In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made His dwelling with us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1,14)
Jesus is the Word of God. All we know of God, we know through the Son (John 1:18). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). He is the exact image of God (Hebrews 1:3). He is the Creator (John 1:2). He is God with us (Matthew 1:23). It is impossible to put into words all that Jesus is for us, every page of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation whispers His Name. Rather than reproducing that on this short page I will attempt to feebly, somewhat briefly, speak of who He is (The Person) and what He has done (The Work).
– Preincarnate – That is just a big word to say that Jesus existed before He was born. He appeared to Abraham (Genesis 18), Jacob (Genesis 35), Moses (Exodus 24), Joshua (Joshua 5), Daniel’s friends (Daniel 3), among others. In the beginning was… before the beginning of time, Jesus is. He always was and He always will be.
– Fully Human – Jesus had a human birth (Matthew 1:18-2:11, Luke 1:30-38, Galatians 4:4) and a genealogy (Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38) and ethnicity (John 4:9). He had a normal childhood and grew as any child would (Luke 2:52). He was raised by godly parents and attended synagogue regularly (Luke 4:16). He had a normal physical body (John 2:21, Hebrews 10:5) that got weary (John 4:6), hungry (Matthew 21:18), thirsty (John 19:28), tired (Matthew 8:24), and was tempted just as every person is (Hebrews 4:15).
– Fully God – He is fully holy (Luke 1:35, Acts 3:14, Hebrews 7:26, 1 Peter 1:16). He is perfect love (John 10:10, John 13:1, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:37-38, Ephesians 3:18). He is the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32), the Word of God (John 1:1,14), the Lord of Glory (1 Corinthians 2:8) and the great I AM (John 8:58).
The Work :
– His Birth – There is a Greek word kenosis that means “self emptying”. That is what Jesus did when He chose to become a man. I love to quote from Aladdin “The infinite power of the universe… in an itty bitty living space”. Jesus left heaven to be born in a barn. He chose a young girl, newly engaged, living poverty, far from her home. Those who heralded his birth were a bunch of social outcast shepherds and some foreign, pagan, astrologers.
– His Life – As a toddler, his family were forced to flee and lived as refugees in Egypt. After returning, he was raised in a tiny rural town with his parents and siblings. Jesus grew “in wisdom, and stature and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). As an adult Jesus was baptized by his cousin, then went out into the desert where he fasted for forty days and then was tempted by the devil. Upon his return, he began gathering his disciples, preaching the kingdom of God, and healing every disease and sickness. (Matthew 4)
– His Death – The religious power of the day grew jealous of His popularity and sought from early on to kill him. A few years into His ministry, shortly before the Passover, they found the opportunity when they bribed one of His disciples to betray Him. When God’s perfect time had come, Jesus was illegally captured, falsely tried, cruelly tortured, and crucified. Death is a product of sin. Because Jesus was sinless, his death somehow became the payment for our sin. It was because of my sin that He was nailed to that cross.
– His Resurrection – Jesus was buried and placed in a tomb. He then descended into hell where He kicked down the gates and stole the keys. On the third day (about a day and a half later) He rose from the grave, the stone was rolled away, and he showed Himself over the next 40 days to over 500 of His disciples. The literal fact of the resurrection is the keystone of our faith. If it were not true, our Christianity is a sad joke. (1 Corinthians 15)
– His Ascension/Exultation – After His resurrection Jesus commissioned His disciples to spread this good news to all the world but first wait for the promised Holy Spirit. He then ascended bodily into heaven in the presence of His disciples. Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father and He is speaking on our behalf (making intercession for us).
– His Return – While his disciples were still staring into the sky at His ascension, angels came and promised that Jesus would return in the same way they saw Him go. This echoed a promise that Jesus gave multiple times. The very last thing He says in Revelation is: “Yes, I am coming soon!” This is our certain hope.