The True Greatness of Jesus Christ, Part 1

by Charles E. Bryce

Who was Jesus Christ before He became Jesus Christ—the Son of God and the Savior of the world? God’s Word, the Holy Bible, makes the answer to this question plain and clear. Notice John 1:1–5: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Jesus Christ was the Word, the Spokesman

So He was the Word. He was the second member of the Godhead. He was the One who created all things under the supervision of the First member of the Godhead. He is eternal. He has always existed and always will.

These two great Spirit Beings devised a plan to reproduce themselves—to create and build a family. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:26–27).

“Let us” the scripture says. They were totally united in love and respect for one another. One was in charge, the other was second in charge.

Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong clarifies who Jesus Christ was prehistorically in his book Mystery of the Ages. “So here we find revealed originally two Personages. One is God. And with God in that prehistoric time was another Personage who also was God—one who later was begotten and born as Jesus Christ. But these two Personages were spirit, which is invisible to human eyes unless supernaturally manifested. Yet at the time described in verse one Jesus was not the Son of God and God was not his Father” (pp. 41–42). “Long before anything else existed, there did exist two Supreme Beings, immortal, who ALWAYS had existed” (p. 43).

So God has always existed. Two great Personages made up the godhead. Both were God, One in charge, One second in charge. The Word later became Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary. That is when He became the Son of God and that is when God became the Father! Now they formed the God family and set out to add many more to that family through created human beings who would be born into the family by the resurrection of the dead. They want to do this so that they can share everything with their family—because they are the very essence of love.

But let’s go back to the Word and examine some of the things that make Him so great! Let’s start with the fact that He created the universe and everything in it. First, He created the angels, then He created everything else. The angels saw first–hand when the Word rolled out the entire universe right before their eyes. And they were so stunned, they literally shouted! “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding” (Job 38:4–5). “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (v. 7). Sons of God means angels in some verses of the Bible. The context determines where that is the case.

Jesus Christ the Creator of EVERYTHING

Think about what all of this means. HE created everything. The galaxies, human beings, the laws of physics, the atmosphere, all of the animals, plants and microscopic life. EVERYTHING! This took design, power and brilliance. Here is how it all happened. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” (Eph. 3:9).

They were a team, but the Word carried out—executed—the plan. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Heb. 1:1–2). “By whom also he made the worlds,” it says!

The God of the Old Testament

Jesus Christ was the God of the Old Testament. He was the Rock who dealt with mankind during that entire period. “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4).

They saw Him, spoke to Him, followed Him. No one has ever done any of these things with God the Father. “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim. 6:15–16). Only Jesus Christ has seen and heard the Father. No one else ever has (John 5:37). Therefore, the One who later became Jesus Christ was the Lord of the Old Testament who interacted with mankind during that time.

Two individual beings: God and Jesus Christ

The Word reflected the Ancient of Days. If you saw Him, you saw the Father—in terms of character, majesty and perfection. “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (John 14:9). But they are two individual Spirit Beings. Each has definite form and shape and they are in one place at one time, unified perfectly in love and respect. “That they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).

He is the One who renewed the face of the earth during the seven days of creation in Gen. 1:2–31 and 2:1–3. He created the 7th day Sabbath —Saturday—by resting during that time and making it holy. He was the One in the Garden of Eden who created Adam and Eve and instructed them on what is right and wrong. He worked directly with Noah, who walked with Him for hundreds of years.

He was the One who became a friend of Abraham and through him set in motion events resulting in his descendants, the twelve tribes of Israel, leading the world in prosperity in our day today. Working through Moses, He brought about the ten miraculous plagues mentioned in chapters seven through twelve of Exodus. He was the Word—the Logos, the Spokesman, who later became Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the One who opened up the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to walk through dry shod. That was one of the greatest miracles of all time! Then when the Egyptians pursued them, He closed the sea over them destroying Pharaoh and his army.

This set the Israelites free at last from slavery in Egypt. It allowed them to move on out toward the promised land on the other side of the Jordan River. He was the One who watched over the camp of Israel, day and night, to protect and provide for His chosen people. “And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Ex. 40:36–38).

