Who do you say that I Am?

Piper Rs SundayNow when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Matthew 16:13-15
(bold emphasis mine)

This season is a time of focusing on Christ’s sacrifice for mankind.  Many of us have been fasting and laying down those things that hinder us and turn our focus from Him.  A plethora of artist’s renditions attempt to tell His story.

Jesus is different to many people.  Some believe that He is a prophet, a good teacher; some believe that He died for their sins, but don’t really know Him.  It was no different at the time of the disciples.  Few had the revelation of who He truly was.  As we walk the pathway of passion with Christ, I pray the revelation of who He is will seep into our spirits.  I pray that Christ be revealed on a deeper level, so that we can answer like Peter;

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (vv.16-17)

When the surprised Hebrews stepped out of their tents and saw the ground covered in white, they literally said, “What is it?”  This was the first time God had sent His people bread from heaven.  However, it would not be the last.  Centuries later, Christ, the “true bread from heaven”, would be sent to Earth, and multitudes would question, “Who is He?”  A man, a prophet, a god, or the Messiah?” (Perry Stone The Meal that Heals, p. 47).

Who is He?  This is the question that fills the pages of history and time.  Many did not know who He was, a prophet resurrected perhaps?  A Rabbi to teach God’s Word.  Jesus is not one of those listed above (John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah) each spoke of the coming of Christ, but they were not the Christ.  None of them had the power to redeem.  The Messiah was the only promised Redeemer.

Scripture paints many portraits of Christ.  Let’s examine the Word together:

He is the Alpha and Omega

I am the Alpha and the Omega. (Revelation 22:13)  He is the Alpha, the beginning, and the Omega, the last.  All things began with God, all things will end with Him.  Christ speaks these words in Revelation 1:8 and the Father speaks the same Words in 21:6.  Christ assumes a name that links God to Himself, proving His divinity.  He is eternal, and this is a beautiful assurance.  O Lord Jesus, be my beginning and my ending.

The Mighty God

And He will be called… Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)

Christ created all things.  He sustains the galaxies.  Before His hands were pierced through He held the solar system.  He kindled the fire of the sun.  He commanded the oceans to meet the shore ~ a holy breath in and out.  He created every planet and the unimaginable, seemingly endless, vastness of space.  He was mighty in His pre-incarnate glory and in His humble, yet powerful life and ministry.  Every Word He breathed displayed His Mightiness.

The Branch

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Is. 11:1)  It looked like the line of kings in Jesse were dead.  David and Solomon came from him.  Hezekiah and Josiah were in his lineage, but they had all passed on.  What about God’s promise to David?  He promised David the scepter would not leave his house, and that his descendants would sit on the throne forever.  Yet just when we think all is dead, God springs new life.  Christ is the Branch of Jesse ~ God’s promise fulfilled.  He will later die on a tree, but when it seems that all is dead… new life.

The Image of the Invisible God

He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and the exact representation of His Being (Hebrews 1:3).

The Hebrews author opens the Spirit-breathed pages with Christ as the Creator ~ He formed the universe.  All creation is subject to Christ, because He formed it, and breathed His living breath into it.  Before His precious feet walked the dusty roads of Israel, He formed them.  The wind and sea obey Him.  While the waters of Galilee raged, He slept because He was in control of it all: The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt. 8:27)

Who is He?  Christ is the representation of God.  He possesses all the Deity of the Father.  Jesus spoke this truth to His disciples, in frustration to the veil over their eyes; Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?  Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:8-9).

Radiance of God’s Glory

Beauty, majesty, splendor, greatness, power ~ these encapsulate the Glory of God.  Christ’s perfect life revealed God’s glory.

He is A Jew

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
(Deuteronomy 7:6-7)

Christ did not identify Himself with the most glorious people on earth.  The most downtrodden people are His chosen generation.  Jesus was a Jew.  He identified with the race that suffered more through history, than any other people.  He kept the Sabbath and Passover.  He memorized the Torah and taught in the synagogue.  He celebrated the Feast of Lights and Sukkot.  He fulfills everything the Jewish Old Testament taught concerning Him.  Then beginning with  Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27)

The Word

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.  He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:11-13)  The beloved disciple knew Jesus well.  He was more intimate with Christ than the others.  These words of John echo in the Book that bears his name:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)  Yes, John knew Him well.

