of Christ Jesus
Do you really know who Jesus Christ is?
Have you considered the awesome truths about Him?
Respond with Humility, Fear and Worship!
Some people only consider Jesus to be a famous Jewish teacher while others think of Him as a baby born in Bethlehem. There are those who think of Him as an advanced Guru, others would say He was a great leader of people, and still others would think of Him as the founder of Christianity. Professing Christians have varying views on who Jesus is and what He has done. Some have a rather loose view of who He was while others have a precise and creedal view.
Are there any truths that come to us from Scripture that will help us to see the Lord Jesus more clearly? As we open Gods Word and allow it to speak to us, what can we learn about the Lord Jesus? Much could be said about this, but well limit our examination to three basic facts and then look at the implications of these facts. What are these weighty truths about Christ that show His awesome nature, character, and work?
1. Christ Jesus is Judge of all.
It might surprise some people to think of Jesus as Judge on the great Judgment Day for they have always thought of God as the Judge of all. Jesus said, Not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son (John 5:22). He also said that God gave Him [Christ] authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man (v. 27). Because of this important truth, Peter later declared that Jesus has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42), and Paul added that Christ is the righteous Judge who is to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:8, 1; cf. Acts 17:31).
Do we realize how awesome this fact is? You and Iand every person who has ever lived in the history of the world, from the point of creation until Christs glorious returnwill one day stand before Jesus Christ our Lord to be judged! We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10; cf. Matthew 16:27). Christ will not only judge the deeds of every person, but even the thoughts and motives (1 Corinthians 4:5), the words (Matthew 12:36-37), and the secret things: God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus (Romans 1:16; cf. Ecclesiastes 12:14). It is then that we will give account for all we have been and done (cf. Matthew 25:31-46; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:25).
This will be an awesome day! It will be a day of evaluation, a day of rejection, and a day of acceptance. Some will be shocked when they hear these dreadful words of the Lord, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41; cf. Luke 13:23-28). Others will hear the blessed words, Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:36). The Judge will be thorough in His judgment and He will make no mistakes.
This judgment points to the identity and character of Christ the Righteous Judge. One researcher estimated that about 50 billion people have lived on earth from the time of the creation of Adam and Eve until the present time. Think with me for a moment. Suppose the average lifespan has been around seventy years (at first the lifespan would be around 900 years and then it dropped to an average of forty to fifty years). If we take sixty years as the length of ones responsible years, and we only reckon 18 hours a day, for 365 days a year, we arrive at the following number of minutes during the sixty years (60 minutes x 18 hours x 365 days x 60 years): 23,652,000 minutes. In other words, the average person may live over 23 million conscious minutes during his lifetime. If we take this number times the 50 billion people who may have lived in earth history, we arrive at this many minutes: 1,182,600,000,000,000,000 minutes.
This would amount to 1,182 quadrillion or more than a million trillion minutes in earth history! If the average person is accountable for every thought, word, and deed in his lifetime (we will not count sleeping time) and if he were to sin only once each minute (we are not doubting that a person can sin many more times than one each minute), this would mean that there have been more than one thousand quadrillion sins committed. We only offer this to illustrate our point.
Do we realize what this means when we remember that Christ Jesus the Judge will judge every single thought, word and deed we have ever committed! This is the point: Is it not ludicrous to think that a mere created Being, of whatever character, will be such a Judge? Indeed it would be. Only God, who is absolutely omniscient, will be able to judge this many people with this many sins as wellas well as the quadrillions of good deeds! The judge of all the earth must be God in nature! Therefore, if we only look at this matter, we should see that Jesus must be our awesome Lord and Creator, the Judge of the entire earth!
2. Christ Jesus is Creator of all!
Not only is Jesus Christ the judge of the living and the dead, this Judge is also our Creator. Some may object to calling Jesus the Creator or Maker and contend that only God is the Creator or Maker. But Scripture teaches that God the Father did the creating, but He did so through or by Jesus Christ, thus it is not unreasonable also to call Jesus the Creator. When we read that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), we must also realize that all things came into being through [Christ], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:3). Does Scripture really teach this? Lets explore this further.
