From the time of Adam and Eve the Lord remained faithful to his promise to send a Savior. Through the centuries of time he unfolded more and more details about the person and the work of the Savior, who would reconcile the sinners of the world to himself. When the time was right according to his plans, the Lord sent the Savior into the world. The purpose of this lesson is to learn about this Savior who came for our sakes and what he did to save us.
Gal. 4:4,5 Now when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that he should redeem those under law, so we might receive the adoption of sons.
1. The Word of God, which is the truth, says Gods Son, the Savior, was born into the world.
Lk. 2:10,11,13,14 And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people, that today a Savior was born for you in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord. . . And immediately there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.”
1. The birth of the Savior was announced by angels.
1. Jesus of Nazareth admitted he was Christ, the Savior, who was to come.
2. His name Christ, or Messiah, means the Anointed One.
Mt.11:2-6 Now when John heard in prison the works of Christ, by sending a message through his disciples he said to him, “Are you the Coming One, or should we expect another?” Then answering Jesus said to them, “Go, report to John the things which you hear and see. The blind receive sight and the lame walk about, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not repelled by me.”
1. Jesus pointed to his preaching and his miracles as proof that he was the promised Christ in whom we should believe.
Luke 24:44 And he (the resurrected Jesus told his disciples,) “These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
1. Jesus resurrection proved he was the Son of God (see Romans 1:4). After his resurrection he said that the Old Testament messianic prophecies were written about him. He was the promised Christ.
1 Jn.1:1,2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked at and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life And the life appeared, and we have seen and are bearing witness and proclaiming to you the eternal life which was with the Father and appeared to us.
1. The apostles were eyewitnesses who saw, heard, and touched Christ, the Word.
Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no other, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
1. The apostles testified that Jesus is the one, true Savior, the only source of salvation.
1. The name Jesus means Savior.
The Truth Is:
We know the Savior did come:
1. God’s Word, which is the truth, says he came.
2. Angels announced his birth into the world.
3. Jesus of Nazareth said he was the Christ and pointed to his preaching and to his miracles as proof of whom he was.
4. Jesus rose from the dead, proving he was the Son of God, and he declared the Old Testament prophecies were about him.
5. The apostles were eyewitnesses who testified Jesus was Christ, the Savior.
6. Jesus means Savior. He was given this name because he would save people from their sins. His name Christ means the Anointed One.
Gal.4:4 Now when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, . . .
- The Savior was both true God and true man in one person.
Lk.2:11 Today a Savior was born for you in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord.
- The Savior was born a human being, and at the same time he was the Lord God.
Acts 20:28 . . . to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased by means of his own blood.
- God in the person of Jesus became a true human being of flesh and blood.
Jn.1:1,2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
- Christ was present at the beginning of creation, which tells us he is eternal, and which is a characteristic that only God has.
Heb. 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, even forever.
- Christ is unchanging and always the same, which is a characteristic that only God has.
Mt.28:20 And behold, I am with you always until the end of the age.
- Since Christ will always be with each of us believers, he is everywhere present, or omnipresent, which is a characteristic that only God has.
Jn.21:17 And he (Peter) said to him, “Lord, you know all things.”
- Christ knows everything, which means he is omniscient, and which is a characteristic that only God has.
Mt.28:18 And when Jesus came to them, he spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
- Christ has all authority, which means he is all powerful or omnipotent, and which is a characteristic that only God has.
Jn.1:3 Through him all things were made, and without him nothing was made that has been made.
- Christ created all things, which was a divine work that only God did. (Creation)
Heb.1:3 The Son is the radiance of his glory and the exact representation of his actual being, preserving all things by his almighty word.
- Christ preserves, or keeps, all things in his creation, which is a divine work that only God does. (Preservation)
Mk.2:10 . . . the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth.
- Jesus Christ has the authority to forgive sins, which is a divine work that only God can do. (Absolution)
Jn.5:27 (The Father) has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
- Jesus Christ will judge all people, which is a divine work God will do. (Judgment)
Jn.5:22,23 For not even the Father judges anyone, but has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
- Christ is to be honored and worshipped as God the Father is honored and worshipped. (Divine Honor)
Lk.24:39 “Look at my hands and my feet that it is I myself; touch me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
- Jesus has a real human body of flesh and bones, like all people have.
Mt.26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful to the point of death; . . .
- Jesus has a real human soul, like all people have.
Lk.22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but your will, be done.”
- Jesus has a real human will, like all people have.
Lk.2:11 “Today a Savior was born for you in the city of David . . .
- Jesus was born, which is a human experience that all people have.
Lk.2:52 Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature . . .
- Jesus grew up from childhood to adulthood, which is a human experience that all people have.
Mk.4:38 And he (Jesus) was in the stern on the cushion sleeping; . . .
