Thoughts to Ponder

Who is Jesus? (Part 2)

I want to continue the study of who Jesus is. We looked at the fact that He is and has always been God. That He came to earth as a human, while remaining God. I won't go back over that, but I think we should now look at other attributes of our Lord and Savior.

Jesus is called the Lamb of God. This name goes back to the time of captivity of the Israelites in Egypt. (Exodus 12:21-23 NIV) Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. {22} Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. {23} When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. The blood of the lamb protected the Israelites from God's wrath. Jesus' blood protects all believers from the wrath of God also.

(Exodus 12:29-30 NIV) At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. {30} Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. Since it was the LORD who struck dead the firstborn, why did He need the blood on the doorposts to know who were the Egyptians and who were His own people?

He did not need the blood to know who belonged to Him and who belonged to the world, but I think it was a sign He demanded by the Israelites to show that they had faith that He would pass over them. He still requires our faith; that He did send the Passover Lamb to die for our sins.

(John 1:29 NIV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! The lamb had to shed blood to save the Israelites and our Lamb had to shed His blood to save us. (Hebrews 9:19-22 NIV) When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." {21} In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. {22} In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

God told Moses that his brother Aaron was to be the high priest for the Israelites. God also gave Moses very ridged instructions on how the tabernacle was to be constructed. It had a most holy place where only the high priest was allowed to enter and that was to be only once a year. (Leviticus 16:15 NIV) "He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull's blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. The high priest went in year after year to atone for the sins of himself and the people.

Jesus is called our High Priest, but He is not like the other high priests. He does not have to bring a sacrifice for His own sins, nor does He have to atone for our sins year after year. (Hebrews 9:7-14 NIV) But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. {8} The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. {9} This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. {10} They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings--external regulations applying until the time of the new order. {11} When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. {12} He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. {13} The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. {14} How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

(Hebrews 9:25-28 NIV) Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. {26} Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. {27} Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, {28} so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God. He was able to once and for all atone for our sins.

God gave Moses detailed instructions because He wanted Moses to construct an earthly representation of the heavenly tabernacle. Sinful man could not enter the heavenly tabernacle to make atonement for sin, however, Christ was able to go where no mere man could and cover the true mercy seat with His blood, thereby atoning once and for all for all the sins of those who believe.

(Hebrews 8:3-5 NIV) Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. {4} If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. {5} They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

He is a merciful and faithful high priest: (Hebrews 2:17-18 NIV) For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. {18} Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

He is the reason that we can approach the thrown of grace: (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. {15} For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. {16} Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

He is the Judge: (2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Beside Him there is no other God. He is Israel's King and Redeemer: (Isaiah 44:6 NIV) "This is what the LORD says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

The Holy One of God, ruler of even the demons: (Mark 1:21-25 NIV) They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. {22} The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. {23} Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil£ spirit cried out, {24} "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" {25} "Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!"

He is our hope of a better life in a physical world with a physical body: (Job 19:25-27 NIV) I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. {26} And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; {27} I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! All of us who have placed our hope in Jesus Christ should yearn for that day. (Revelation 21:3-4 NIV) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. {4} He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Our only hope of resurrection: (Romans 6:5 NIV) If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

Jesus is the firstfruits of the dead. He is also now reigning in heaven: (1 Corinthians 15:21-26 NIV) For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. {22} For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. {23} But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. {24} Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. {25} For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. {26} The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Many people think of Jesus as meek and mild and those attributes are part of His character, but don't be tempted to think that is all. He is a powerful King, Almighty God, and when He returns to this earth He will destroy His enemies with the words of His mouth. Don't you think that is fitting since He created all things with the words of His mouth? (Revelation 19:11-16 NIV) I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. {12} His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. {13} He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. {14} The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. {15} Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. {16} On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

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These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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