The Rock was the One who worked with David as David became a man after God’s own heart by following, worshipping and obeying the Lord. As long as David looked to Him for victory and success, Israel won all of the many battles they fought.

In order for the God family to increase, a plan of salvation for humankind had to be set in motion. That is exactly what happened when God did this: “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16–17). Jesus Christ willingly gave Himself so humanity could be saved from eternal death. Through His sacrifice our sins are forgiven. Through His resurrection and living His life in us, we are given newness of life. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:9–10).

Before all of this could be set in motion, He had to come to this earth as a human being, God in the flesh. He did this as a baby, born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judea. Isaiah prophesied of this pivotal event and emphasized His coming Greatness: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:6–7). Once He was born, the two members of the God family now became Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of mankind and God the Father who is the Head of that family, the Ruler overall.

Just as in the Old Testament, we quickly find the magnificent Greatness of Christ recorded over and over again in the New Testament. Throughout His time here on this earth as a human being, He never sinned once. He was perfect in ever way. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 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” (Heb. 4:14–16).

The God of the New Testament

Take a look at just a few of the examples of His true Greatness:

He healed the sick (Mark 10:51–52).
He raised the dead (Luke 8:49–56).
He fed the hungry (Mark 6:37–44).
He walked on water (Matt. 14:25–26).
He built His Church (Matt. 16:18).
He laid down His life for our sins (Heb. 12:2).
He opened up direct access to the Father for all true Christians (Eph. 2:18).

No one else could have done any of these amazing things except Jesus Christ, backed up by the power of God, given to Him every step of the way.

Just think of all He endured for us on this earth as the Messiah. He didn’t have to do any of these things. He wanted to save mankind and freely gave Himself over to whatever it took to do that. He is the very essence of love, and so is our Heavenly Father.

Christ was human in every way. He was the eldest of at least 7 children—4 brothers and at least 2 sisters, born to Mary and Joseph. The family lived in the town of Nazareth, several miles S.W. from the Sea of Galilee. His stepfather was a builder, and Jesus became a carpenter. He had a house. His family was a large extended family that in addition to parents and siblings included uncles, aunts, cousins (Luke 1:36) and grandparents, etc. He had close friends and avowed enemies.

He got hungry and had to eat. He got tired and had to rest. He got angry at evil, but did not sin. There were times He wept, times when He laughed. Christ had the full range of human emotions, but always kept them under control.

He was fully human and fully God—but not in His glorified state. He had God’s Holy Spirit from birth. He was baptized in the Jordan River, not because He needed to be, but because He wanted to set the example for all who were to become true Christians.

He looked like the average masculine, young Jewish man of His day. He worked outside, which means He probably had a suntan. He worked hard doing carpentry work, which means he was probably muscular and certainly very strong. He had short hair—the style of men in His day. He would never do anything that was a shame. “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (1 Cor. 11:14).

He did not look anything like the world famous paintings that depict Him as slender, white skinned, with long flowing hair, which show him dressed in a white gown, with a pathetic, hopeless look on His face.

He blended in so well with the crowd of men gathered before He was taken to be beaten and crucified, that Judas had to point Him out to His captors by betraying Him with a kiss. The typical manner in which he is pictured today would have stood out in that crowd in a glaring way.

When you consider how human He was, yet without sinning—not once—you are again reminded of how truly great Jesus Christ was, is and always will be. His prayer to His Father, while hanging on the stake, beaten and scourged almost to death, was: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!” (Luke 23:34). He did not seek revenge. He asked that they be forgiven. And He did not die of a broken heart either. When a powerful Roman soldier rammed a spear into His side, He died then and there by bleeding to death.

Then He was taken down, wrapped in burial clothes and placed in a tomb in a garden. He was there for a full three days and three nights—72 hours. At the end of that time, and not one minute before nor one minute after, He was resurrected back to life and is now on God’s throne in heaven, at the right hand of our heavenly Father. He upholds the whole universe with all power, honor and glory, prepared to come again when the Father gives the order.

What happens next in the life of Jesus Christ is truly breathtaking.

To be continued...…

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