Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Who Do You Say That I Am?

by Ken Harvey

He [Jesus] said to them [the twelve disciples], “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” –Matthew 16:15-16

Peter’s confession was one of the great turning points in our Lord’s earthly ministry. Jesus proclaimed that He was the fulfillment of two prophetic promises: that He was the long awaited Messiah and that He was Son of the Living God. It is important that we understand who Jesus is since He spent years making sure that His disciples understood before He revealed His death and resurrection (Matt. 16:21).

Jesus is the “Christ” or “anointed one.” In the Old Testament, someone who was anointed was set apart and consecrated for God’s work and received special empowerment by the Spirit. Likewise, Jesus was ordained by the Father and anointed by the Spirit to do the work of His Father. He was set apart at His baptism to be our Prophet, Priest, and King. As our Prophet (Acts 3:22), Jesus reveals God to us. Without Him, we would not truly know God. As our Priest (Heb. 7:24), Jesus bridges the gap between man and God. Only He, the God-man, can represent us before a thrice holy God. As our King (Ps. 2:6; Eph. 1:20-23), Jesus is the Sovereign Lord. He is the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant–the king in the line of David that rules forever.

Jesus is the Son of the Living God, a title used to declare that the second person of the Trinity humbled Himself by becoming fully man (His incarnation). It is a title also used to describe His future exaltation.

Once the disciples understood who Jesus was, He then communicated His mission: that He would die, paying the penalty of sin on behalf of sinners, and be raised from the dead. In this holiday season, let us think biblically and specifically about who Jesus is. He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came to die as the penalty for sin.

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