Editor’s note: This post is part of a series featuring outstanding excerpts from student papers at the BibleMesh Institute, which offers affordable online training for local churches, schools, and ministries. The author’s name has been withheld for privacy and security purposes. She is preparing to serve as a missionary overseas.
Jesus professed to be God and possessed attributes that the Old Testament claims only God can possess.
Who is “the First and the Last”? In Isaiah 44:6, Yahweh claims to be the first and the last and apart from him there is no God. In Revelation 1:17, Jesus took the title and attributed it to himself saying, “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last.” Jesus takes a unique characteristic of God and applies it to himself, therefore claiming to be God.
Who can forgive sins and has the right to judge? In the Old Testament, only God has the power to offer ultimate forgiveness of sins (Ps 51:4; Is. 43:25; Dn 9:9) and the right to judge (Ps 9:7-8). However, Jesus claimed to have the authority to forgive people’s sins on earth (Mk 2:4-12). Who then is our final Judge? According to the Bible Jesus is our final judge (Mt 25:31-32; Jn 5:22).
Who is the Truth? In Psalm 31:5 David declares, “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Yahweh, my faithful God.” The Hebrew is, ‘ēl ‘ĕmeṯ, translated to “God of Truth,” and rendered as “my faithful God” in the NIV. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Who raises the dead? In 1 Samuel 2:6, Hannah prays and proclaims, “The Lord (Yahweh) brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.” In the Gospels, Jesus claims to have the power to raise the dead (Jn 5:25-29; 11:25).
Does God share his glory? Isaiah 42:8, Yahweh declares, “I am the LORD, that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Yet, Jesus calls the Father to glorify him in his presence with the glory he had with him before the world began (Jn 17:5); and many people worshiped him (Jesus) (Mt 2:11; 14:33; 28:17; Jn 9:38; 20:28; Lk 24:52). Jesus did not refuse this worship or rebuke those who gave it. In John 5:23 Jesus calls all people to honor him just as they are to honor the Father. We honor the Father by worshiping him. Thus, Jesus was demanding worship.
Additional claims: Mark 2:28—Jesus calls himself the Lord of the Sabbath; Mathew 22:41-45—Jesus proves that he is the Lord of the prophet David; Matthew 12:6—Jesus claims to be greater than God’s temple; John 14:13-14—Jesus has the ability to answer prayer; Matthew 18:20—Jesus is omnipresent; Matthew 28:18—Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth; Matthew 28:20—Jesus is eternal; John 1:1-2; 17:5—Jesus existed in eternity past.
Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture: “’The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Mk 12:10-11)
Jesus is the cornerstone that was rejected and has become the keystone of our Christian faith and ministry. The heart of the gospel message is hinged on the identity of Jesus as both divine and human. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23); yet Jesus committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth (1 Pt 2:22). “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12); yet Jesus’ one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people (Rom 5:18-19). For the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23); yet God demonstrated his love for us that while we were still sinners, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor 5:21). Mankind could not save themselves from sin and eternal death because we stand rightly condemned before a sinless God. But God willingly humbled himself by taking on the nature of a human (Phil 2:6-11) so that he could save mankind for his glory. Our savior could not be a mere man, but God himself in the flesh.
Therefore, as Christians we affirm Jesus’ words, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And so, we are called by God to be his witnesses and testify to the truth to all nations (Acts 1:8).