Jesus. Son of God. Son of Man. The Christ. Messiah. King of Kings. Lord of Lords. The Word. Savior. The Second Person of the Trinity. The God-man who changed the course of history, and has changed countless lives. He is what makes the Christian faith unique and different from every other religion. But what exactly do we believe about Him? Over the next few weeks, we will look at that question.
Today, let me give an overview of His life/existence in three distinct stages:
I. The PRE-INCARNATE CHRIST
This is the existence of the Second Person of the Trinity before He took on flesh and became a man.
What did He do before He was born?
He is eternal: He has always existed. Micah 5:2 declares that the Messiah would come out of Bethlehem, one “whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The Jews picked up stones to kill him because they knew He was declaring Himself to be eternal God. Please don’t make the critical error by believing that the Second Person of the Trinity began His existence when God promised Mary she would give birth. No, the Second Person of the Trinity has always existed, but then took on flesh to become a man.
He created the universe. “For by Him all things were created…all things were create through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
He ministered to people. A pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ is called a “Christophany.” There were times, in the Old Testament, that Jesus appeared to people and ministered to them. Oftentimes, He is referred to as the “angel of the LORD.” Some of His appearances include to the following people:
Hagar (Genesis 16:7-14)
Moses (Exodus 3:2-14)
Abraham (Genesis 18:1-2; 22:11-12)
II. THE INCARNATE CHRIST
When you think of the Second Person of the Trinity, you probably think about the Incarnate Christ. He (who existed as spirit) takes on flesh, and becomes a man. In John 1, He is referred to as the Word: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
The Incarnate Christ became a baby born in Bethlehem, lived a perfect, sinless life, and began His ministry at age thirty. At thirty-three, He was crucified for the sins of the world. Three days later, He arose from the dead!
III. THE ETERNALLY EXISTENT CHRIST
Jesus exists now in His resurrected body. He ascended into heaven 40 days after His resurrection. But what exactly is He doing now?
He is ruling at God’s right hand (Hebrews 10:10-14; Ephesians 1:20-22; 1 Peter 3:22)
He is interceding for us (Romans 8:34)
He is holding the universe together (Hebrews 7:25; Colossians 1:16-17)
He is our Advocate when we sin (1 John 2:1-2)
He is waiting for us to be with Him (John 14:1-3; 17:24)