It is plain that God the Father created all things. Paul told the Athenian philosophers that God . . . made the world and all things in it, since He is the Lord of heaven and earth (Acts 17:24). Paul wrote that God created all things (Ephesians 3:9). The twenty-four elders in heaven worship God with these words: Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created (Revelation 4:11). Without doubt, we should praise God as our Creator!
But how did God create all things? Did He do so directly, as many people assume? What does Gods Word say? Creation was through the Word whom we now know as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A number of clear passages explain what we mean. In Johns prologue to his gospel, we read: All things came into being through Him [Christ], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:3). This is a reference to the Word who is called God and who came in the flesh (vv. 1-2, 14). Notice that all things were created or came into being through Christ the Word, and notice also that nothing at all came into being apart from Him. Therefore, God the Father was not alone when He created all things in the beginning; the Word was with Him and it was through Him that God brought all into existence. Further, in the same context John continues, He [the Word] was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him (v. 10). Again we see that the world was made through Christ. He was the divine Agent of God in the creative work in the beginning!
Lets turn to the book of Hebrews, where we read of Jesus Christ, through whom also He [God] made the world (1:2). As the ESV Study Bible puts it, The preexistence, authority, power, and full deity of the Son are evident in his role in creating the world. In the same chapter of Hebrews, the writer quotes Psalm 102:25-27, stating another amazing truth about Christs pre-incarnate work of creating: You, LORD [Yahweh], in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands (Hebrews 1:10). Here, Jesus Christ actually has an Old Testament Yahweh passage applied to Him, with the result that we learn that Jesus laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning and also created the heavens! Creation was not by God alone but by God through Jesus Christ the Lord.
Revelation 3:14 also adds to our understanding: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God. Does this mean that He was the first of Gods creation? It need not mean that at all. This is one interpretation but it fails to harmonize with other passages of Scripture on the origin of creation. The passage can mean that Christ is the one who began Gods creation. . . . In Revelation, the beginning with its complement the end is an expression for Gods eternity . . . and here it signifies Christs sovereign rule over the created order (ESV Study Bible). A. T. Robertson adds this: The sense is not that he is the first of created things (as in a series) as the Arians held and the Unitarians do now; but the beginning in the sense of being the originating source of creation through whom God works (Word Pictures in the New Testament). It is probably safe to say that any interpretation cannot conflict with other passages of Scripture.
One of the clearest passages on Christ as Creator is found in Colossians 1:16-17 where Paul writes, By Him [Christ] all things were created both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authoritiesall things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. The term, by, can also mean in or by means of. We should note that all things were created by Christ. This is a comprehensive creation, and includes everything that exists! In fact, Paul repeats all things twice. I spoke to a Watchtower Witness once, observing that their defective translation read that Jesus was the creator of all [other] things, whereas the Greek simply has all things. I pointed out that this resulted in distorting or twisting Scripture (2 Peter 3:16-17) in order to maintain their theology that Christ Himself was a created being.
The relationship of God the Father and Jesus Christ in creation is spelled out in 1 Corinthians 8:6: For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. The entire created orderall thingshas its origin in both God and Christ. All things in creation are from God and by Christ. Furthermore, we exist for God and through Christ. God is the ultimate source of all creation while Christ Jesus is the dynamic one through whom, with the Father, all things came into existence (NASB Study Bible). Neither God the Father nor Jesus Christ the Son (the Word) created the heavens and the earth independently! God created all things through Jesus Christ. A. T. Robertson observes that God is the source of the universe and our goal whereas Jesus Christ is the intermediate agent of creation (Word Pictures).
What are the implications of this fact? The Word of God teaches a fiat creation, a creation that instantaneously came into being through the word and power of God. This is in direct contrast to the popular but false Big Bang theory. Scripture simply says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The psalmist adds this statement: By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. . . . He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast (Psalm 33:6, 9). Isnt this astounding! God simply spoke and the world came into being. And remember, God created all of thisthe heavens and the earththrough Jesus Christ the Word!
