"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
The story of man's redemption is holiness and love in perfect harmony. Holiness is demonstrated by God's wrath judging man's sin. Love is demonstrated by God's sacrificial provision of a substitute to redeem man, the sinner. This way God can be perfectly just in meeting the full demands of the law. This also allows God to extend mercy by declaring the sinner righteous through faith (dependence) on Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26)
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . 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. . . No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:1, 14, 18)
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:5-7)
The incarnation teaches that God became a man, without ever ceasing to be God, revealing the character and essence of God in ways we could never know apart from his living among us.
"Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour." (John 1:35-39)
Over the next three years the disciples of Christ spent time in his presence every day. They listened to him preach. They witnessed his miracles. They saw how he answered those opposed to him. They experienced his love. They came to believe Jesus was more than just a man. He was the God-man. He was (as John had said) the Lamb of God.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matthew 9:35).
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19).
No one has ever demonstrated the kind and degree of authority that Christ did in his earthly ministry. His power to heal is without parallel. It didn't matter what the cause was for the physical distress; whether it was from disease, accident, congenital, or demonic, Jesus healed everyone who came to him. While he didn't heal every sick person in every city he visited, there is no record of anyone who was sick or diseased (and who approached Jesus for healing) who later walked away without having been made whole. None were ever sent away having been told their faith was insufficient to receive a healing. It was enough for them to have come and asked Jesus; his enabling grace was sufficient for the need of each one.
"And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children" (Matthew 14:15-21).
Earlier at a wedding in Cana, Jesus transformed water into wine. Here on a mountainside, Jesus takes fish and bread from a boy's lunch and multiplies it to feed five thousand men, in addition to the women and children present. The first miracle required a chemical transformation of water into wine; the second required the physics involved with the multiplication of matter. In either case, we are talking about the building blocks of creation. Paul writes that all things were created by Christ and have their continued existence in him (Colossians 1:16-17). The raw display of creative energy must have been incredible because this is the only miracle of Jesus recorded by all four Gospels! We have a loving God concerned with providing physical bread for our bodies and the Bread of Life for our souls (John 6:47-51).
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matthew 14:25-27)
Jesus has authority over nature because he spoke the cosmos into existence. John writes of Christ, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3) Jesus demonstrated his authority on one occasion by speaking "Peace, be still" in the midst of a raging storm which resulted in an immediate calming of both wind and sea (Mark 4:39).
On this night the sea itself served as a pathway for Jesus to walk on in meeting the disciples in their boat. When Jesus finally joined them in the boat, the disciples worshipped him saying "Of a truth thou art the Son of God." (Matthew 14:33) Jesus really is God. He isn't just interviewing for the position.
"And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. . . And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid" (Luke 8:27, 31-35).
Jesus is Lord over the seen and unseen world. He has authority over men and angels. Even demons acknowledge the authority of Jesus and obey his commands. Whether it is one or many, Jesus dismisses them with a word.
“When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.” (Mark 2:5-12)
The scribes asked, "Who can forgive sins but God only?" That is exactly the point! Jesus Christ has authority not only to heal the bodies of men from sickness enabling them to walk again, but he also has the authority to heal their souls from sin enabling them to walk with holiness in fellowship with God.
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.” (Matthew 17:1-7)
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:8-11)
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." (John 5:25-27)
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?. . . and when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.” (John 11:25-26, 43)
Four days after Lazarus had died and was placed in a tomb, Jesus' words of command brought him back into the land of the living. In the presence of the Son's light, the darkness of death was shattered. The authority of Jesus is such that he commands both living and dead to do his bidding. The Psalmist reminds us, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4) Jesus Christ is Lord of this world, but also Lord of the next.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." (Matthew 27:24)
"Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him." (John 19:4)
Passover was a time when each family in Israel sacrificed a lamb in remembrance of God's delivering the children of Israel out of Egypt's bondage. Jesus, the Lamb of God, would affect a far greater deliverance by supplying the redemption price for the sins of the world. Though accusation was brought against him, Jesus was declared innocent; the sinless Lamb of God was without blemish. He served as perfect mediator between sinful men and a holy God. It was man who did the sinning. It was God, the Son who would do the dying, thus reconciling man with God. (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21-22)