The only Begotten Son

John 3:16 is the most treasured Scripture; it displays the Love of God to broken mankind.  He desired to reconcile the fallen human race back to Himself.  The price: His only begotten Son, God’s passion for people is demonstrated in this script.  His love for us runs deep; so deep He offered the divine sacrifice of His only begotten Son.  Jesus sacrificed His life to save us, God sacrificed His Son.  A Divine gift of redemption indeed.  He is Immanuel which means God with us. (Matt. 1:23). He not only came to die for you, He came to dwell with you ~ the kiss of Grace and Love. . .

A Prophet

The crowds answered, This is Jesus, the Prophet from Nazareth in Galilee. (Matt. 21:11)

A prophet is anointed and chosen by God to be a messenger or mouthpiece for Him.  Jesus was a prophet of God, but He was not just a prophet as some suppose.  The prophets of old saw fragments of God and facets of Him, but none could claim to know the full character of God.  None except Jesus ~ He was the image of the invisible God (Colossians. 1:15) and the exact representation of His Being. (Hebrews 1:3)  No other prophet could make such a claim, though they all spoke to the coming of Christ the Messiah.

A Teacher

We know You are a Teacher who has come from God. (John 3:2)  Jesus did not have a typical classroom.  He taught through word-pictures of His surroundings and through the creation which He formed.  He taught the lowliest of society to the rich, privileged, religious ruler.  He teaches us still today ~ listen for Him.

My Healer and Great Physician

Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to Me: ‘Physcian, heal yourself!’” (Lk. 4:23)

Many times the Bible speaks about Jesus healing people, and describes Him as being moved with compassion.  Jesus loved people.  He was all about people.  He did not desire to see them sick and suffering.  His stripes provide my healing. (Is. 53:5 and 1 Pet. 2:24)

He is my High Priest

And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased”. (Matt. 3:17)

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15)

When a high priest was preparing to transfer the priesthood to his son, there was a threefold procedure:

~ The high priest’s son had to submerge in water for purification. (Leviticus 8:6)

~The holy oil was to be poured upon the head of the high priest’s son. (Lev. 8:12)

~ The high priest had to publicly declare that this was his son. (Numbers 20:28)

This threefold occurrence happened when Christ waded into the Jordan River. (Perry Stone The Meal that Heals, p. 58)

He is my Redeemer, my Lord, and the only Mediator to God

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)  There are so many “gods”, so many paths available for man… so they believe.  But there is only one God, one Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our mediator to the Father, He is the only sinless sacrifice for me.  I don’t need saints or apostles that have passed away to be my mediator, they can’t be.  They could not die for me and reconcile me to the Father.  The Scripture teaches us that Jesus alone is the mediator between God and man.

Jesus is not only my Savior, but He is my Lord.  I accept His sacrifice on Calvary, but I must also allow Him to be Lord of my life.  I must live in obedience to His Word.  Don’t just accept His gracious sacrifice for your sin, but make the decision today to live for Him, know Him, love Him, abide in Him.  He longs to have a relationship with you.  Take His hand and walk with Him.  We need to feed on the Bread of Life every day.  The Israelites gathered their daily portion, their daily bread, each day.  A picture for us to gather the Bread of Life ~ Jesus every day.  If we don’t we will become stagnate.

There are so many aspects of Jesus, I can’t begin to list them all.  He is Isaiah’s suffering servant, the Man of Sorrows, who was bruised and crushed for us.  He is Jesus the Messiah, the only Way, the only Truth and the only path to Life. (John 14:6)  The only Mediator, the perfect the sinless sacrifice.  He is the Beginning and the End.  Let’s get to know Him as we walk the pathway of passion with Him through this most holy week.  Who do you say that He is?

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