Jesus' Death Proved His Deity
by Douglas Hoff
The Bible makes some claims that are rather incredible to the average person. In the very first chapter it claims God created the world and mankind. The book of Hebrews even claims God made this universe out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3)! All God did to make matter appear was speak it into existence (Psalms 33:6, 9). To some people this is ridiculous.
The word of God also affirms the reality of a heaven and a hell that cannot be seen with physical eyes. This God claims to have authority over His entire creation but especially mankind. He declared the violation of His law is sin which brings condemnation and death. The Bible also reveals God knew man would sin even before He created Adam and Eve. This Creator demonstrated His great love and all-knowing nature by making provisions to save man from eternal hell fire long before the world appeared. This is supported by the following passages: Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2 and others.
A central part of this eternal plan to save man from sin's guilt, ruin and condemnation was sending God's Son into the world in a human body. This spiritual being, called the Word by John, became flesh and lived as the sinless man among sinful mankind (John 1:1-3, 14). Connected with this scheme of redemption are four cardinal doctrines which each person must believe to please the God of heaven. They are the virgin birth of Jesus, blood atonement for sins, the vicarious death of Jesus for the world and the resurrection.
Even in the first century when there were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus many scoffed at the idea (1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 12). Paul, who was one of these witnesses, preached that Jesus had been raised from the dead yet encountered mockers and unbelief (Acts ). On one occasion He asked this important question, "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?" (Acts 26:8; NKJV).
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (John , 36). He taught no one will get to heaven unless they believe this (John ). What evidence is there to back up this claim to divinity? Perhaps the most obvious is the virgin birth or resurrection. Paul wrote Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1 :4; NKJV). However, the manner of Jesus' death is also powerful evidence that He is divine.
During the latter part of his ministry several unsuccessful attempts were made to take his life from him. After teaching in the synagogue one time the people "were filled with wrath and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way" (Luke -30; NKJV). John tells us these attempts were unsuccessful because his hour had not yet come (John ). Only when the time was right did Jesus allow himself to be taken (Mark ). About his life He said, "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John ; NKJV). After saying from the cross "It is finished" He gave up His spirit (John ). Only the Son of God could control the very hour of his death like this.
Jesus laid down his life to save you from sin. The way in which He died certainly proved His deity. When the centurion saw it he said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39; NKJV). Now, will you love him in return and be his friend by doing what He commands (1 John ; John )?
To receive forgiveness of sins a person must hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 15:7). This ought to lead him to confess his conviction that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24; 1 Timothy 6:12-13). Finally, one must repent of his sins and be baptized in water (Acts ; Mark ). Have you obeyed the Lord?
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