Life of Christ
By Atif Himadeh
You might ask, “What is the goal of studying the life of Christ?” The basic reason for studying the life of Christ is that He is the focal point of the Bible. If we were to study every book in the Bible we would find mention of Christ ; whether by prophecy, by declaration, or by symbol. For example, if we were to look at Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise they head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,” we would find the very first prophecy about Jesus Christ. In this verse it is obvious that Jesus was to be born from the seed of the woman. Jesus was born of a virgin, He bruised Satan’s head, and Satan will bruise His heel; all these were fulfilled in Christ. We also see Christ in the symbols of the Old Testament. For example, we see Him in the Tabernacle. He also appeared to the prophets, and spoke to Abraham and Moses. Because Jesus has been since the beginning of time, we study His life; when He became flesh and dwelled among us.
In Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” and Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” we see not only that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, but also that He is unchanging, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus has never changed and will never change forever! He was not created, and since He has been since the beginning of time, and is the author of our faith, we need to know Him. For this reason Paul the Apostle said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” He wanted to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection. He wanted to experience the fellowship of His suffering. If Jesus had been only a philosopher or a regular prophet, Paul the young apostle, who had studied philosophy and law, had reached the highest levels of education, and occupied the most prestigious of positions in Jerusalem, would not have cared about Him.
What is the goal of our studying the life of Christ?
We will study about Christ before His incarnation, and then we will move on to studying about His birth, His childhood, and his ministry on this earth. We will also study in detail about His ministry, His miracles, His sermons, His crucifixion, His resurrection, and some of what He did after His resurrection. The source of our information will be the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Gospels all speak about Jesus Christ, each of them emphasizing a different aspect about Him. For example, Matthew portrays to us Jesus the King, Who was prophesied about in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Mark portrays to us Jesus the Servant, a humble Messiah Who came to relieve the pains of humanity and the problems of society. Luke speaks of Jesus’ humanity, portraying Him as a perfect human who cares for humanity. Finally, John writes to sinners about the Son of God; he limits his focus to the sinfulness of humanity in order to portray to sinners Jesus the Savior Who is able to save them. John emphasizes Jesus’ deity; as Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.”
Christ: Before His Birth
If we were to study Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever,” we would understand very well that Jesus has been since the beginning of time, and will be for eternity; that is, He was never created. John the Beloved supports this view in the beginning of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) Then in verse 3 he says, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” In verse 14 he says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” These verses elucidate to us that the Word is God and that the Word became flesh. This means that God became flesh in Jesus Christ. Verse 3 says, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” If Jesus has been with God from the beginning, then it is no surprise that we read in Genesis 1:26,” And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” In this verse we see the plural forms in the phrases let us make and in our image, after our likeness. Why would God use the plural form in these words? Is this not proof that the Word is God, that He is the one by Whom all things were made, and that He was made flesh? That is why Christ said, “I am my Father are one.”
If we were to study the Hebrews 7, we would read in the first three verses, “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation the King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” Who is this king of Salem, who did not have father, mother or descent; who did not have beginning or end? Could it be anybody other than the Son of God, who came as the priest of God Melchisedec? When the Jews argued with Christ and asked Him, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” (John 8:57) Jesus replied and said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) In this verse Jesus told them, “Before Abraham was, I am”. He did not say, “Before Abraham was, I was born or created,” rather, He said, “I am.” Jesus has been since the beginning of time and when He was born of the Virgin Mary He took upon Himself the image of a human being in order to redeem humanity from guaranteed perdition. Christ did not have beginning of days; He was not created but rather has been with the Father and Holy Spirit since the beginning of time. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is God. Jesus has been before Abraham existed, before Adam, and before the existence of the entire world. He has been before the sun, moon, and stars; before the angels and demons; before human beings and their philosophies; before the prophets and religions. He is the One Who created the universe and sent the prophets. This is Jesus, about Whom we will study.
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