Chapter 3 of  Saving Faith

 JESUS IS THE CHRIST

by Bernie Koerselman 


Table of Contents


Introduction

The Jews were both confused and excited, with a sense of anticipation.  No one had heard of this carpenter from Nazareth.  Suddenly he was teaching in one place and then another, always doing good.  He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, made lepers clean, even raised the dead.  Never had such signs been seen in Judah.  When he taught, it was with authority, not like the teachers of the law.

After Jesus had been with his disciples for some time, he asked them what others said about who he was.  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."1

Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven." Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.3   Jesus' response to Peter affirmed that Jesus is indeed the Christ.4

SALVATION IS IN THE CHRIST

Do words and titles have important special meanings?  When salvation is discussed, often people say, "That's just semantics.  We're all talking about the same thing."

It is not semantics.  Scripture teaches that we must believe correctly in who Jesus is.  Let's look again at Jesus' warning:
"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."5
Jesus claimed to be the Christ.  Therefore we must believe he is who he claimed to be - the Christ - in order to have salvation.

Peter gave a similar warning.  After he and John healed the man crippled from birth at the temple gate, the miracle astonished the people and drew the attention of religious leaders.  They arrested the two and interrogated them the next day.  "By what power or what name did you do this?"6 they asked.  Peter answered:  "It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed."7

What Peter said thereafter was squarely on point:  "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."What is that name?  Peter had already told them.  It is the name of Jesus Christ.

Believe That Jesus Is the Christ

In the very first sermon after the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and disciples, Peter preached:  "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."9

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.10

In his Gospel, John enumerated many of the most extraordinary miracles of Jesus.  Then he summarized their purpose:  "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."11

In his high priestly prayer, in which Jesus interceded for us before the Father, note how he addressed himself and how we may have salvation:  "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."12

Paul taught that God's promises are given through faith in Jesus Christ.  He said the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.  Paul said we are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  We are all one in Christ Jesus.13

That's quite an emphasis on Jesus as Christ, isn't it?
 

Believe in Him As Lord and Christ

Paul made clear that salvation was in Jesus who is Lord and Christ.  He said, "God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."14  Paul taught that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.15  Paul said, "We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord."16

Then Paul made a statement to show the purpose of the different titles of Jesus:  "For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living."17  It is the Christ who is in all respects the fulfillment of prophecy.  It is the Lord Jesus who is the supreme head of both the living and the dead in whom we are to believe for salvation.18
The ultimate joining of Jesus as Lord with Jesus as the Christ was also given by Paul:  "There is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."19  That one Lord is the Christ!20
 
 

THE "CHRIST" IS UNIQUE IN ETERNITY

Why is the name "Christ" special?  What does it signify that is so important we must believe that Jesus is the Christ?

Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ spoke volumes to those who heard.  For centuries the Jews had yearned for the coming of their Christ.  As a Jew, Peter knew the many prophecies about the coming of the Christ.  Throughout the Psalms and prophets, God told about the Christ who was to come.  See Appendix I for prophecies of the Christ and how they were fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

In eternity past, the present, and in the eternal future, there is only one Christ.  He is clearly identified in Scripture.  He is totally unique.  The prophecies about him refer to one and only one person; they  were fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.
 

Christ - the Coming King and Lord

The Jews believed the Christ was to be their King who would come and reign forever.21  Scripture called this King the Anointed One22 meaning Messiah23 or Christ24.  The Jews knew that God would install the Christ as King on Zion.25  God made plain that this King was his Son26 who would rule the world with an iron scepter.27  God said of the Christ:  "The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies."28  The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.  He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.29

The Jews knew of Daniel's prophecy that the Christ will be given authority, glory and sovereign power; that all peoples, nations and men of every language will worship him.  His dominion will be everlasting and will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.30

Those prophecies disclosed the Christ who would be Lord.  His power and authority were above all others.
 