- Jesus slept, which is a human experience that all people have.
Mt.4:2 And after fasting for forty days and forty nights, he (Jesus) was hungry.
- Jesus became hungry, which is a human experience that all people have.
Jn.19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, said, in order that the Scripture may be fulfilled, “I am thirsty.”
- Jesus became thirsty, which is a human experience that all people have.
Jn.11:35 Jesus wept.
- Jesus wept, which is a human experience that all people have.
Lk.24:26 And he said to them, “Thus it was written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, . . .
- Jesus suffered, which is a human experience that all people have.
Lk.23:46 And calling out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” After having said this, he breathed his last.
- Jesus died, which, except for the two men who were taken directly up to heaven, is an experience that all people have.
Lk.23:53 And after he had taken it (Jesus' body) down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a tomb cut in the rock where no one had ever lain.
- Jesus was buried, which is an experience that people have.
The Truth Is:
The Savior was unique.
1. He was both true God and true man in one person.
2. We believe he was true God because:
a. He had divine characteristics--being eternal, unchanging, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
b. He performed divine works--creation, preservation, absolution, and judgment.
c. He was to be honored and worshipped with God the Father.
3. We believe he was true man because:
a. He possessed a real human body.
b. He possessed a real human soul.
c. He possessed a real human will of his own.
d. He had human experiences--birth, mental and physical growth, sleep, hunger, thirst, sorrow, suffering, death, and burial.
Lk.1:35 . . . the holy One that is born will be called the Son of God.
- Christ was the Son of God, so he would be holy, righteous, and without sin.
Ro.10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
- Christ was the Son of God, so his divine righteousness could be credited to all who believe in him.
Gal.4:4, 5 Now when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that he should redeem those under law, so we might receive the adoption of sons.
- Christ was the Son of God, so he could redeem all people.
1 Pet.1:18,19 . . . knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from the worthless way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb unblemished and spotless, . . .
- Christ was the Son of God, so he could redeem, which means buy back, all people from sin, death, and hell.
Heb.2:14,15 Since then the children have flesh and blood, he himself also in just the same way partook of the same, in order that by means of death he might do away with him who holds the power of death, that is the devil, and free those who were subject to slavery by a fear of death through all of life.
- Christ was the Son of God, so he could overcome and defeat the devil and death.
1 Cor.15:55-57 O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Christ was the Son of God, so he could give us the victory of eternal life.
The Truth Is:
According to Gods plan for saving us Jesus was the Son of God:
1. So he would be holy and his righteousness could be credited to us for our salvation.
2. So he could redeem us with his divine blood, which was so precious it paid for the sins of the world.
3. So he could overcome and defeat the devil and death to give us eternal life.
Gal.4:4,5 Now when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that he should redeem those under law, so we might receive the adoption of sons.
- Jesus was true man, so he could be our substitute under God’s law to redeem us by obeying it perfectly for us.
Heb.2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made inferior to the angels for a little while, crowned with glory and honor because of suffering death, in order that by the grace of God he might taste death in behalf of everyone.
- Jesus was true man, so as our substitute he could suffer the punishment of death for our sins to save us from that punishment.
The Truth Is:
According to Gods plan for saving us, Jesus was a true human being:
1. So he could be our human substitute under God’s law to fulfill it for us to redeem us. His righteousness as the perfect Son of Man is credited to us for our salvation.
2. So he could be our human substitute who suffered the punishment of death for us to save us from that punishment.
Phil.2:5-8 Have this attitude in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not regard being equal with God a thing to be seized, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death even death on a cross.
1. Though the man Jesus was God, he did not consider living before the world as God something he should do to obtain divine honor for himself.
2. Though Jesus Christ was God, he humbled himself to live as a mere man, the servant of God, who had come to do God’s will, which was to go to the cross to die and to give his life to redeem us sinners.
Lk.22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but your will, be done.”
- Jesus Christ did what God the Father wanted him to do, which was to suffer and die to pay for our sins.
Mt.20:28 “. . . just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Jesus gave his life on the cross as the price, meaning the ransom, to set us free from Satan, sin, death, and hell.
Jn.11:43,44 He (Jesus) cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus! Come out!” He who had died came out, . . .
- This verse and the next show that Jesus had divine power and glory, which he revealed through his miracles.
Mt.17:2 And he was transformed before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.
Mt.26:50 Then, when they had come forward, they laid hands upon Jesus and arrested him.
- Except when he performed miracles, Jesus did not use his divine powers. This was made clear when he permitted mere men to arrest him and later crucify him. Rather than use his divine powers to save himself, he humbled himself to live and to die as God’s suffering servant to save us sinners.
The Truth Is:
To save us Jesus humbled himself.
