Fri | Apr 12, 2024
I Believe – Part 3

Jesus is the Christ

Published:Sunday | February 25, 2024 | 12:08 AM

‘Christ’ is not Jesus’ last name. He didn’t grow up in the ‘Christ’ family. Christ is a title. To be precise, we should call Him ‘Jesus the Christ’. The word ‘Christ’ comes from a Greek word that itself comes from a Hebrew word that means ‘the anointed one’. We often translate it as ‘the Messiah’. The anointing is a sign that God has called persons for a specific purpose and task. In Jesus’s case, His purpose was to be “the Christ”. He was the one appointed, the one God promised to send to deliver Israel and bring salvation to the world. Jesus was born to become our Saviour. As the ‘God-man’, He was qualified to be the suitable sacrifice for the sins of the world. The Apostles Creed states, “He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead.” Jesus laid down His life for us, fulfilling the role of ‘the Christ’.

Propitiation means satisfaction. Because God is a holy God, His anger and justice burns against sin and He has sworn that sin will be punished. There must therefore be a satisfactory payment (propitiation) for sin. If God punishes man for his sin, man will die and go to hell. On the other hand, if He doesn’t punish man for his sin, His justice will never be satisfied. The solution God gave was that He would become our substitute. He took the sin of mankind upon Himself in agony and blood; a righteous judgment and substitute for sin. His wrath burned out on the cross when His only begotten Son died as man’s propitiation (satisfaction) for sin. This is love that “… He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 (NKJV)

The word atone means to cover over something, and it often carries the idea of reconciliation (the return of friendship). When we talk about it in reference to the work of Christ, we are saying that God overcame sin through Christ’s obedience and death to restore believers to a right relationship with God. His blood covered our sins and made it possible for us to be right with God. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil (in Christ, Satan’s power over us is annihilated, power over sin, sickness, and death destroyed) — 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrew 2:14-18 (NIV)

When we speak about the substitutionary atonement, we mean that Jesus died in our place and paid the price for our sins. Jesus not only died for us, He died as us. When He was on the cross, He stood in our place where we should have been. All the issues and consequences of sin were dealt with on the cross. Jesus is ‘the Christ’, the promised Messiah. To be saved we must believe in Jesus as the Christ.