The Jews Emphasized That Their Christ Would Be King

The coming of the Christ was of overriding importance to the Jews, perhaps because of their history of being taken captive and dispersed throughout the nations.  When the Christ came, the Jews were subjugated under the rule of Rome.  They and their religious leaders erroneously believed that when the Christ came he would become their King, set them free from Rome, and make them the prominent nation in the world.  They also erred in their belief31 that when the Christ came, he would remain forever.32
 

The Suffering Christ

Inexplicably, the Jews missed the point that the Christ must first come to suffer and die.  Inexplicable because the prophecies are remarkably explicit.  Isaiah prophesied that the Christ came to be a guilt offering,33 to bear our sins,34 to have laid on him the iniquity of us all.35  The Christ would be despised and rejected by men,36 pierced for our transgression, and crushed for our iniquities.37  He would be killed38 and buried even though he was innocent.39  Nevertheless, his body would not be allowed to decay; he would be resurrected from the dead.40

David began Psalm 22 with words Christ Jesus would utter from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"41  The Psalm describes the Christ on the cross and the agony he suffered there.  The Christ (the speaker in the psalm) says he is scorned by men and despised by the people.  Those who see him mock him; they hurl insults, shake their heads and say, "He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.  Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."42

The Christ prophetically describes the physical agony on the cross.  "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.  My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.  My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death."43

He describes the specifics of the crucifixion, surrounded by dogs,44 encircled by a band of evil men who pierce his hands and his feet,45 and people that stare and gloat over him.46  The prophecy states that his killers divide his garments among them and cast lots for his clothing.47

Jesus himself prophesied his role as the suffering Christ.  He explained to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.48  Jesus said he would be mocked, insulted, spit upon, flogged, and killed.  He said on the third day he would rise again.49

All the prophecies of the suffering Christ were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  See Appendix I for a list of prophecies and their fulfillment by Jesus Christ.
 

HERESY ABOUT THE CHRIST

Today's Heresy Is Similar to That of the Jews

The Jews missed the picture of the suffering Christ because of their preoccupation with the Christ as King and Ruler.  They didn't want to hear about a Christ who would come to suffer and die.

How similar to today's heresy.  Much of the church doesn't want to hear about the Son of God, the Lord of lords, the Christ who is the Master of all true believers, and the Sovereign Ruler with all authority in heaven and on earth.  They want only to hear about a Savior.  They want to believe they are saved because they accept Jesus as their Savior.  In them the prophecy is fulfilled:

The Jews perished who insisted that when the Christ came he would be their King and reign forever.  Those in the church today who insist Jesus need only be their Savior will also perish eternally.51

Liars and the Anti-Christs Deny the Christ

Who is the liar?  It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Such a man is the antichrist - he denies the Father and the Son.52  So said the Apostle John.

Why would John say that denying Jesus is the Christ denies both the Father and the Son?  It is because the title Christ includes all the prophecies God (the Father) caused to be written about the Christ, all the miracles God the Father used to authenticate his Son as the Christ, and all the promises God made which were fulfilled through the Christ.  It was God the Father who promised the Christ, who sent the Christ, who resurrected the Christ.  To reject Jesus as the Christ is to reject God the Father.

Consider then the warning and the encouragement John gives us:  "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son."53  Because the prophecies about the Christ emphatically proclaim him as Lord and the Son of God, who will rule and to whom obedience is owed, anyone who proclaims instead that salvation is in Jesus as Savior is running ahead and not continuing in the teaching of Christ.
 

Heresies Deny the Christ

One of the heresies in the days of the early church was Gnosticism.  A principal teaching of that heresy denied Christ's true humanity.54  Pertaining to that heresy, John warned:  "Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist."55  Notice that the very first heresy denied Jesus as the Christ who came in the flesh.

I believe Jude warned about the present-day heresy.56  Jude prophesied:

The heresy of today also denies Jesus as the Christ.  The present-day heresy is more difficult to distinguish because the adherents of the heresy often call Jesus both "Lord" and "Christ," yet they deny Jesus Christ as our only Sovereign and Lord, claiming that salvation is had through Jesus as Savior.
 

AUTHENTICATION OF JESUS AS THE CHRIST

In a trial, non-oral evidence must be authenticated before it can be used for proof.  That means proving it really is what it is represented to be.

When Jesus Christ came to earth in human form as a baby, then grew into manhood and began his ministry, God had to authenticate Jesus as the Christ.

Why would God have to authenticate the Christ?  Was it so all the Jews to whom Jesus preached would believe in him as the Christ?  Not at all;58 only a few were permitted to know who he was.59  If most of the Jews had believed Jesus to be the Christ, they wouldn't have permitted him to be crucified and God's redemptive purpose would have been frustrated.60

God authenticated Jesus as the Christ for all who would hear and know about him after the resurrection and Jesus' ascension into heaven.
 

