Is Jesus God?
Is Jesus God? The Bible was written mainly by eyewitnesses to Jesus and his works and words. The evidence is strong and the testimonies are riveting.
Before I can attempt to answer this question we need to look at the evidence. The Bible is the most widely accepted and credible source of information on Jesus Christ. Men who lived with Jesus for three years wrote the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Did they believe that he was God? Their writings speak for them. Was Jesus a real person? Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote about Jesus and his impact on Jerusalem. His writings are an impartial addition to the Biblical account.
According to Matthew 27:46: "about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Here Jesus appeals to God. Some might claim that since Jesus prayed to God, he couldn’t actually be God. Let us not forget that God exists as a Trinity. Jesus, as God, left the glory of Heaven and became a man so that he could become The Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice required by Jewish Law. The Trinity is a concept that’s firmly rooted in Christian Doctrine. God exists as three distinct persons in one. God is one. One of these persons took on human form.
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father, which hath sent me." (John 5:30). Jesus also said, "...for my Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). This does not mean that Jesus is less than the Father is. Jesus allowed himself to become a mere human under the authority of the Father while on Earth. Jesus left the paradise of Heaven and became a man. Otherwise it would mean nothing that he lived a sinless life.
The claims of Christ about himself are many. He said that he was equal to the Father (John 5: 17-18). He claimed that he could forgive sins (Mark 2: 5-7). According to Isaiah (43:25) only God can forgive sins. In John (10:30) Jesus said "I and my Father are one." and "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."(Matthew 18:20) Jesus claimed divinity.
In John 8:58 Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Compare that to Exodus 3:14: "And God said unto Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM” What Jesus said is what He had already said to Moses. The apostle John was possibly the disciple closest to Jesus. He writes in Revelation 1:17-18: And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
The apostle John declares Jesus to be the creator (John 1:3) and God (John 1:1). Paul affirms that “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created…all things were created by him and for him…and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1: 15-17)
Based on what I read in the Bible, I can arrive at no other conclusion than that Jesus is God. The popular Christian apologist Josh McDowell came up with an interesting study about Christ’s claims. He said that we have three choices: Jesus was a liar, a lunatic or The Lord. If he’s not who he said he was, then he was a liar. He said he was God and held that belief to the point of being crucified for it. Another choice is lunatic. If he wasn’t God, then he was crazy.
The evidence is in the New Testament, the writings of eyewitnesses to Christ’s life, teaching and miracles. The tomb was empty. The Scribes and Pharisees had every reason to produce the body if they had it stolen. The apostles didn’t steal it. They all died as martyrs, refusing to deny what they knew.
Jesus really came to Earth. He really lived here. There are writings by eyewitnesses about him. He was crucified to death. He rose from the dead then went back to Heaven, back to being God. Why did he come? Because God’s perfect justice required a perfect sacrifice for sin. The old way in the Old Testament was to sacrifice a “lamb without blemish” as atonement for sin. Jesus, the better sacrifice, has atoned for everyone’s sin, once and for all.