Jesus Christ (ii)

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Jesus Christ

This lesson and the next form the focus of the complete course, since Jesus Christ is the pivot of God's purpose. All that we have considered so far has prepared the way for understanding his work as Saviour of mankind. In Lesson 5 we engaged in a preliminary study of Jesus - the man and his mission: but it was pointed out then that we cannot properly understand his work until we have studied fully such subjects as the nature of man and the promises made to the fathers of the Jewish race - promises which are the foundation of the Gospel. These matters have now been dealt with.

This lesson will be sub-divided as follows:


  1. His birth and nature
  2. His work
  3. His death
  4. His resurrection
  5. His priesthood

In other words, it is his PAST and PRESENT work we are here concerned with. His FUTURE work we leave until the next lesson.

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  2. Jesus was the Son of God, but he was a man - not God himself. In the physical sense, Jesus was no different from other men. He suffered, he was weary, he rejoiced, he wept. And he was MORTAL, subject to death.

    Hebrews 2 v 11-18
    II Corinthians 5 v 21
    Romans 8 v 3
    Galatians 4 v 4
    Isaiah 53 v 3-4 (quoted Matthew 8 v 17)
    John 4 v 6
    John 11 v 35

    Being born of Mary he fulfilled the requirements of Genesis 3 v 15 that he should be the "seed of the woman" (see Lesson 6). But he was not Joseph's son, as has sometimes been contended (this is called the "Josephite" or "Unitarian" view and is as unscriptural as the "Trinitarian" view).

    Luke 1 v 34-35
    Matthew 1 v 18 & 24-25

    Through the miracle of his birth, Jesus was both Son of God and Son of Man.

    John 3 v 18
    John 3 v 14

    Those who believe that "Jesus was God" have had to face the fact that no one can bring "a clean thing out of an unclean". This has led to further error in the belief that Mary was "immaculate". This does nothing to solve the problem, it only pushes it back another generation; for how was she brought forth?

    Jesus had no existence before his birth, although God's purpose from the very beginning was to bring His Son into being, and this Divine purpose is often referred to. For example, "Christ was ... foreordained before the foundation of the world".

    I Peter 1 v 20
    I John 1 v 1-2

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  4. Expressed in the simplest possible terms this was to do God's will.

    Luke 2 v 49
    John 5 v 30
    John 4 v 34
    Hebrews 10 v 7

    In all respects Christ's obedience to God was perfect and complete. He was thus without sin, the only perfectly righteous member of the human race ever to have lived.

    John 8 v 46
    I Peter 2 v 22

    There was nothing "automatic" about this obedience. He was tempted, he had to overcome. It was a battle against sin.

    Matthew 4 v 1-11
    Matthew 26 v 39 & 42
    Hebrews 4 v 15
    Hebrews 5 v 7-8
    Romans 8 v 3

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  6. By his sinless life, Jesus was able, when the time came, to offer a perfect sacrifice. The divine principle of sacrifice for sin - "without shedding of blood is no remission" - had been laid down in Eden (see Lesson 6) and was elaborated in the Law of Moses. The superiority of Christ's sacrifice lay in the fact that whereas the animals offered had to be physically without blemish, Jesus was morally perfect. He conquered sin, destroyed it in himself. Sin was condemned in Adam's nature, the same nature which had transgressed. This is what is meant by the statement that Jesus "destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil (see Lesson 7).

    It is sin which has the power of death.

    Hebrews 9 v 22
    Exodus 12 v 3-13<
    Leviticus 17 v 11
    Hebrews 10 v 1-5 & 12
    Hebrews 9 v 14 & 23
    Hebrews 2 v 14
    I Corinthians 15 v 56

    Thus he fulfilled the pronouncement of Genesis 3 v 15 (see Lesson 6).

    "It (i.e.) Jesus, the woman's seed) shall bruise thy (the serpent's) head". Yet notwithstanding his righteousness, Jesus had to die, because he was a man, one of our race, and therefore under our death sentence.

    Hebrews 2 v 9-10

    He was truly the representative of humanity, taking our burden of sin upon himself. Those who claim, that Jesus was a substitute for us in his death are saying in effect that Jesus must remain for ever dead for our sins, while we live instead of him.

    Hebrews 9 v 7 & 11-12

    *Note: the words 'for us' are not in the original text and are omitted from all modern translations.

    But the scriptures declare plainly the contrary, asserting the necessity for Christ's resurrection before any of us can be raised.  He is the representative man, both in his death and his resurrection AND HE HIMSELF NEEDED SALVATION FROM THE GRAVE.

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  8. The mortal nature of Jesus necessitated his death, but his righteous character made possible his release from death. It is in his resurrection to life that our hope of salvation lies. "Because I live, ye shall live also."

    Acts 2 vs. 23-24, 27, 32
    Romans 6 v 9-10
    I Corinthians 15 v 20-23
    I Thessalonians 4 v 14
    Revelation 1 v 18
    John 14 v 9

    We can become associated with Christ's death and resurrection only through baptism (burial in water, a symbolic death and rising again). This will be explained more fully in a later lesson.

    Romans 6 v 3-4
    Colossians 2 v 12
    I Peter 3 v 20-21

    The salvation offered through Christ is freely and equally available to all, witout respect to race, colour or sex.  The exclusiveness of Judaism is done away in Christ.

    Acts 10 v 34-35
    Acts 17:30
    Galatians 3 v 27-29
    Revelation 22 v 17
    Colossians 2 v 13-14


    John 10 v 8
    John 14 v 6
    Acts 4:12

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  10. Having appeared to his followers after his resurrection Jesus remained with them for forty days before ascending to heaven. During that period he demonstrated "by many infallible proofs" that he had risen from the dead and was now immortal and possessed of spirit nature.

    Acts 1 v 2-3& 9-11
    Luke 24 v 50-53
    Mark 16 v 19-20
    Psalm 110 v 1
    Acts 2 v 33-36
    Hebrews 7 v 16

    Jesus ascended to God's right hand and there mediates or intercedes for his followers. He brings their prayers to God, after the analogy of the high priest offering incense to God for the people in Moses' day. Jesus undertakes this work of mediation for those only who are baptised into him and he bids them pray to God "in his name". When they confess and repent of their sins they are forgiven for Christ's sake through the shed blood of his sacrifice and his intercession for them.

    John 16 v 23-24
    Romans 8 v 34
    I Timothy 2 v 5
    Hebrews 4 v 14-16
    Hebrews 7 v 24-28
    Hebrews 9 v 24
    Hebrews 10 v 19-22
    I John 2 v 1-2
    Romans 3 v 23-26

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In the sacrifice of Christ and his resurrection, we have the answer given to the question Job asked: "How should man be just with God?" (Job 9 v 2). Christ did not die to appease a wrathful God. His offering was the means, lovingly provided by a merciful Father, for man's redemption. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."

By willingly laying down his life, as the culmination of perfect submission to God, Jesus fulfilled the requirements of God's holy and just law. God's righteousness was vindicated, and the power of sin broken. Now in His mercy, God could extend forgiveness to men and women through Christ, on the basis of faith in his sacrifice and resurrection. To such God offers hope of deliverance from death through resurrection at the return of Jesus.

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8 v 31-32).

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  1. "He also himself took part of the same" (Hebrews 2 v 14).
    Explain what you understand by this statement.
  2. In what way did Jesus differ from us?
  3. "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9 v 22).
    Explain what you understand by this statement.
  4. Can we be saved from death without Christ?
  5. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept". (I Corinthians 15 v 20).
    Explain what you understand by this statement.
  6. What is the PRESENT work of Christ?

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