Fulfillment of Prophecy

God authenticated Jesus as the Christ two ways.  The first was by fulfilling in Jesus the prophesies about the Christ given to the Jews by psalmists and prophets.

The process of authentication by prophecy involved hundreds of years.  In order for it to be the best evidence, God caused the prophecies to be given over a long period of time by many different prophets and psalmists.  The prophecies had to be so specific that their fulfillment could be recognized.61  The Jews knew they referred to the Christ.62  When the Christ came, the prophecies were meticulously fulfilled in Jesus.
 

The Christ Came Exactly When Prophecy Said He Would

Perhaps the most specific thing God could prophesy about his Christ would be the time of his coming.  So God did that.  God so specifically specified the time of his coming that anyone who knows the prophecy and still denies Jesus is the Christ is in deliberate rebellion against God.

Through an angel, God told Daniel the time of the coming of the Christ.  The angel said, "Know and understand this:  From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Christ], the ruler, comes, there will be seven `sevens,' and sixty-two `sevens.'"63

Daniel's prophecy continued:  "After the sixty-two `sevens,' the Anointed One [Christ] will be cut off and will have nothing.  The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary."64

What happened?  The Christ did come and was cut off; he was killed by crucifixion.  Thereafter he was resurrected and ascended to heaven.  His earthly ministry was terminated - cut off.

Researchers have calculated the times represented by the prophecy (each number represents a 360 day year).  The interval between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Christ as King would be 173,880 days.  The decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C.

Though the NIV translation says the prophecy refers to the Anointed One, the ruler, the words are Mechiach Nagid, meaning Messiah (Christ) the King.  Nagid was first used of King Saul.

During Christ's ministry, on several occasions the people tried to make him king, but Jesus denied them, saying, "My time has not yet come."

On the day we know as Palm Sunday, Jesus meticulously arranged for his presentation as king in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah which stated, "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."65

Jesus entered Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey.66  The crowds went wild; the people praised God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.  They cried out, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord."

The Pharisees in the crowd told Jesus to rebuke the people because of what they were saying.

Jesus said, "I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."67

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes."68

Why would the stones cry out?  What should they have known "on this day"?  It was 173,880 days from the day the decree had been given to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes Longimanus.  Exactly as prophesied, to the very day, Christ the King had come!
The rest of Daniel's prophecy was fulfilled when the Romans came in 70 A.D. and destroyed both Jerusalem and the sanctuary.
 

Prophecies of Suffering and Death Had to Be Fulfilled

As two of Jesus' disciples walked to Emmaus, they talked about the horrible events of the past days.  Jesus, who they had believed was the Christ, had been arrested by the Jewish leaders and crucified by the Roman soldiers.  Their hopes were dashed.

Jesus came and walked with them, but they were kept from recognizing him.69  He asked them what they were talking about.
They explained about Jesus, who they believed and hoped he was, and the arrest and crucifixion.  Finally, they told him that some of their women saw that Jesus' body was missing from the tomb.  The women claimed they saw angels.  Others went to the tomb and found it as the women said.70

Jesus said, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"71  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.72

Later Jesus appeared to his disciples in a locked room.  He showed them the nail marks in his hands and feet.  He ate some fish to show that he was real.  He said, "This is what I told you while I was still with you:  Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."73

He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He reminded them, "This is what is written:  The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things."74

Note who had to suffer these things.  God didn't use the title Son of God or Lord or Savior.  It was the Christ!  Why?  Because it was prophesied that the Christ would fulfill these prophesies.  Did you see in whose name repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be preached to all nations?  It is to be preached in the name of the Christ!
 

Finally the Apostles Understood

When Jesus opened their minds, the Apostles finally understood that Jesus had fulfilled the prophecies about the suffering Christ.  Instead of the crucifixion being a disaster, as the Apostles first thought, everything that happened fulfilled the prophecies about the Christ.

