The Magnificent Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ
By Harold S. Martin
Unfolding the wonders of our Lord Jesus Christ is almost impossible. Eternity itself cannot suffice completely to unfold Him. John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God, baptized Him with the approval of heaven, and then said of Him, "He that cometh from above is above all" (John 3:31). Paul said to the Philippians, "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…and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God" (2:9-11).
Jesus Christ is the central subject of the Bible. Anyone who reads the Old Testament must surely see the many Scriptures that prophesy of Jesus to come, and as for the New Testament, Jesus Christ is everywhere on its pages. The very first verse of Matthew says, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ," and the very last verse of Revelation says, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."
The first name in the first verse of the first book of the New Testament is Jesus, and the last name in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible is Jesus. What is it about Jesus that makes Him different from an ordinary man? What is it that makes Him unique and magnificent? Why is Jesus Christ given such a prominent place in the Bible?
1. Jesus Christ Is Magnificent as to His Eternal Source.
Jesus Christ did not begin to exist when He was born of Mary. John 17:5 says that Jesus had glory with the Father "before the world was," and verse 24 says that He was loved by the Father before the foundation of the world. Jesus had been present with God in the eternal ages before the world began. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem did not mark the beginning of a new person, but rather it marked the incarnation of the eternal Son of God who had been present with the Father and "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).
Jesus did not begin to exist when He was born of Mary, for the Bible says, "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" (John 1:1,2). And so we see that Jesus was the Son of God long before He became the son of Mary.
Jesus was not just another man. He lived in the beginning when everything was started. Before the beginning began, Jesus was. And because Jesus has always been with God, He knows all about us. He knows how we are made. He knows the secrets of our hearts; He knows our needs; and what’s more, being God, He is able to supply them all.
2. Jesus Christ Is Magnificent as to His Miraculous Birth.
The Bible declares that our Lord’s mother was a virgin, that His conception was miraculous, and that the agent of conception was the Holy Spirit (Matt.1:18). The Bible says, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman…" (Gal. 4:4). The birth of Jesus Christ was no ordinary birth. When the Jewish virgin Mary went down into that mysterious land of motherhood, she came back holding in her arms the only baby in all the world who had never had an earthly father. No birth like this had ever occurred before; no birth like this will ever occur again. Jesus Christ (who made man) was born in the likeness of men (Phil. 2:7).
If the birth of Jesus was not supernatural, then He cannot be our Savior, for then He would have been born a sinner like all the rest of us, and then He would have needed salvation Himself. But God is not limited to the ordinary. God is not bound by the laws of nature which we have discovered. One who takes away the supernatural conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit (and puts Joseph there instead) takes away our only hope of a perfectly pure, sinless Savior. We can’t understand it, but we can believe it.
3. Jesus Christ Is Magnificent as to His Perfect Life.
Jesus was perfect God, and yet at the same time He was perfect man. As man, He hungered; as God, He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35). As man, He said, "I thirst"; as God, He says, "If any man thirst, let Him come unto Me and drink" (John 7:37). As a man, He was weary; as God, He gives rest to all who come to Him (Matt. 11:28). As man, He prayed; as God, He hears and answers our prayers (John 14:14). As man, He wept; as God, He wipes away our tears (Rev. 7:17). As man, He was tempted; as God, He did not sin (1 Pet. 2:21-22).
The life of no other man has been so carefully and so critically examined as the life of Jesus, yet men of all generations have confessed that Jesus was the only perfect man who ever lived. Not a single time did He ever make a mistake. Not a single time did He ever utter a word that He had to take back. Not even His bitterest enemies, though they hounded His footsteps day and night to trap Him, could ever find anything for which to accuse Him.
His own challenge in John 8:46 was this: "Which of you convinceth Me of sin?" The thief on the cross was compelled to admit, "This man hath done nothing amiss" (Luke 23:41). Judas, the one who betrayed Him, came with the blood money and threw it at the feet of the Sanhedrin, saying, "I have betrayed innocent blood" (Matt. 27:4). And Pilate, the one who sat in the judgment seat and passed sentence on Him, three times over declared, "I find no fault in Him" (John 18:38; 19:4,6). Every man has some good points but Jesus has them all!
