Basic Bible Study Series
"Be Reconciled to God!"
Lesson 3: Jesus
BOTH GOD AND HUMAN
It was mentioned earlier in lesson #1 that Jesus was the greatest revelation of God. It is true that Jesus was a human being -- born into the world just like any of us. Jesus grew tired (John 4:6), he became angry (John 2:13-17), disappointed (Mark 7:34), and he wept (John 11:33-35). Jesus even knew the struggle of temptation (Hebrews 4:15). In the end, this man from Galilee was crucified, nailed to a cross, by the Romans (Mark 15:22-24) -- Jesus was totally human.
At the same time, we are taught that Jesus was also the Son of God (John 3:16). He had a unique relationship with God that was unlike any other human relationship. You see, John 1:1-18 teaches us that Jesus, the Word, was with God in the beginning; indeed he was God. Jesus himself proclaimed, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30); and he even made the bold statement to the Jews, "I tell you the truth,... before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58). Jesus was totally God.
It is because of this unique combination of being completely human while also being one with God that Jesus can be a bridge between God and people. 1 Timothy 2:5 teaches us that there is, "One mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ". He is not just another prophet, but offers us much more because of his unique relationship with God; "For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Colossians 2:9).
Question: What advantages do you see in God sending His own son to live the life of a human being like you and me?
Do you believe that Jesus was more that just a man, but that he was also
the Son of God?
The power that Jesus brought through his unique union with God and people was the power to forgive sins. Scripture teaches us that Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15), even though he had been tempted in every way just as we are. For those of us who sin, but also have faith in Jesus' power to forgive sin, find the pardon we are looking for. John the baptist recognized this about Jesus, that is why when he saw Jesus he declared, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29).
Jesus himself revealed his role as the one who would bring forgiveness of sins into the world. Mark 2:3-12 tells the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man. When Jesus saw the faith displayed by the man seeking to be healed he said, "Son, your sins are forgiven." The teachers of the law were quick to point out that only God can forgive sins. To prove that God had given him the authority on earth to forgive sins, Jesus healed the paralyzed man -- something he could not have done without God's support. It was a great testimony to the power Jesus has to repair our relationship with God that has been been damaged by our sins.
Question: Before one can truly find forgiveness, they must seek it. Are you seeking to find healing from the sin that separates you from God?
We learn one very important consequence of sin in Romans 6:23 -- sin results in death. God's previous path to forgiveness involved regular sacrifices to help repair the damaged relationship. Now, God himself offered the ultimate sacrifice, his own son: perfect and sinless. The apostle Paul taught us that, "God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement " Romans 3:25. Jesus knew the role he would play as the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, as we see in Hebrews 9:26, "But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself." John sums is up best, "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world" 1 John 2:2.
Is it possible for you to believe that Jesus would make that kind of sacrifice
for you? If not, why not?
OVERCOMING SIN AND DEATH
During his ministry, Jesus taught many things about God and the Kingdom of Heaven. Faith in Jesus played a key role in understanding his message. He taught that even with only a little faith incredible things can happen (Matthew 17:20-21). Facing his own death was not easy, but Jesus foretold the events to help his followers accept the final reality -- that death and separation would not have the last word, but that Jesus would be raised to life again.
Question: Read Matthew 20:17-19. Does it look like Jesus' sacrifice was an easy one?
might it have been hard for Jesus' disciples to have had faith that he
would be raised to life again?
When Jesus' disciples went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried, they found that he was gone. An angel declared to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" (Luke 24:5-6). This is the foundation of belief in Jesus, that while he died for our sins, God raised him up to a new life. The early apostles testified to it (Acts 2:32). It is a reality that, in faith, we know to be true. Jesus is not dead -- he lives, and is the source of life today!
Paul summed up the power of Jesus for our lives when he said, "He was delivered over to death for our sins, and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25). Faith in Jesus is rooted in the knowledge that God has offered us forgiveness and calls us back into his presence through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The power of sin and death to keep us from God has been broken by Jesus, who lives and reigns with God.
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. ...We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
Dear God, thank you for providing a way back. Help me to take hold of your greatest gift, Jesus. May I find the faith to believe that through Him I can find a new life too -- a life with you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Last Updated by Pat Bonner on Thursday, 6 August, 1998 at 9:00 A.M.