Who is the real Christ?

by James O. Combs

Published in the Baptist Bible Tribune, March 2, 1984

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”(Matthew 16:15).

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).

We hear a great deal about Christ in our day. It is doubtful if there has ever been an age in which men talked and wrote so much about Christ as today.

We hear about Christ from fine fundamental Christians, but we also hear about Christ from Mormons.

We hear about Christ from Roman Catholics.

We hear about Christ from Jehovah’s Witnesses.

We hear about Christ from Christian Science people.

We hear about Christ from spiritualists.

We hear about Christ from Buddhists and Ba’haists and cultists.

We even hear His name in blasphemy; in that strange and perverted form of divine recognition in which the non-believer acknowledges His person when he uses His name in vain.

But the Christ of whom many speak is not the real Christ. Their “Christ” is not the true Christ Who is the Incarnate Word.

Their “Christ” is not the historical Christ who lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary death, and rose in supernatural splendor.

I want you to catch a fresh glimpse of the real Christ who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Let us behold His portrait in Sacred Scripture, focusing on Christ in the prophecies, Christ on this planet 19 centuries ago, and Christ in His preeminence, now and forever.

Christ In The Prophecies

Travel with me back through time, back before the first galaxy of a hundred billion stars ever turned like a wheel of glittering crystals through the shades of everlasting night. Come with me in your mind’s eye to a silent point in space where the Almighty made the mighty sun to blaze forth as a burning ball to warm a spinning blue orb called Earth.

See this world, this planet, as God skillfully sculpted the everlasting hills and hollowed out the great valleys, forming the dark waters then out of the deep.

“Where wast thou,” God asked Job, “when I laid the foundations of the earth? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4,6,7). Look! Listen! The angel-sons of God are heralding the eternal Word of God, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

“He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

He is the Alpha and Omega!

He is the Beginning and the Ending!

He is the Seed of the Woman who would bruise the head of rebellious Satan, onetime archangel, now Prince of Darkness (Genesis 3:15).

He is the Seed of Abraham, the Seed of Isaac, the Seed of Jacob (Genesis 15:18; Galatians 3:16).

He is the Shiloh, meaning “rest” (Genesis 49:10).

Abraham saw His day and was glad (John 8:56).

Moses saw Him in prophetic anticipation 15 centuries before His birth and said the Lord would “raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren” (Deuteronomy 18:18) — that prophet, like unto Moses (John 1:25).

Balaam, that wavering prophet, saw Him, saying, “There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24: 17).

David saw Him and sang, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way … Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).

Again, David gave voice to the message of the Heavenly Father toward the Eternal Son, saying, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4).

Job longed to see him and cried in the midst of his own suffering and anguish, “Neither is there any daysman [mediator] betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both” (Job 9:33).

Then in a burst of faith, he cried out, “I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Job 19:25).

Isaiah saw Him and recorded, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” — God with us (Isaiah 7:14).

And again, “Unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given:

And the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called,

“Wonderful” — therefore admire Him.

“Counselor” — therefore we must hear Him.

“The Mighty God” — therefore we must worship Him.

“The Everlasting Father” — therefore let us love Him.

“The Prince of Peace” — therefore find rest in Him (Isaiah 9:6).

Amidst all the glowing and glorious prophecies of dominion and power accompanying the Mighty Messiah of Israel, there comes the painful and perplexing prophecy of the suffering, dying Servant of Jehovah.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows … All we like sheep have gone astray … and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).

Jeremiah saw Him as the great descendant of David, the righteous Branch, the Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5,6).

Ezekiel saw him riding into Jerusalem and wrote of the gate, “It is for the prince … the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it” (Ezekiel 44:3,2).

Daniel, in prophetic ecstasy, exclaimed, “The Ancient of days did sit … and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven … And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom … which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:9,13,14). “

Micah saw Him and foretold his birthplace; Bethlehem … out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel …” (Micah 5:2).

Zechariah gazed across future centuries to behold him riding into Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9).

Malachi saw Him with the radiance of the sunrise, and penned, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2).

And what shall I more say, for no less than 333 prophecies were fulfilled in intricate detail at His first coming, all written hundreds, even thousands, of years before He came.

“But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name” (John 20:31).

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

Christ On This Planet

O yes, He came on schedule; the fullness of time had come. Daniel had told us that He would come some 483 years after the restoring of Jerusalem, which took place in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, about 450 B.C. (Daniel 9:24-26).

Look at Bethlehem and see there the Holy Child Jesus (Acts 4:27).

Look in Nazareth during the silent years of His gentle childhood and holy adolescence; and know that He grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Look at Jordan’s flowing stream and see Him baptized and hear the testimony of His cousin, John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Behold Him wrestling with the archfiend, Satan, in the rugged wilds of the Judean mountains and hear Him say, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”(Matthew 4:10).

Hear His powerful message and know that no man ever spake like this man. See his touch of healing power and know He is the great Physician.

Observe His kindly demeanor and gentle love, and be assured that He is meek and lowly in heart, and that in Him you can find rest for your soul.

Watch Him as in righteous indignation He drives the mercenary moneychangers from the temple, fire in His eyes and a whip in His hand.

Then gaze upon Him hanging on the cross, dying for you. Know that He is the Good Shepherd who giveth his life for the sheep.

Yes, verily, He is “the stone which the builders rejected who has become the Head of the Corner.”

He is the King of Israel.

He is the Bread of Life.

He is the Light of the World.

He is the True Vine.

He is the Resurrection and the Life.

He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Draw near to the closely guarded tomb and search in vain for His decaying remains, for He is Lord of Life, the Captain of our Salvation, the Faithful Witness, the First-begotten of the dead, the Prince of the kings of the earth.

You may try to erase Him from history, but He is the supreme Word Who can never be silenced.

You cannot drown Him, for He will walk on the waters.

You cannot stone Him, for He will pass unharmed through His attackers.

You may call Him a liar, but He will always be the Truth.

You may try to force Him to the cross, but He can overpower His enemies with a simple, all-powerful “I Am.”

You may try to crush Him as a flower, but He is the Rose of Sharon, and the sweet fragrance of His death will be an aroma of life unto life and salvation.

You may even try to kill Him, but He will rise up from the grave.

He is the Lord of Glory, the King of Saints, the Mediator between God and man, the Mystery of Godliness, the Author and the Finisher of our Faith.

Christ In His Preeminence

He is now at the right hand of the majesty on high, henceforth expecting until His enemies are made His footstool.

“And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” (Colossians 1:17-19).

He is the King of Glory, welcomed into heaven after His great sacrifice for sins (Psalm 24).

He is the Prophet, the Priest, the King. He is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto (I Timothy 6:15,16).

He is the Lamb slain.

He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who prevails (Revelation 5:5).

He prevailed over sin on Calvary.

He prevailed over Satan.

He prevailed over death, hell and the grave: “I am Alpha and Omega … the first and the last: I am he that liveth and was dead, and, behold, I am alive for evermore … and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:8,17,18).

He is the root and offspring of David and the bright and morning star.

He is the Christ, the anointed one of God, prophesied in the Old Testament, alive on this earth for 33 years to fulfill His destiny, and who is perfect God and perfect man.

He is our Savior, our Lord, our King, our God, our Master, our all.

He is the King of Kings now and forever.

He is the Lord of Lords through all the ages.

He is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.