1. He did not seek divine honor for himself but lived a lowly human life as the servant of God to redeem us.
2. He refrained from using his divine powers during his life except for those occasions when he performed miracles.
Note: Jesus living as a humble servant of God to save us is called his state of humiliation. His humiliation was an act of his human nature, which consisted of this man who was God not living as God on earth and not using his divine powers all the time. The period of his humiliation was his entire life, from his conception and birth to his death and burial.
The gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are not a complete biography of Christ’s life. They state what is necessary for us to know, so we may know that he is the Savior through whom we receive eternal life. A brief sketch of his life follows.
After the angel Gabriel announced the future birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias, he appeared to a virgin named Mary, who was to marry Joseph. Gabriel told her that she would conceive a child by the power of the Most High God. When Joseph was disturbed by Mary’s pregnancy, an angel told him Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The child should be named Jesus, because he would save his people from their sins.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, where Mary and Joseph had traveled to pay their taxes and to be counted. An angel announced the good news of his birth to shepherds in a field, who then went to worship the baby Jesus. On the eighth day he was circumcised in the temple according to God’s Old Testament law. Perhaps a year or so later, having been guided by a miraculous star, the wisemen came from the east to worship the Lord Jesus in the house he then lived in. When king Herod heard of the child who was born King of the Jews, he tried to murder the baby Jesus. Having been warned by an angel, Joseph took Jesus and Mary to Egypt to flee the mass murder of the babies in Bethlehem.
At the age of twelve Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. There he amazed the religious teachers of Scripture with his understanding. He returned to Nazareth with his parents, where he grew up as a child and matured in wisdom. Scripture says nothing more about his childhood.
At the age of thirty Jesus’ three year public ministry began with his baptism by John in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit then led him into the wilderness, where, as our human substitute, he withstood the devil’s temptations. He gathered his disciples and spent his ministry preaching the good news of salvation which had come to the people of the world, and performing miracles which proved he was the promised Christ and supported the Word of God he taught. During those three years he prepared his disciples for their ministries as his witnesses, and he corrected the religious leaders of the Jews who opposed him and planned to put him to death.
After telling his disciples time and again about his coming suffering and death at the hands of the Jewish leaders and the Romans, he made his last journey to Jerusalem to do his Father’s will of dying on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all people. He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as the Savior King who came to accomplish the world’s salvation. The crowds and the children proclaimed him the Christ, the Son of David, who was to come.
On Maundy Thursday evening Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples. To their surprise he told them that Judas would betray him. He established the Lord’s Supper for his disciples to eat and drink in remembrance of him for the forgiveness of their sins. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus’ soul endured great agony over his coming crucifixion and death. His sweat fell like great drops of blood. He prayed three times that if it were possible he be spared from the suffering, which he was willing to suffer. Judas then arrived with a regiment of armed soldiers who came to capture and arrest him. Judas betrayed him to them with a kiss. Later Judas, filled with remorse, hung himself.
Jesus permitted them to arrest him and take him bound like a common criminal to Annas, the former high priest, and to Caiaphas the high priest and the Sanhedrin, which was the ruling council of the Jews. Illegally and improperly they put him on trial during the night, calling on false witnesses in an attempt to find grounds for putting him to death. While he was being tried, Peter denied knowing him three times, as Jesus had said he would. The Jewish leaders convicted Jesus of blasphemy for admitting he was the Son of God and the Christ. They sentenced him to death.
Because the Jews did not have the authority to execute a man, they took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. They falsely accused him of starting an uprising by claiming to be a king and telling the people not to pay their taxes. Pilate, after talking to Jesus and hearing that his kingdom was not of this world, found him innocent. Pilate tried to find ways of releasing Jesus, or of at least getting out of having to judge Jesus' case. He sent Jesus to Herod, since Jesus was under Herod’s rule, but Herod only made fun of Jesus and sent him back. Pilate paired off Jesus with Barrabas, a well known criminal and murderer whom he thought the Jews would gladly see crucified, and offered the Jews their choice of which one he should free. Led by the Jewish leaders, the people shouted for Jesus’ crucifixion. Pilate, showing what an unjust and weak ruler he was, for the sake of his own political career, sentenced the innocent Jesus to death and tried to wash his hands of this unjust wrongdoing by laying it on the Jewish people.
At nine o’clock in the morning Jesus was crucified on Calvary between two thieves. He spoke seven times from the cross. He endured the horrible, inhuman pains of crucifixion, which were inflicted on him by the people of the world who rejected him--the very people he had come to save. While on the cross he also endured the pains of hell for the sins of the world, which he suffered during those dark hours when his Father deserted him. From noon to three o’clock the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the earth. Jesus declared the redemption of the human race accomplished when he said, “It is finished.” Entrusting his soul into his Father’s hands with a loud voice to show his life was not being taken from him but that he was giving up his life of his own free will, he breathed his last breath and died. Upon his death the great veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, which showed that the people of the world could now come through Jesus into the presence of God, for the barrier of sin had been removed by Jesus’ death. A great earthquake split the rocks, and the graves of those who had died in the faith were opened and their bodies were resurrected.
