absence of conflict or violence. Rather, for those who put their trust in Him, He brought peace between God and man. He died to reconcile lost sinners to a holy God.
Rose of Sharon
Sharon is a fruitful place on the south of Mt. Carmel where David's cattle grazed (cf. 1 Chronicles 27:29). It is the most fertile valley in Palestine. God's Word tells us a day is coming when the desert itself will blossom like Sharon.
Christ is likened to the Rose of Sharon because in that day when He reigns on earth, all the earth will be redeemed and restored to that which God intended, as prophesied in Isaiah 35:1-3 "The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God."
Sun of Righteousness
"But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall." (Malachi 4:2)
According to "World Book" encyclopedia: "The sunlight given off by the sun's surface is made up of many colors. These colors are not all equally bright. Various elements in the photosphere absorb some of the colors and prevent the sun from giving off those colors. Scientist can see what colors are absorbed by passing sunlight through a glass prism to form a spectrum."
Various colors have always been used to describe the glory of God.
"And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around..." (Ezekiel 1:26-28)
"And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald." (Revelation 4:3)
"Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire." (Revelation 10:1)
With the naked eye, we cannot see the actual colors in the sun, only its light. However, with a prism, be it natural [rainbow] or man-made, we can see a small part of the color of the sun. But the part that we can see is so small that we can have little appreciation for all that is the sun.
The same can be said about our eternal God who shines as bright as the noonday sun.
"And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light." (Matthew 17:2)
"In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength." (Revelation 1:16)
The Bible also says we cannot fully comprehend or view the sun or the Son in this present age. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face..." (1 Corinthians 13:12). Thus, we can have little appreciation for all that will someday be made available to us.
Just as the prism enables us to see a part of the color of the sun, God has given us a written prism, His Word, so that we might see Him. But one day, we will behold Him face-to-face! "And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb." (Revelation 21:23)
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Alpha and Omega
Jesus declared Himself to be the beginning and end of all things, a reference to no one but the true God. This statement of eternality could apply only to God, not a created being.
"'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'" (Revelation 1:8)
For an in-depth discussion of Jesus as God, go to "Who Is Jesus: The LORD".
"Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'" (John 8:58)
When Jesus ascribed to Himself this title, the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy. They understood that He was declaring Himself to be the eternal God, the unchanging Jehovah/Yahweh of the Old Testament (cf. Exodus 3:14).
[Go to "Who Is Jesus: The Word" to learn more about Jesus' identity as I Am.]
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
The Holy Spirit interprets the name for us when He says it means "God with us". There are other passages in God's Word which God interprets for us so there can be no chance of man's misinterpreting or abusing these passages with religious prejudices or slants.
"And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull)." (Mark 15:22)
"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'" (Mark 15:34)
When God interprets something, it must be a matter of great importance to Him. When He said His Son would be called Immanuel and then interpreted it for us to mean "God with us", He obviously wants man to know that He is a God of infinite concern because, after all, He came to be with us!
[To learn more about the God who became Man, go to "Who Is Jesus: The LORD".]
Lord of All
Jesus is the sovereign ruler over the whole world and all things in it, of all the nations of the world, and particularly of the people of God's choosing, Gentiles as well as Jews.
"As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all)..." (Acts 10:36)
"And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:20)
This is a direct assertion that Jesus, being the true God, is not only divine, but is the Divine. Since the Bible teaches there is only one God, this can only be describing His nature as part of the triune God.
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His Work on Our Behalf
According to the dictionary, an "advocate" is "one who pleads for a cause, especially before a judicial court". This is precisely the manner in which the Word of God presents the Lord Jesus Christ.
"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
Author and Perfecter of our Faith
Jesus is both the source of our faith in Him that saves us, and He is the sustainer of that faith.
"...looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
Bread of Life
Just as bread sustains life in the physical sense, Jesus is the Bread that gives and sustains eternal life. God provided manna in the wilderness to feed His people, and He has provided Jesus Christ to give us eternal life through His body which was broken for us.
"Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.'" (John 6:35)
"I am the bread of life." (John 6:48)
The picture of Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride reveals the special relationship we have with Him. We are bound to Him and to each other in a covenant of grace that cannot be broken.
