Jesus Christ is the most important person in Christianity. Without Jesus, there is no Christianity! For the record, Jesus’ last name isn’t Christ…it’s a title meaning – Anointed One or Messiah. In ancient Israel, when someone was given a position of authority, oil was poured on his head to signify his being set apart for God’s service (see 1 Samuel 10:1). Kings, priests, and prophets were anointed in this way. So, Jesus Christ is the anointed one who is given authority by God, the Father, to be not only a King and Deliverer (Daniel 9:25; Isaiah 32:1) but to be the rescue plan for us and for all creation. [Eph 1:10 NLT]
Who is Jesus?
You might ask, what’s wrong with us and all creation that it needs rescuing?
The bible teaches that God originally made all of creation, including human beings as good. In fact, human beings were special in that they were created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:31; Ecclesiastes 7:29).
But even though God made the world and human beings as good, the first people (Adam and Eve) rebelled against God and brought sin into the world. Ever since then we are by nature, and by choice, sinners. Even a non-Christian would say that “nobody is perfect”. The bible agrees with that sentiment and states that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
The result of our sin separates us from God. Since God is the source of all life, this separation brings about death. Just like when you unplug a lamp from its power source the lamp continues to exist, but it is functionally dead. That’s how we are; we are physically alive, but spiritually dead. (Romans 6:23).
That’s our condition and we have no way out of it on our own. We can’t work our way out, we can’t earn our way out, we can’t perform our way out. God’s justice requires perfection. He requires absolute sinlessness. But we constantly sin and fall short. When we sin we are committing a crime against the judge of the universe and since God’s justice is perfect he will not let crime go unpunished. So what are we to do?
We can't do anything.
But Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, can! Because God loves the world He sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our predicament. Jesus, who is God in the flesh, came to earth and lived a sinless life (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22) and then took on himself the punishment for our sin. While our sin was placed on him, the righteousness he earned by living a sinless life was placed on those who trust in him.
Jesus paid it all. He bore our sin. That doesn’t mean that he sinned, but He willfully took our sins on as his responsibility and paid the price for them that we should have paid; that is death. Jesus was hung on a cross and killed for our sins. Sometimes this has been called the “great exchange.” The bible teaches that on the cross Jesus exchanged his perfection for our imperfection, his obedience for our disobedience, his intimacy with God the Father for our distance from God the Father, his blessing for our cursing, and his life for our death (Isaiah 53:6; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
So, Jesus the Anointed One, the Messiah died for us. He was a substitute for us. His death was in our place and solely for our benefit – not his. God’s anger should have been directed at us for our sin, but instead Jesus took that penalty in our place.
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.
So when you trust in Jesus; when you believe and acknowledge that he is the Christ, the Anointed one, the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God; when you realize and admit that you are a sinner, and you feel badly about your condition, and you admit your condition, and you call on Jesus to save you from your cosmic predicament of being dead in your sins…then he will rescue you – he will save you.
You will literally become like one who has been re-born. You will become a new creation. It doesn’t matter what you have done. Jesus will save you. There’s nothing more you have to do on top of what Jesus has already done for you. You can’t earn God’s forgiveness. But you can begin to live a life that is thankful for what Jesus has done for you. You can express to God your wonder and awe that he loves you so much that he would do such a thing for you.
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