How vast is this created order? How many stars exist? We are not sure, but we know that God knows! He [God] counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:4-5). At one time, people assumed that about 3,000 stars existed. They should have known better. God said to Abraham, Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them (Genesis 15:5a). He implied that they were innumerable, thus couldnt be counted.
Today, various estimates have been made on the number of stars in the known universe. NASA says that an estimate of 1021 exist, which would be 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 total stars! That would be one million quadrillion or nine billion trillion stars in known space! That is an astounding number! In fact, it is much more than we can begin to realistically imagine (imagine.gsfc. nasa.gov/docs/ ask_astro/answers/970115)! Other estimates would number the stars a little different. One source says, The observable universe contains about 3 to 7 x 1022 stars (30 to 70 sextillion stars), organized in more than 80 billion galaxies, which themselves form clusters and superclusters (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Observable_universe). Another way to think of this is to consider the mass of the universe. Notice this: Two approximate calculations give the number of atoms in the observable universe to be a minimum of 1080 (Ibid.). This would mean that the number of atoms would be 10, followed by 80 zeros! (See Grant R. Jeffrey, Creation: Remarkable Evidence of Gods Design, for further evidence.)
Since God is infinite in power, wisdom, knowledge, He easily created all of this. Furthermore, according to our focus in this study, we must remember that Jesus Christ, our exalted Lord and God, was the means or the agent by which the earth and all of the heavenly bodies exist! When you go outside at night, especially if you are in the country and away from the city lights, lift your eyes to the darkened sky. Remember that it was Jesus Christ who came in the flesh but who earlier made all of that heavenly splendor! And He did it not in 13 billion years or any other incomprehensible number of years. No, He created all of the wondrous universe immediately, in the relatively recent past. Jesus Christ is utterly amazing, isnt He!
3. Jesus Christ knows all and is everywhere
We know that one of the primary attributes of God is His omniscience. This means that he has all knowledge, that He knows all that there is to knowpast, present, and future. God is also omnipresent, which means that he is everywhere present. These two attributes can be seen as complementary. Notice Gods omniscience described by the psalmist in Psalm 139:
O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my laying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
We know that this passage pertains to Yahweh God, but this same description could be given of the Lord Jesus Christ as well. Like God, Christ also has searched us and known us. Like the Father, the Lord Jesus also understands our thought from afar. Like God, He scrutinizes our path and our laying down and is intimately acquainted with all of our ways. If we had read Psalm 139:7-12, we would also see something of Gods omniscience, that we cannot evade or escape God, nor can we lose our contact with Him. Therefore, He is everywhere and knows all things. Likewise, Christ is everywhere and knows all. Since Christ is the exact representation of [Gods] nature (Hebrews 1:3) and is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), the Lord Jesus must share the same attributes of omniscience and omnipresence as God the Father.
Jesus said, I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds (Revelation 2:23). Since Christ will judge each of us and will judge every single word, thought, and action (as we discussed earlier), we know that He must be omniscient and omnipresent (2 Corinthians 5:10). Since Christ will judge the secrets of men, we know that He must know what is in mans heart (Romans 2:16). Since He will bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of mens hearts (1 Corinthians 4:5), He must be everywhere to see and must be able to look deep into the spirit and soul of every person.
If there are seven billion (7,000,000,000) people on earth at this time, and if some fifty billion people have lived since creation (which is only an estimate), can we imagine what it would take to intimately know every single thing about those people? Every person has thousands of thoughts each day, and our Lord knows them all! Those people may live for forty, sixty, eighty years or longerand Jesus knows every one of their thoughts! He knows where everyone is and has been and will be. This demonstrates His omniscience (knowing all) and omnipresence (always present). Even though Christ is personally and bodily in heaven since He was raised in a glorified body (1 Corinthians 15:20; Philippians 3:20-21), and now lives in the presence of God and the angels (1 Peter 3:22), we know that He is also present with us through the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:16-19; 16:7-15).
We know that Jesus promised to be in the presence of His people in a spiritual way. He said, regarding believers who gather for the purpose of dealing with sinful saints, Where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst (Matthew 18:20). He will also be in our midst when we gather in His name. Later, when He gave His final commission, Jesus promised, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). He will be with us always! Although personally in heaven, He is with us through the Spirit who was sent into our heart and life.
