Many great people were born, whose words and deeds contributed much to the wellbeing of humanity. When we study the lives of some of these individuals we find them to be certainly unique in some ways. Their personalities have been influential and their achievements have impacted us in various areas of life. Nevertheless an earnest look into the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in the Bible, will reveal him to be the most unique person who ever lived. At Christmas, celebrating his birth, we wonder: ‘What child is this?’ During his earthly life, people enquired: ‘Who’s this man?’ and the Apostle Thomas, who came to India as a missionary, confessed of Jesus: ‘My Lord and my God!’ Think about the claim
1. He lived before he was born! (from eternity invading time)
John’s record presents Jesus as ‘the great unborn’ (Jn.1:1,14). Jesus had no earthly father yet shared a special relationship with God as heavenly Father. After fulfilling the mission the Father had sent to earth for Jesus returned to him (16:28). Jesus is submitted to be the unique Son of God who came to reveal God to humanity (1:18). He claimed to have existed before Abraham (8:58) and ‘one with’ the Father; not only in his works but in nature; co-equal, co-existent and co-eternal with God (10:29-30). Especially during Christmas, Christians note that while unto us a child was born; unto us a Son was ‘given’. Why not vice versa? Because the eternal Son was not ‘born’ but in the fullness of time, the Father sent the Son to be the Savoir of the world (Isa.9:6; Gal.4:4).
2. He was born expressly to die! (from the cradle to the cross)
Babies are born to live but the Christ child was born to die. Jesus spoke with an authority and performed miracles that made people exclaim: “What kind of man is this?” Yet his entire life was marked for death and his life’s mission was to give himself as ‘a ransom’ (Matt.20:28). This phrase, distinct in the Jewish sacrificial system, signified Jesus was the Substitute to legally release people from the penalty of guilt and sin. We must move from Jesus’ birth in a manger to his death on the cross. This was his once-and-for-all time sacrifice for all the sins of all the world (Heb.9:26). When he cried ‘It is finished!’ he declared his earthly mission accomplished (Jn.19:30). Peter struggled with the concept of Jesus ‘laying down his life’ yet later explains to persecuted Christian that Christ’s death more than an example was to bring us to God (1Pet.2:24; 3:18). Jesus was ‘lifted up to die’ but ironically his crucifixion was also his coronation!
3. He rose again to give us Life! (from the grave to the sky)
Jesus predicted his bodily resurrection that the Bible teaches as a historical fact and the apostles preached as the saving Gospel (Jn.10:18; 1Cor.15:1-8). Jesus’ resurrection must be understood as proof that all he taught and claimed to be was true. It confirmed that God fully accepted his sacrifice and by raising him, declared him to be ‘the Son of God and Lord of life’(Rom.1:4). Since he conquered death, Jesus is able to save and give us victory over sin and death. He assures his followers, ‘because I live you also will live’ and share my life in the Spirit (Jn.14:19). His resurrection is the basis for real Christianity and makes him our constant intercessor and advocate (1Cor. 15:12-19). Jesus is the only founder of a world religion who can say, “I was dead, behold I’m alive forever more and have the keys of death” (Rev.1:18).
One might feel that Jesus was a good man, a bad man or a mad man but after examining the facts, no one can deny Jesus was the most unique person who ever was born, lived, died and rose again. Facing the reality of his claims and personally responding to them has consequences for us all, now and after we die. Yes, we’ve looked at what the Bible says and what Christians believe about Jesus Christ. This is not simply according to the laws of logic or science, but has its own logic – the logic of faith. Trusting Jesus Christ as Savior takes us into this new realm of reality, in which to live is Christ and to die gain!