WHO DO YOU SAY THAT HE IS?
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus asked the question, “What do you think of Christ? Whose Son is He?” (Matthew 22:42). A person’s answer to that question can determine his or her eternal destiny.
The Apostle John declares Jesus’ preexistence in John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus says He is “the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 1:8). Jesus reigns eternally (Hebrews 1:8), and He exists before all things (Colossians 1:17).
Jesus did not become God—He has always been God (John 5:18), and is the second Person of the Trinity. (Also see: “What We Believe: The Trinity.”) Referring to His deity, Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58). The preexistence of Jesus Christ and the deity of Jesus Christ are inseparable. It is impossible to accept one and deny the other.
The word incarnation means “in flesh.” It denotes the act in which the Son of God took to Himself the nature of humanity through the Virgin Birth (Matthew 1:23). John writes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
For Jesus to represent sinful humanity, He had to become a man. His Virgin Birth, which was essential for Him to be sinless, was prophesied long before it occurred (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18, 23; Luke 1:34–35; and Galatians 4:4). Jesus experienced everything in life that we do: pain, suffering, thirst, hunger, sorrow, anger, and so on. However, Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
The penalty for our sins is death (Romans 6:23). Jesus died in our place and paid our penalty (Matthew 20:28; John 10:17–18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18). Jesus’ death on the cross laid the foundation for a righteous God to pardon guilty and sinful people without compromising His righteousness in any way.
Jesus’ resurrection assures us of our future resurrection. Because of His victory over death, we have victory as well. Without the resurrection, there would be no gospel message. His resurrection has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt (Matthew 28:5–8; Luke 24:39; John 20:27–28). The empty tomb, the shape of His linen wrappings, and His appearances to many after His crucifixion were just a few of the credible evidences of His resurrection.
JESUS’ ASCENSION AND EXALTATION
After His resurrection, Jesus visibly departed from His disciples into heaven (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9). His ascension and exaltation were necessary to complete the redemptive work of God. His work was not complete when He rose from the dead (Mark 16:19; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20–21; Hebrews 1:3).
JESUS’ PERSONAL PRAYER
Jesus Christ will return to this earth and receive His church, the body of Christ, to Himself (John 14:1–4; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7).