"And Jesus said to them, 'Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.'" (Matthew 9:15)
"And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God.'" (Revelation 19:9)
Captain of Our Salvation
The title "captain" is a term used by military and civil defense units. It denotes someone who protects from dangers, difficulties, and anyone or anything that would threaten our safety.
"'You subjected all things under his feet.' For in subjecting all things to Him, He did not leave anything not subjected to Him. But now we do not see all things having been subjected to him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for all. For it became Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons into glory, to perfect the Captain of their salvation through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:8-10)
Just as God instructed Moses to assign captains among the tribes of Israel as they passed through the wilderness (cf. Numbers 2:3,5,12), so also we need a Captain a Guide, a Leader, a Defender to bring us safely through this world of difficulties and dangers.
"And when the sons of Israel cried to Jehovah, Jehovah raised up a deliverer to the sons of Israel..." (Judges 3:9 MKJV) (See also Judges 3:15; 18:28)
Just as the Israelites needed God to deliver them from bondage in Egypt and from other kingdoms that would rise up against them, so Christ is our Deliverer from the bondage of sin.
"And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.'" (Romans 11:26)
Door and Good Shepherd
Christ introduced the concept of the "good shepherd" being the "door" with a parable:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." (John 10:1-5)
The ancient sheepfold was an enclosure surrounded by a simple stone wall with an opening which served as the door. The shepherds of the village would lead their sheep into the fold at nightfall and one would sleep at the opening and actually become the "door" to the sheepfold. Nothing could enter or leave the fold without passing over the shepherd.
In the morning, the shepherd would call his sheep by name, and they would recognize his voice and immediately follow. If other shepherds or strangers came, the sheep would not recognize or follow them.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. . . . I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me." (John 10:11,14)
In Bible times, a good shepherd not only cared for, fed and nurtured his sheep, but he would risk his own life to protect his sheep from predators. As our Good Shepherd, Jesus feeds and nurtures us, and He laid down His life for His sheep.
In the Old Testament, the Jewish high priest entered the temple once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. The Bible tells us Jesus Christ performed that function for His people once for all at Calvary.
"Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17)
"For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens, who does not need, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice daily, first for his own sins and then for the people's sins. For He did this once for all, when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men high priests who have infirmity, but the word of the swearing of an oath, after the Law, has consecrated the Son forever, having been perfected." (Hebrews 7:26-28 MKJV)
Lamb of God
Since the beginning of time, man has offered sacrifices to whatever god(s) he worshiped. From the Moabites in the Middle East to the Aztecs in South America, man has sacrificed to appease the gods he served in hopes that he might produce a good crop, enjoy good health, be victorious over his enemies, or prosper throughout the year.
In 2 Kings 3:26-27, when the battle went against the King of Moab, he sacrificed his eldest son. "When the king of Moab saw that the battle was going against him, he took with him 700 swordsmen to break through, opposite the king of Edom, but they could not. Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall."
Why God Demanded a Sacrifice
- Atonement was necessary for sin.
- Another must make substitutionary atonement for the person who had sinned.
- The shed blood from the substitutionary animal covered the sin to make it possible for God to withhold judgment.
- That made it possible for sinful man to commune with a holy God.
- The substitutionary animal sacrifice of the Old Testament pointed to a day when Christ would atone for our sins.
God's Word tells us that the penalty for sin is death (cf. Ezekiel 18:4,20). The Bible also tells us that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin (cf. Hebrews 9:22).
In order for sinful man to commune with a holy God, God's Law called for the sacrifice of a spotless, unblemished lamb as a covering for sin. Jesus became that Lamb, but as we learned in "Who Is Jesus: Savior of the World", Jesus' blood didn't just cover our sins as in the Old Testament animal sacrifices that had to be repeated, but totally removed them from us. (cf. John 1:29)
"For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
"...he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:26-28)
The term "master" is defined as "a person who has authority over others" or "a person having control or ownership". Simply, it is a title used by the lesser to acknowledge the greater.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master." (Matthew 10:24)
Receiving Jesus Christ as Savior does not automatically make Him your master. You must choose to permit Him to take "ownership" of you.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
A "mediator" is defined as "a negotiator who acts as a link between parties", "one who intervenes to bring agreement between two parties", "one who goes between two parties to reconcile them".
