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Frequently Asked Questions - Christ

The word 'Christ' means 'Anointed One.' In Old Testement times, people were appointed to fill special high offices, such as king or prophet, through the ceremony of anointing. A special mixture of olive oil and spices (see Exodus 30:23-25) was poured on their head. (For example, see Exodus 29:10 and 2 Samuel 5:3)

Jesus is called 'Christ' because God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power. (Acts 10:38) God anointed Jesus to become our High Priest, our Prophet and our King.

In His role of High Priest, Jesus sacrificed Himself as a sin offering. (See Hebrews 10:11-14) As High Priest, Jesus also acts as mediator between us and God.  (1Timothy 2:5)

As our Prophet, Jesus discloses God to us. (John 14:9)

As King, Jesus rules over His people. The time is coming when all will bow before Him. (Philippians 2:9-11) 

The Apostle John writes that Jesus is God's Word who became a human being. (John 1:1-14) In other religions, God sends down. But in Christ, God came down in order to lift us up to His level. The Apostle Matthew writes that Jesus is "God with us." (Matthew 1:23)

The New Testament clearly says that Jesus is God. For example the Apostle Peter writes, “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:” (2 Peter 1:1) As another example, Hebrew 1:8 reads, “But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever... ””

But Jesus has characteristics which we do not normally associate with God. One of them is His humanity. Because of His humanity, Jesus is able to sympathize with us. “For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Jesus also gave up the glory He shared with God (John 17:5) in order to be born as a human being. He did this to take on the likeness of sinful flesh. (Romans 8:3) While Jesus remained totally sinless, becoming like us exposed Him to evil temptations of every kind. God, of course, cannot be tempted by evil in any way. (James 1:13)

Perhaps the characteristic of Jesus which we consider most unlike God is His mortality. Immortality is an attribute of deity. (1 Timothy 1:17) Jesus voluntarily gave up His immortality to die as a sacrifice for our sins. “For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8) Having died, however, Jesus demonstrated His divinity by rising from the dead. (John 10:18)

Since we could not rise to God’s level, God came down to our level in order to save us. He accepted the limitations of human experience so that, one day, we can become like Him. (1 Corinthians 15:51-57, 1 John 3:2) Jesus truly is God in the flesh. (Matthew 1:21-23)

Jesus died voluntarily out of love for us. He died to save us from the effects of our sin. The wages of sin is death. Jesus, who is totally sinless, paid the debt for us. Scripture says, " the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Romans 5:6-11)

The Bible is clear that Jesus died only once. Romans 6, verse 10 syas, "For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God."

Another verse which states this truth is Hebrews 7, verse 27. He " ...doesn't need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself."

Still another Scripture which leaves no doubt that Jesus died only once is Hebrews 9, verses 24 through 28. "For Christ hasn't entered into holy places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place year by year with blood not his own, or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this,judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who are eagerly waiting for him for salvation."

Three reasons Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead are:

1) All agree that a few days after Jesus was buried, His tomb was empty. The question is how it became empty. One theory is that the disciples visited the wrong tomb when they went to anoint the body. Some propose that Jesus didn't die, but only swooned. Then He revived in the cool of the tomb, somehow rolled the stone away which covered the entrance, and walked out on mutilated feet without drawing the attention of those on guard. This theory is obviously absurd. Others say that Jesus' followers somehow stole His body under the noses of the Roman soldiers who were guarding the tomb. When all of the theories are examined, the most logical conclusion is that Jesus really did rise from the dead. All the authorities had to do in order to quell the rumors of Jesus' coming to life again would be to produce the body. They did not do so. They did not arrest the disciples for breaking the law by taking the body. They did not try or execute the guards for deriliction of duty. The evidence says that the reason none of this was done is because Jesus really did rise from the dead.

2) Something must account for the remarkable change which took place in Jesus' disciples. They changed from fearful, discouraged men into bold, fearless, courageous people who gladly risked everything, including their lives, to proclaim that Jesus had risen. This only makes sense if it was true.

3) At one time or another, Jesus appeared to over 500 different people after He rose from the dead. It would be foolish to dismiss this eyewitness testimony.

After His resurrection Jesus spent 40 days teaching His disciples. Then He was taken bodily up to heaven. Scripture says, “To these (that is the Apostles) he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God’s Kingdom... as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:2-9)

Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God. Because Christ is in heaven, His followers are instructed to seek after heavenly things. “If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

Yes. Jesus’ message of salvation is universal for all people, for all time. While referring to His own sacrificial death to pay for the sins of mankind, Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)

The Apostle John was granted a vision of heaven. In it he saw a great crowd gathered around God’s throne singing a song in Jesus’ honor. Some of the words are: “ were killed, and bought us for God with your blood, out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, and made us kings and priests to our God...” (Revelation 5:9-10) From this we see that Jesus brought salvation for everyone. Jesus died to bring salvation to each and every person no matter how they are counted or cataloged. No matter who you are, Jesus offers you the opportunity to restore your relationship with God.

There are three reasons:

1) Jesus had no earthly father. In other words, He was concieved through the power of God's Holy Spirit rather than a man impregnating His mother, Mary. Mary was still a virgin when Jesus was born.

2) He displayed the characteristics and attributes of God. For example, He had the ability to control nature, He had the ability to create and He had the ability to discern people's thoughts and motives.

3) He called Himself God's Son. If we accecpt Jesus as a prophet, then we must also accept what He said about Himself.

For a fuller discussion of the meaning of the title 'Son of God' please read the article called Jesus, the Son of God.