The Authentic Christ (Part 2)

The Jesus of Authority

Jesus may have been a great orator, but the boldness of His claims was what made Him like no one else.

Jesus referred to God as His Father—a concept we use today, but a foreign concept to the Jews. They understood this as a claim to deity.

In John 8:58 Jesus claimed equality with God as He exclaimed, “I am.”

Luke 5:20-21 records Jesus forgiving the sins of a cripple and this was immediately recognized by the Jews as a claim of deity.

In John 8:45-46 Jesus claims to be free of sin—not possible if He were a normal human.

Christ is unique and perfect in His nature and actions.

The Jesus of Calvary

Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of those torturing Him, tended to the care of His mother, and pardoned the criminal next to Him.

Pilate and the thief declared his innocence and the centurion declared He was truly the Son of God.

Heaven was silent, but his was because the Father does care enough to rescue us, as sinners. The isolation Jesus experienced was on our behalf.

This propitiatory penal substitution is the heart of the gospel—don’t let go of it as many are doing.

Christ took the punishment on Himself for our benefit.

The Jesus of Eternity

Christ claimed to be the Eternal God in many cases. He came from eternity, He lived for eternity, and He promised eternity for all those who become His disciples.

These claims are found in John 3:14-15, 11:25-26, 14:2-3, and elsewhere.

Hebrews 1:2-3 makes it clear that Jesus is truly God—not a reflection of God.

1. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all.

2. All that the Father is, Christ is.

3. In Christ’s miracles we saw God performing these things in the form of a man.

The Jesus of Necessity

The message of Jesus is compelling, and we must respond to the gospel message.

Many choose to defame the person of Christ or doubt His existence.

Others choose to believe He was a good moral teacher, but not God.

C. S. Lewis put the decision in eloquent words that can be summed up in the choice of Jesus as liar, lunatic, or Lord.

What is He to you?

Think About It

1. Many skeptics and religious people claim that Christ was a good teacher, but that He was not God (or the Son of God). How do the very words of Jesus refute this claim? How do the reactions of the Jewish leaders refute the claim?

2. How do the details included in the Scriptures authenticate the accuracy of Scripture?

3. Ultimately, why can we trust the Bible?

4. Christ’s claims of exclusivity must be reconciled by everyone. How do you communicate the importance of understanding who Christ is to those (saved or lost) that you interact with?