WHO IS THIS?

It was early on a Sunday morning in 30 AD when sounds of a great commotion could be heard coming from the Mount of Olives.  The population of Jerusalem had been swollen by hundreds of thousands of devout pilgrims who had come to observe the Passover.  This was one of the most important feasts observed by the people of Israel.  It celebrated their deliverance from slavery in Egypt over 1400 years previous when the firstborn of man and beast in every Egyptian family was smitten with death.  In that same night God's "Avenger" passed over every family of the Israelites.  They were not spared because they were Israelites, but because they had applied the blood of the Passover lamb to the side posts and top cross board of their front doors.

Most of the pilgrims were still sleeping when they were startled by loud noises.  They had stayed up very late the night before visiting with relatives they rarely saw the rest of the year.  The noises intensified as a great throng of people burst over the brow of the mount located across the Kedron valley on the east side of Jerusalem.  As they gazed through still sleepy eyes they saw a man riding a donkey colt down the road leading to Jerusalem.  The people with Him were cutting branches from trees and casting them along with coats off their backs, on the road where the donkey would walk.  As the shouting crowd came nearer to the city the sleepy observers began to understand their words: "Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is He who come in the name of the LORD!  Hosanna in the highest." ( Matthew 21:9).  And then Matthew (21:10) informs us, "And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, 'Who is this?"

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION

Perhaps the most important question raised by devout pilgrims of Israel regarding Jesus was, "Who Is This?"  It is not that they had no opinions.  The disciples were aware that some said He was John the Baptist, others thought He was Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets (See Matthew 16:14).  There were those who called Him "Master", "Lord", "Rabbi", and "Teacher".  The religious leaders called Him "a friend of sinners: and "Deceiver".  What really matters is, "What did God and the Scriptures say about Him?

JESUS IS THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD.

The LORD God appeared to Moses in a burning busy and commissioned him to lead Israel out of Egypt to Canaan.  Moses asked what he should tell Israel was God's name and God said, "I AM WHO I AM"  (Exodus 3:1-15).  Consider well these words of Jesus, "Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM"  (John 8:58;  See also John 8:21, 24, 28).

In Isaiah 6 we have the record of Isaiah seeing the Lord God in His glory in the Temple in Jerusalem.  The Apostle John quotes this chapter and tells us that Isaiah "say His (Jesus') glory, and spoke of Him."  (John 12:37-41).

Isaiah (7:14) prophesied, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel"    Matthew (1:22, 23), tells us that the birth of Jesus fulfilled this prophesy and that the name Immanuel means, "God with us."  (See also Isaiah 9:6, 7).

The apostle John begins his gospel by stating explicitly that Jesus was God.  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."  (John 1:1, 14).

On that first Sunday night after Jesus had risen from the dead ten apostles told Thomas, "We have seen the Lord".  Thomas responded, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."  The following Sunday night Jesus appeared again and invited Thomas to do just that.  Instead, Thomas answered, "My Lord and my God."  (John 20:24-28).  If Thomas had been wrong about calling Jesus "My God" Jesus would have corrected him.  John went on to say that this event was one of many things he had written to encourage his readers to "believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God."

The Apostle Paul revealed that before coming into this world "Jesus...existed in the form of God..."  (Philippians 2:5, 6 NASV)  After entering this world that "...In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."  (Colossians 2:9) and that one of the characteristics of all true believers is "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."  (Titus 2:13).  This small sample of many similar Scriptures clearly reveals that Jesus is the eternal Son of God.

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR FROM THE CURSE OF SIN.

The very name Jesus means "God is salvation".  The angel of the Lord told Joseph to name Mary's baby son Jesus, "for it is He who will save His people from their sins."  (Matthew 1:21).

JESUS WAS PROPHESIED TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN.

Immediately after Adam and Eve had sinned God spoke this word to the Tempter, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.  He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."  (Genesis 3:15).  Normally, reproduction takes place when the man's seed fertilizes the woman's ovum.  God was undoubtedly emphasizing that the man who would bring the crushing blow to Satan's head would have an earthly mother, but no earthly father.  We have already considered Isaiah's prophecy that a virgin would ear a Son Who would be named "God with us".  In addition, Isaiah 9:6 says the same thing.  "For unto us a child is born unto us a Son is given."  When any son is born it can be said, "a son is born to us", but there is only one Son of Whom can be said, "a son is given  to us".  That Son was Jesus, the eternal Son of God Who was given by God the Father to the human family to be their Savior. 

JESUS WAS PROPHESIED TO BE RIGHTEOUS OR SINLESS.

He had to be in order to be an effective sacrifice for sin.  And so we are told in Isaiah 53:11,  "By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear  their iniquities."  (NASV).  We are told in Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have an High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."  Upon this sinless One we read, "And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all..."  (Isaiah 53:6).  That statement is affirmed many times in our New Testament.  "He (God) made Him (Jesus) who know no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  (2nd Corinthians 5:21).  "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree that we having died to sins might live for righteousness,---for by whose stripes you were healed."  (1st Peter 2:24).  "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God..." (1st Peter 3:18).

JESUS WAS PROPHESIED TO BE A PROPHET LIKE UNTO MOSES.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19).  God said to Moses, "...I will...put My words in his mouth and He shall speak to them all that I command him,"  John records four occasions when Jesus stated that the words He spoke were not His but words the Father commanded Him to speak (John 7:16; 8:26, 28, 38; 12:49, 50; 14:10).  During His earthly ministry Jesus fulfilled His office as the Prophet.  He clearly revealed the truth about God by the words He spoke and the life He lived.  One of His names is "the Word" (John 1:1).  As the Word He was with God and was God.  "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  (John 1:14).  When Philip requested, "Lord  show us the Father and it is sufficient for us"  Jesus answered, "Have I been with you so long and yet you have not known Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Father..."(John 14:8, 9).

JESUS WAS PROPHESIED TO BE PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.

(Psalm 110:4)  "The LORD has sworn and will not relent, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."  Virtually all branches of Christianity have under emphasized the High Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ.  This truth is the preeminent theme of our New Testament book of Hebrews.  Here are some of the most important aspects:

  1. The High Priesthood of Jesus Christ replaced the Levite priesthood of Israel and the human line of High Priests that descended from Aaron.  (Hebrews 7:11-8:13).

  2. The one sacrifice of Jesus stands in vivid contrast with the Old Testament priesthood.  The Old Testament priests offered millions of sacrifices that covered sins for temporary periods of time and could never take away sin (Hebrews 10:1-4).  Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin once for all.  (Hebrews 7:27; 9:2-28).  Christ's one sacrifice sanctifies and perfects believers in the eyes of God forever. (Hebrews 10:9-14).

  3. Jesus is an active Intercessor on behalf of each believer and saves them forever since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)  See also Romans 5:9, 10 and 1st John 2:12).

  4. Under the Mosaic law the high priest went into the presence of God once each year to represent God's people.  (Hebrews 9:7, 8).  With Jesus as our great high priest every believer may go through Him directly to God's throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  (Hebrews 4:14-16).

JESUS WAS PROPHESIED TO RISE AGAIN AND BE A LIVING SAVIOR

"Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.  For You will not leave my soul in Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption."   (Psalm 16:9, 10).  The apostles Peter and Paul described how this prophesied the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:25-36; 13:33-39).  Through this living Savior sinful mankind can receive forgiveness of sins and acceptance into God's family.

Copyright 2002 Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted

    Copyright 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.