4. Jesus Christ hears the prayers of the saints.
Consider now a final awesome reality about the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that Gods children pray to God the Father and this is one aspect of His deity (cf. Matthew 6:9; Philippians 1:3-4). Since He is God, the Father is able to receive and answer the prayers of countless saintseven at the same time. How can He hear the prayers of 1,000 people or 1 million people? He can do this since He is the infinite, all-wise, and all-powerful God.
But did you ever consider that Jesus Christ also hears prayer? After all, He is the mediator between God and man and is the intercessor and advocate between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2). The Bible clearly teaches that Christ Jesuslike God the Fatheris the object of our prayers (cf. John 14:14; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; Acts 9:10-14). This means that Jesus has the capacity to hear all of the prayers (both audible and inaudible) of all peopleat the same time! Further, He has the ability to come to the aid of those who cry to Him for help, both physical and spiritual.
Although most of the worlds billions of people dont know God and dont even profess to have a relationship with Him, in truth Jesus could hear the prayers of all of them at once if they were to come to Him for salvation. Even if He hears the prayers of thousands or tens of thousands of true followers of His, this is inconceivable to our minds. How could the exalted and reigning Christ hear more than one person at a timemuch less, thousands or millions? Besides, we know that He does hear (have knowledge of) billions of prayers even now, even though He does not hear such prayers with approval.
Isnt this another evidence of Christs deity and magnificent status? Wouldnt God alone be able to hear and answer the prayers of such an innumerable number of people! (This is why it is blasphemous for members of one religion to teach and encourage the membership of a billion souls to pray to and worship Marya mere woman, now deadand expect that she could answer! Indeed, they are attributing divine attributes to a mere human being.) Jesus not only has the ability to hear our prayers, but He also has the power to answer them. Indeed, our Lord is an awesome Lord!
We have already noticed that Christ Jesus, the Word, created all thingsthus He is far above His creation! We have noticed that He will judge every single person of every single actthus He must be omnipresent and omniscient to be able to accomplish His judging work. This should strike terror into the heart of one who is yet in his sins, for this same all-knowing and ever-present Lord is also a Judge and King who exercises righteous wrath on those guilty of sin (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 6:16-17). But this same truth of Christs omnipresence and omniscience is a deep comfort and blessing to those who have been redeemed by Him through His sacrificial blood! We long to be intimate with our blessed and loving Savior, Jesus Christ.
What Will You Do with Jesus?
We have examined several awesome realities about the Lord Jesus Christ. It is important that we dont think of Jesus as merely a good teacherwhich He was. And He was not just a miracle-workerwhich He was. He was far more amazing than many of us have ever imagined! Quite plainly, He is the most amazing Person who has ever lived! He is more than a mere person or mere man, for He is also Lord and God (John 20:28).
We havent discussed many things about Christ Jesus, such as His pre-earthly work, His conception by a virgin named Mary, His sinless life, or even His redemptive death and glorious resurrection and ascension. We have focused on several awesome truths about Jesus Christ. Jesus created everything that exists! He is ever-present and all-knowing! And He will judge every person of every sinful thought, word, and deed. He cannot be merely an exalted angel, a glorified man, a worthy teacher, a good example, and a proclaimer of truth. Jesus Christ was and is Lord of lords, King of kings, the Lord of glory, the Savior of the world, the Judge of the living and the dead, and the Sustainer of all that exists. Let us give Him the praise and glory that He deserves!
This examination of Scriptural truth should call forth our response. We should fear the Lord (Ephesians 5:21) and this fear should stimulate us to share this truth with others: Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men (2 Corinthians 5:11). We should love the Lord Jesus and others. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. . . .We love, because He first loved us (1 John 3:16; 4:19). We should worship and praise the Lord. This is the only reasonable response in light of our Saviors exaltation and glorious position.
Let us worship Christ Jesus the Lamb along with the angels:
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.
And then, along with the heavenly host, let us worship God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ together:
To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.