When we ask a question about who someone is, we want to know who they are and what is their function or purpose. That is why we ask, “What do you do?” after we initially meet someone. Basically, we are asking them to “verify” their identity and their “mission” in life. Think about it, how history has labeled many: Attila the Hun, Henry the Eighth, John the Baptist, Alexander the Great, Catherine the Great, Herod the Tetrarch, even Winnie the Pooh. The person’s (or bear’s) identity is stated and then an adjectival noun describing their primary nature. So when we seek to identify Jesus, we really need to ask, “Who is Jesus the Christ?” Jesus is His name, and the term the Christ, or Messiah affirms His mission, that of Savior.
John the Baptist aptly describes Jesus in John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” In one fell statement, John has described both the identity and mission of Christ. In effect, John is affirming that Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb who is divinely appointed to remediate the consequences of sin. Jesus Christ has the God-given task of providing a way of reconciliation to God. This could only be done through His sacrifice on the Cross, hence, He is the “sacrificial” Lamb.
A logical query to make is, “Why do I need a Messiah anyway? Why do I need Jesus as my Savior?” – A valid question indeed. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That means we are tainted with sin. We are not all that God had wanted us to be. We stand with a guilty verdict upon our heads. The consequences of that are found in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That means that unless there is intervention of some sort, we stand looking at a certain judgment.
That’s where Christ comes in, identifying His mission, so to speak. Romans 5:8 declares, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The reason that we can have this eternal gift is because Jesus paid the price. Through His death, He canceled out the wages of sin. Wow! This is a gift, which was given while we were sinners, in spite of the fact that we were so undeserving, so guilty. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is assurance that Christ’s payment was acceptable to God.
How do we receive that gift? Well, Romans 10:9-10 promises, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” We have a part to play in this process. The belief of which the Bible speaks is not just cognitive, but suggests belief that is so internalized that it is followed by action; actions that are in accordance to God’s Word, will, and way, and thus evidence our commitment to Jesus.
What is the result? Romans 5:1 assures us, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no more death. Our relationship with God has been restored through Christ. We have a peaceful relationship with God once again rather than an adversarial one of hostility.
The benefits are great. Romans 8:1 assures “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” We are clean before God as a result of the work of Christ – and that is secure. Romans 8:38-39 give us that assurance, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Among the greatest of questions one can address in this life is this one, “Who is Jesus the Christ?” or more specifically, “Who is Jesus Christ to me?” Because in reality, it doesn’t matter if you recognize Jesus intellectually and historically if you do not accept Him as your Savior and Lord.
Is Jesus the Messiah? Yes!
Is Jesus your Messiah? I hope so!