Joseph of Arimathea begged for the body of Jesus. Together with Nicodemus, he buried Jesus’ body in his own unused tomb, which was sealed by rolling a large stone in front of its entrance. The Jews obtained from Pilate a Roman guard to insure that the disciples could not steal Jesus’ body and spread the story that Jesus had risen from the dead. For three days, as the Jews count the days that part of a day is counted as a day, Jesus’ body laid in the tomb until God exalted him.
1 Pet.3:18-20 For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous one for the unrighteous ones, in order to bring you to God, on the one hand having been put to death in the flesh, on the other hand having been made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to those in prison, who once were disobedient, . . .
1. Jesus body was made alive again and resurrected in a spiritual, glorified body, such as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.
2. Alive once again, the body of Jesus descended into hell to proclaim his victory over the devil, sin, and death. This assures us that through Jesus we have the victory over these enemies.
Mt.28:1-15; Mk.16:1-14; Lk.24:1-49; Jn.20:1-21; Acts 1:3; 1 Cor.15:4-8
1. These sections of the Bible tell us about Jesus’ resurrection and his appearances to his disciples. Early on Sunday morning an angel descended to the tomb. An earthquake occurred, and he rolled the stone away from the tomb. The Roman guards, terrified, fell to the ground like dead men and then fled. The women who came to anoint Jesus’ body saw a vision of angels, who told them Jesus had risen from the dead. Beginning that Easter morning Jesus showed himself alive to his disciples over a period of forty days. He appeared to Mary Magdelene, the women, Peter, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the disciples Easter evening and again a week later when Thomas was present, to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee, to James, to more than five hundred at the same time, and to Paul.
Ro.1:4 . . . who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Tit.1:2 . . . God, who cannot lie. . .
1. According to Romans 1:4 above Jesus’ resurrection declared he was the Son of God. His resurrection, then, also confirmed that what he had taught was the truth; for being God, he does not lie.
Ro.4:25 He was delivered for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.
- Justification is God’s declaration that we are forgiven and righteous. This verse tells us God raised Jesus from the dead as his declaration that our sins are forgiven.
Jn.14:19 . . . because I live, you also will surely live.
- Jesus’ being raised from the dead to live assures us that we also will rise from the dead to live eternally.
Lk.24:50,51 . . . he parted from them and was taken up into heaven.
- Jesus left his disciples and was taken up, or ascended, into heaven.
Jn.14:2,3 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you to myself, in order that where I am, you also may be.
- Jesus went up, ascended, into heaven to prepare a place there for us.
- Jesus will come back from heaven to take us to be with him there.
Acts 1:11 “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, in this same way will come just as you have seen him going into heaven.”
- As Jesus visibly went up into heaven, so he will visibly come back from heaven.
Acts 10:42 And he gave orders to us to preach to the people and to testify solemnly that he is the one who has been designated by God judge of the living and the dead.
- When Jesus visibly comes back from heaven, he will return to judge all people, the living and the dead. This assures us that our Judge will be our loving Savior Jesus.
Eph.1:20-23 . . . he (God) raised him (Christ) from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, high above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God put all things under his feet, and appointed him head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
- After Jesus rose from the dead and when he ascended into heaven, God seated Jesus at his right hand, which means God put Jesus in the position of divine authority to rule over all things for the benefit of his church of believers.
- The exalted and glorified Jesus fills all things with his divine power and glory.
Ro.8:34 It is Christ Jesus, who died, no, rather who was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
- At the right hand of God in heaven Jesus intercedes for us, which means he pleads our case in our defense.
The Truth Is:
The man Jesus was exalted by God, which proves he is our Savior.
1. The glorified Jesus descended into hell to proclaim his victory over the devil, sin, and death, which assures us that through him we have victory over these enemies.
2. Jesus’ body was resurrected from the dead, which assures us that he is the Son of God, his Word is true, our sins have been forgiven, and that we will rise to eternal life.
3. Jesus ascended into heaven, which assures us we also will ascend into heaven.
4. Jesus will return visibly in glory to judge the world, which assures us that our judge on the last day will be none other than our loving Savior, who has delivered us from eternal punishment.
5. Jesus was seated in the position of divine authority over all things in heaven and on earth, which assures us that he is even now governing all things for the benefit of his church on earth and is pleading our case at the throne of God. He fills all things with his divine power and glory.
Note: Jesus state of exaltation consists of his full use of his divine power and glory now and forever.