The key word of the Bible is ‘Jesus Christ’. The Old Testament of the Bible prophesies that Jesus would come to the earth as the Savior. And the New Testament describes the ministry of Jesus Christ who fulfilled the prophecy recorded in the Old Testament and performed the work of salvation.
The Gospel of John lets us understand the origin of Jesus. That is, we can realize that Jesus is God through John 1:2-3. If you say you believe God but you don’t know the origin of Jesus and you don’t believe Jesus is the Christ how can you expect to receive salvation? If you think Jesus is just one of the famous saints or one of the great prophets, you can never be saved. To become a true Christian, you have to know that Jesus is the Christ, clearly understand why Jesus is our only Savior, and believe. Then, for better understanding, let’s delve into the origin of Jesus by back dating to the time that was in the beginning.
1. The mystery that started in the beginning
John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Here, ‘the Word’ refers to Jesus who was with God and ‘the beginning’ refers to the time far back in the past that men can’t understand with their concept of time. Before God created the heavens and the earth and all things in them, there was a universe and nothing but God. At that time, there was no earth, no blue sky; there were no stars, no men, no animals, and nothing. It was God who only existed in the universe as its owner.
As said, ‘in the beginning’, God existed in a form of the bright light without any specific form. The Light embraced the whole universe and contained the sound which is the Word. God ruled over the universe alone for an inexpressibly length of time. In the meantime, God came up with a plan. ‘How happy and touching it would be for me to have beings who understand each other’s hearts and can share love in this vast and mysterious space!’
The plan was to ‘gain true children’ whom God would be able to share love with forever. That is, He made a plan for ‘human cultivation’ to gain His true children who resemble Him. He planned for it like a farmer who sows the seeds and diligently tends to them in anticipation of harvesting fruits.
And God the Origin, who had existed in the form of brilliant light while He also existed as sound, came to exist in the form of God the Trinity, that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God the Father supervises and directs the grand plan of ‘human cultivation’. God the Son works as the Savior who is the Way of Salvation for all mankind. God the Holy Spirit fulfills the duty of the Helper who guides saved people to Heaven.
As the time came, God the Trinity said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). And He formed man of dust from the ground in His image and breathed into his nostril the breath of life that contained the power of God. By doing so, God created man as a spiritual being whose heart resembles that of God. And God made the Garden of Eden that is of beauty and abundance and put the first man Adam in it. He also blessed him to live a life as the lord of all creation.
In the course of time there was one thing that God prohibited the first man Adam from doing. It was that God told him simply not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of the good and evil. Genesis 2:16-17 reads, “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.'”
If he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that symbolizes the sovereignty of God the Creator it will lead him to death since it is the sin of disobedience to the Word of God. So, God commanded Adam not to eat from the tree. And the God of love made a helper suitable for him who is a woman, thinking that it didn’t look good for the man to be alone. Then, the first man Adam and Eve delivered many children in the Garden of Eden and lived a life there for a length of time beyond imagination.
But one day Eve was tempted by the crafty serpent and she ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and also gave its fruit to Adam, too. Failing to keep the Word of God in his heart, Adam ate the fruit as written in Genesis 3:6. By this, their spirits died just as God said “For in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” They lost the image of God who is spirit and could no longer live in the Garden of Eden.
In the end, Adam and Eve lost the God-given authority and blessing because they had committed sin and they were driven out from the Garden of Eden. They came to live a difficult life in hardship. All the descendants of Adam who had sinned couldn’t help but to fall into the eternal death, Hell because they inherited sinful nature from Adam. For them, God pre-prepared, in advance, the way of salvation for mankind in the beginning when He planned for human cultivation and came to exist as God the Trinity, that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The way of salvation is ‘Jesus Christ’.
2. Jesus who came to the earth to fulfill the duty of the Savior
God the Son became the flesh and came to the earth to give true life to mankind who was on the way to death. He is Jesus who came to the earth as the true light that shines the whole world and all men. Around 2,000 years ago, Jesus was born in a shabby stable in Bethlehem, Israel and was laid in a manger. Why was the Son of God the Creator born in a shabby stable?
The first man Adam was created as a being with spirit, soul, and body, so he could communicate with God who is spirit. But, he disobeyed the Word of God that commanded him not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a result, his spirit who had played a role as a master died as God said, “You will surely die.” That is, his communication with God was severed. Afterwards, Adam’s descendants lived a life which is like that of beasts following their lust as read in Ecclesiastes 3:18. To redeem such mankind from sins and save them, Jesus was born in a stable in which animals are kept.
As said in John 6:51, Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” To ‘eat the living bread that came down out of heaven’ means to make the Word of God ‘bread’ for our hearts. Just as men can maintain their lives by eating, spirits of men can survive only when they ‘eat’ spiritual food. That’s why Jesus who is one with God and the Word itself (John 1:1, 1:14) came to the earth in flesh and became the bread of life for mankind who was now no more than the beasts.
In the sight of men, Jesus was born in a shabby surrounding. But in real the place was filled with the light of God’s glory and countless heavenly hosts and angels rejoiced together over the birth of the Savior. At the night, some shepherds kept watch over the flock and heard from an angel about the birth of the Savior. They came to the Baby Jesus and worshipped Him as written in Luke 2:8-20.
Although Jesus was born in a form of man, He was not conceived through the combination of a sperm and an egg but by the Holy Spirit’s power. So, He is not a descendant of Adam. Thus, He didn’t have original sin that is inherited from parents. He didn’t commit any sins so he had no self-committed sin. He lived only by the Word of God. Even in early childhood, He prepared Himself to fulfill His duty as the Savior by praying and meditating on the Word of God all the time.
When He turned 30, Jesus spread the gospel of Heaven and healed those who had pain due to diseases. He made the demon-possessed whole and fed around 5,000 people with two fish and five barley loaves. He also walked on the sea and made the wind and the sea calm. He did things that are impossible with men’s ability. But there were still people who didn’t acknowledge that Jesus came from God though they were amazed by the authority and strength of His messages.
One day, Jesus said to His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Then, Jesus revealed before His disciples that He is the Christ. He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. Why did He do so? Let’s talk about the reasons next week.