4. Jesus Christ Is Magnificent as to His Supernatural Power.
Jesus has such mighty power that when Peter drew the sword and slashed off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus immediately touched the ear, and it was healed. And no marvel, for actually He created the ear in the first place. John says in 1:3, "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." Who conceived the grace of the young deer? Who devised the majesty of the mountains? Who put the song in the throat of the mockingbird? One name answers all these questions, the precious name of Jesus!
When He stood before the disciples on the Mount of Olives (just before He ascended into heaven), Jesus said, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18). Jesus walked on the waves, stilled the storms, healed the lepers, raised the dead, and opened the eyes of the blind.
Jesus meets every need. He satisfies every desire. He hushes every fear. He calms every trouble. He is the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the valley, the balm of Gilead, the fairest of ten thousand to the soul. He created the worlds. He changes the destiny of nations. He has the power over death and disease. The Bible says that even the wind and the sea obey Him! (Matt. 8:27).
5. Jesus Christ Is Magnificent as to Authoritative Teaching.
Matthew says at the close of the Sermon on the Mount, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine; for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (7:28-29). The scribes were the learned men and teachers of the Jewish nation. They were largely Pharisees who taught chiefly the sentiments of the rabbis and the traditions which had been handed down from the fathers. They spent much of their time in vain disputes and in quoting authorities.
But Jesus of Nazareth spoke so differently. There was an air of complete and final authority about all that He said. He never said, "It is probably this way," or "Consult the experts on the subject." Jesus Christ is the authority on every subject! Jesus over and over again said, "But I say unto you…," not, "So-and-so said…"
6. Jesus Is Magnificent as to His Sacrificial Suffering.
Great men of this world may be valued for their lives, but Jesus Christ is known above all for His death. The atonement of Jesus is the scarlet cord running through every part of the Bible. His death was prophesied in the Garden of Eden. His death was pictured in the sacrifices of Israel. Jesus spoke of His death when He said, "For this cause came I unto this hour" (John 12:27).
There are 255 verses in the New Testament that refer directly to the death of Christ. One-fifth of the Gospel according to Matthew, and almost one-half of John’s Gospel record the last week leading up to the Cross. The death of Jesus Christ is of supreme value. On that afternoon when the sky was darkened and the sun hid its face and the veil of the temple was rent in twain and the Son of God cried out, "It is finished" (John 19:30) – on that great day, the price of our redemption was paid.
And now, because of His magnificent suffering, Jesus can reach down into the pit of corruption and lift the sinner up from the miry clay and wash him white in the fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins.
It was no ordinary death that Jesus died – that was God Almighty taking upon Himself the sin of a fallen race. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:5-6). Jesus bore my sins in His own body on the tree. Jesus stood where I should have stood. The pains of hell that were my portion were heaped upon Him.
7. Jesus Is Magnificent as to His Promised Return.
As surely as Jesus came the first time, so certain is it that He will come again. One of these days this magnificent, wonderful, incomparable Jesus will come in all His glory, and His holy angels with Him (Luke 9:26). In the 260 chapters of the New Testament the second coming of Jesus is mentioned 318 times. Jesus Himself said, "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not" (Luke 12:40).
When Jesus comes again in power and great glory, He will be the judge from heaven who will "bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Ecc. 12:14). The books will be opened; the secrets of all hearts will be brought to light. Those who have been faithful servants will be taken home to the Father’s house (John 14:1-3).
Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12), the Bread of life (6:35), the true Vine (15:1), the good Shepherd (10:11), the Door to heaven (10:9). This Jesus whom we love and serve is peerless, matchless, incomparable, magnificent. He has no equal! He is above all! There is no other that can be compared with Him!
The question we must honestly face right now is the one concerning His supremacy in our lives. Where have you placed this magnificent Jesus whom God has highly exalted? Are you giving Him the highest place? Jesus is supreme in every other realm; how can we forbid Him complete reign over the little empire of our hearts?
If you have never accepted Him, if you have been saying, "I want to run my own life, I want to paddle my own canoe, I want to be king of my own castle," remember this: there is a day coming when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God (Phil. 2:10-11).
During the trial of Jesus, Pilate raised the question, "What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?" (Matt. 27:22). That is the question you need to answer today. What will you do with Jesus? Your answer will determine your eternal destiny. You are either going to be forever with Him or forever without Him.
Today the question is, "What will you do with Jesus?" If you reject Him all your life and die without Him, the question someday will be not, "What shall I do with Jesus?" but "What will He do with me?" Believe the Gospel, repent, and be baptized today!
– From Bible Helps.