The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal son of God. The scriptures declare his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, his substitutionary work on the cross, his bodily resurrection from the dead, and His exaltation to the right hand of God. (Assemblies of God Statement of Fundamental Truths)
At the center of most great existing religious traditions stands a charismatic founder who claimed to be a prophet or transcendent teacher. Judaism has Moses. Islam has Mohamed. Buddhism has Buddha. Many people want to place Jesus in the same category as each of these other teachers or "prophets." However, Jesus stands unique among "religious" teachers in that He was the Son of God.
C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity wrote: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice....You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
Yes, Jesus was either a lunatic or a liar or Lord of all. But He is no merely human teacher or even a great prophet of God. He is the eternal Son of God. If He is not, then our hope is in vain. The scriptures declare certain things about Jesus which are mentioned in this fundamental truth. In this lesson we will look at the first three mentioned: His virgin birth, His sinless life and His miracles.
Jesus was born of a virgin
The miraculous life of Christ begins with a miraculous birth. The Bible tells us that He was born to Mary while she was yet a virgin. This fulfilled a prophecy in Isaiah 7.14 which read "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Some modern skeptics have tried to discount this scripture by pointing out that the word for virgin could also be translated girl or young woman. However, if that was the case how would it be a sign of something divine. Every year, in fact, every day some young woman would give birth. And some even may have called their child Immanuel which means God with us. So, that could not be spectacular enough to be a sign of the coming of the messiah - The Christ.
Some may wonder why God bothered having the Christ come into the world through the process of birth. After all, in the Old Testament there were incidents of God appearing in human form (Genesis 18 and Daniel 3 for instance). Why did He not simply create a divine body? God chose to enter this world through the process of Birth so that the Christ, would be fully God, but also fully Man, so that He could be the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. It is an almost unbelievable thought that the very God of Very God should choose to become part of His own creation so that He could suffer and die for it's redemption. Yet, that is exactly what he did.
Jesus Lived a Sinless Life
The Bible tells us that Jesus lived a life without sin. The sin of Adam was not inherited by Christ, because His father was not of Adam's race. He was tempted by Satan "in all ways like unto us" and yet did not sin. He kept Himself unblemished by sin to show us what a sinless life looked like. By reading how Jesus lived his life on earth we can see a model of righteous living. The question What Would Jesus Do? would be a foolish question if His life were tainted by sinfulness. However since it was not, His life is a model for ours.
Of course, there is another reason, Jesus lived a sinless life. Throughout the Old Testament, the sin sacrifice had to be a perfect lamb. It had to be one without blemish. Jesus, who was to become the final Lamb of God, the consummate sin sacrifice, also had to be without blemish to provide for our salvation. "He was made to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (II Corinthians 5.21)
Jesus Performed Miracles
Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He performed miracles. He opened blinded eyes, made the lame walk, calmed the seas, multiplied loaves and fishes, even produced money for the taxes. The miracles were often public events like the healing of the man let down through the roof or the healing of the man with a withered hand. Other times they were more private like the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Some were dramatic demonstrations of power like the calming of the storm. Others were quiet and simple like producing a fish with a coin.
His miracles were never without purpose. In most cases, they were a response to a need. Someone sick needed healing, a financial matter needed resolving, a lesson needed teaching. The demonstrations of power were never simply for show or to draw attention or praise to himself. In fact, when asked for a sign that he was the Messiah, He refused to perform a miracle in front of the questioner simply as "proof" of His divinity. Instead, He told the skeptic that "a wicked and perverse generation" required a sign. The only sign that would be necessary was His own death and resurrection.
Today, Jesus is still in the miracle working business. He still heals the sick, provides food, calms storms, and raises the dead. Most impressive of all, He raises up a soul which is dead in sin and trespasses and develops a new life within that person creating a new creation for His own Glory. And that is the greatest miracle of all.
A. What does this say about the miraculous nature of Jesus birth?
B. Why do you think that "Emanuel" was an appropriate title for Jesus?
A. What did the angel tell Mary about how she would conceive a child?
B. What was Mary's response to this?
A. How was Jesus "approved of God" among the people of his day and ours?
B. How has your faith been built up by reading of the miracles of Christ in scripture? Are there any miracles of His which have special meaning for you?
A. What "High Priest" does this scripture speak of?
B. What does this scripture say about this one concerning his life and his righteousness?
1 Peter 2.21-24
A. What is Jesus life to be for us? (v.21)
B. What did the sacrifice of his sinless life provide for us on Calvary? (v.24)