"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)
"...and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant..." (Hebrews 12:24)
God's Word plainly tells us that Jesus Christ is the one and only Mediator between us and God. No other person who has ever lived qualifies for this important and vital role. And praying to them is idolatry because it bypasses this most important role of Christ and ascribes the role of Mediator to a lesser.
Resurrection and the Life
Christ died for our sins and rose again to give us eternal life! This is the heart of Christianity. The great truths of the Bible, the Word of the one true God, center around the fact of Jesus' resurrection. If He had not risen from dead, the whole plan of salvation would have failed. But because He conquered death, we can know Him now as our living Lord and Savior.
1 Corinthians 15:4
"Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
In other words, everything stands or falls with Christ's bodily resurrection. If Christ has not risen:
Apostolic preaching is vain (v. 14);
the Corinthians' faith is vain (v. 14);
the apostles are false witnesses (v. 15);
the Corinthians are yet in their sins (v. 17);
those who have died in Christ have perished (v. 18); and
Christians are miserable and to be pitied (v. 19).
(See also Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 10:40; 13:30-37; 17:31; Romans. 4:24-25; 6:4, 9; 7:4; 8:11; 10:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:8; 1 Peter 1:21.)
Indeed, Scripture makes Christ's resurrection an essential part of the Gospel. In fact, Christianity is the only religion in the world built on the concept of the resurrection of its Founder.
Salvation is begun by the atoning death of Jesus Christ; and it is completed by the resurrection and intercession of Christ.
We not only have a Savior who died thereby making atonement for sin but also a Savior who arose and entered by His own blood into the Holy of Holies God's very presence where He ever lives and pleads our case in every new failure (cf. Luke 22:31-32 with John 11:42).
In Christ's resurrection, we have...
- Substantial Proof of His Deity
"...and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 1:4)
Christ referred to Himself as "The Resurrection and the Life". "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.'" (John 11:25) Only God can give life and raise people back to life. In saying that He is the "resurrection and the life", Jesus announced Himself to be God!
- An Ever-living High Priest
"Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died more than that, who was raised who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." (Romans 8:34)
"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
- Compare the Priesthoods:
- They were many; He is only one.
- Their priesthood was successive, the son following the father. Christ has a priesthood which cannot be transferred, seeing that His life is indissoluble [incapable of being dissolved].
- They were sinful, but He is holy, pure, and spotless.
- They offered sacrifices in the earthly tabernacle; He presents Himself in the true and eternal sanctuary, which is high above all heavens.
- They had to offer sacrifices every year; Christ saves completely, once for all.
- A Guarantee of Our Own Resurrection
"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11)
2 Corinthians 4:14
"For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep." (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
Embodied within Jesus is the means to resurrect sinners to eternal life, just as He was resurrected from the grave. Our sin is buried with Him and we are resurrected to newness of life.
As life-giving water flowed from the rock in Horeb when Moses struck it in the wilderness (cf. Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11), Jesus is our Rock who gives us "living" waters of eternal life. And He is the Rock upon whom we build our spiritual house.
"...and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:4)
Concerning the above Scripture, there is no evidence that the drink from "the spiritual Rock" was a reference to the drink used in the Lord's Supper. It means simply that the water had been bestowed in a miraculous and supernatural manner. Thus, the reference to "spiritual" is used in the sense of supernatural, or that which is immediately given by God.
There is no doubt as to which vine Jesus compared Himself to. Not only does the context give us a clue, but the chronological order of events cements it. The discussion took place at the Last Supper or immediately afterward. After Jesus compared His blood with the "fruit of the vine" (cf. Luke 22:18), He told His disciples that He was the "true Vine".
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." (John 15:1-8)
Just as the root of the vine supplies water and nourishment to the branches, the True Vine supplies all that believers need to produce the fruit of the Spirit.
Way, Truth, and Life
In this age of plurality and no absolutes, it isn't a popular message, but it's the truth. Jesus Christ is the only way to God. He is the only Truth in a world filled with lies, and He is the only true source of eternal life.
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6)
It is no secret that the human race is in constant search of counsel. We spend billions of Dollars every year on psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, marriage counselors, astrologists, spiritualists, and a variety of other listeners. The Bible tells us: "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14).
Jesus Christ is the Wonderful all-knowing Counselor who provides excellent advice concerning any subjects and relationships, even those of today!
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor..." (Isaiah 9:6)
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