The Essence of Jesus

Posted on October 21, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Answering the Question
If someone were to ask you, “Who, exactly, is Jesus Christ,” how would you reply?

If you want to answer this question accurately, flawlessly, and even exquisitely, pull out your cell phone (if a made-of-paper Bible is not available), go to your favorite Bible website, and find the Book of Colossians.

Once there, stay where you are, Chapter 1, and scroll down to verse 15. From there, read until the end of verse 20. There you will find the most profound response to the question “Who, exactly, is Jesus Christ” ever given.

Colossians 1:15-20 says:

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Scraping the Surface
What you have just read is the essence of who Jesus Christ is, inasmuch as the human mind can comprehend it. Analyzing this glorious passage is well beyond the scope of this puny blog, but perhaps we can scrape the tip of its surface.

Verse 15: Jesus is referred to as the Son of God, the second “Person” of the Trinity along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. As the Son, Jesus is of the same nature as God, therefore, Jesus Christ, the Son, IS God.

Jesus, during His earthly ministry, took on flesh and blood and made Himself visible. In so doing, those who saw Jesus, as it were, saw God the Father (John 14:9).

That Jesus is “firstborn over all creation” does not mean He was created, but that He is the most pre-eminent of all living beings. He rules and reigns over all creation.

Verse 16: Jesus is the creator of all things, including those in Heaven and on Earth, whether mortal beings such as us, or immortal such as angels.

Hey, wait a minute, one may object, I thought God created everything. Doesn’t Genesis 1:1 say, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”? Yes, it indeed does. And yet Colossians 1:16 says Jesus created all things. The answer is, “Yes, because Jesus is God.”

Verse 17: Jesus is “before all things,” meaning He is everlasting, i.e., He always was! Furthermore, as the Creator, Jesus is the glue which holds the universe together. Should He withdraw His hand for a second, existence as we know it would go Kaput!

Verse 18: As mentioned in verse 15, Jesus, because He is supreme, rules and reigns over all created beings. Furthermore, He is the head of the Church – the entirety of His followers from the first convert extending to the last just before His return.

Verse 19: That God’s “fulness” dwells in Jesus is yet another way of saying that, “Yes, Jesus is God!” (Note, Paul wrote the Book of Colossians to counter the arguments of Gnosticism, which holds that all flesh is corrupt and therefore Jesus as a human was corrupt and could not have been divine. “Balderdash!” cried Paul, and then backed in up in Colossians.)

Verse 20: Jesus “reconciled” all things to Himself by dying on the cross. What, or whom, did He reconcile to Himself? All which was separated – or severed – from the Triune God because of sin. By dying on the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world, and made the way to reconciliation with the Triune God possible. That “way” is to “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

So, this is the essence of who Jesus Christ is. In a nutshell, He IS God. He died on the cross to bring “salvation” – reconciliation between humankind and the Triune God – so that all who believe in Jesus would not spend eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15), but in Paradise (Luke 23:43) – or Heaven – with Him.

Do you know Jesus Christ – God the Son – as your Lord and Savior?