The Apostles' teaching thereafter showed their understanding.  After Peter healed the lame man at the temple gate, he told the onlookers what they had done to the Christ, how they had caused him to suffer and die.  Then he encouraged them, "But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer."75

Paul's testimony was the same.  He reasoned with the Jews from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead.  "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said.76

Later, after his arrest in Jerusalem, Paul appeared before King Agrippa in his own defense.  The King was familiar with Old Testament Scriptures.  Paul summarized his testimony about Jesus, showing that the prophecies about the Christ had come to pass:  "I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen - that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles."77
 

Miracles Proved That Jesus Is the Christ

God also authenticated Jesus as the Christ through miracles.  Looking only at the Gospel of John,78 the first miracle recorded by John was changing water to wine.79  John told how Jesus healed the official's son at Caperneum,80 healed the sick man at the pool of Bethesda,81 walked on the water,82 fed five thousand men (plus women and children) from a couple loaves and a few fish,83 gave sight to a man born blind,84 raised Lazarus from the dead after four days in the tomb,85 and miraculously provided a catch of fish.86

Why do I say God authenticated Jesus as the Christ when it sounds as though Jesus authenticated himself?  I say that because Jesus said, "I do exactly what my Father has commanded me."87  It was God the Father who told his Son what to do; Jesus did it.  It was by their combined work - the commands of the Father and the obedience of the Son - that Jesus was authenticated through miracles as the Christ.

The Apostle John understood the purpose of the miracles and told why he recorded them:

The greatest miracle of all was done by God - the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The authentication of the resurrection is the most important89 of all.  How did God prove the resurrection?  Paul tells us:  "Christ was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."90

The authentication of Jesus as the Christ was for the time after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.91  It was then that God's redemptive plan had been fulfilled in Christ Jesus.  Finally, after the crucifixion and resurrection, both Jews and Gentiles could be told openly that Jesus is the Christ, the one authenticated by God through the miracles, the one who fulfilled the prophecies about the suffering Christ.
 

Apostles Taught That Jesus Is the Christ

Jesus said the Apostles were witnesses of these things - the miracles and the fulfillment of prophecy.  Did the Apostles act as witnesses and testify that Jesus is the Christ?  Indeed they did.

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, the Apostles never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.92  When Philip left Jerusalem to go to a city in Samaria, he proclaimed the Christ there.93

The Lord Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus and appointed him to represent him as his Apostle to the Gentiles.
Once Saul (now Paul) recovered from the blindness and weakness of that experience, he went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus94 and began to preach.  He baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.95
Later in his ministry, when Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.96
 

Proved the Christ from the Scriptures

When Paul entered a new city, he invariably went first to the Synagogue to bring the Gospel to the Jews.  He often encountered resistance from the Jews, for he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.97

Unlike the other Apostles who had spent over three years with Jesus, Paul hadn't known him during his ministry.  He explained the source of his knowledge of the Christ:  "I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."98

"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."99  What does Paul emphasize as of first importance?  That Jesus is the Christ, the one in whom all the prophecies of the Christ's death, burial and resurrection were fulfilled, according to the Scriptures.  This passage is often misused.  Some interpret it as saying that of first importance is that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and resurrected.  Though that is important, it is not the thrust of the passage.

What is of first importance is that Christ - the one prophesied to come, to die, be buried and resurrected - did come, did die, was buried and resurrected exactly according to the Scriptures.

That Jesus is the Christ was the focal point of the Apostles' teaching.  They proved from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.  They preached Jesus Christ as Lord.100
 

JESUS HID HIS IDENTITY AS THE CHRIST

Earlier we saw that Jesus hid from the people that he was the Christ because they would not have let him to be crucified if they had known.  Only selectively did Jesus reveal that he was the Christ; to most he concealed his identity.
 

He Wouldn't Allow Demons to Speak

When Jesus cast out demons, they came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!"  But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.101
 

Jesus Forbade His Disciples to Reveal Who He Was

Also consider the incident that began this chapter.  Jesus asked his disciples who they said he was and Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."102  He warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.103

He was often followed by crowds.  He healed all their sick, but warned them not to tell who he was.104
 

Jesus Taught in Parables

For that reason Jesus spoke in parables, so the people would not understand.  The secrets of the kingdom of heaven were given to some disciples and the Apostles, but not the general populace.105
 

Jesus Admitted to the Samaritan Woman That He Is the Christ

The Samaritans and Jews hated each other.  Jews would not speak to Samaritans, let alone a Samaritan woman.  But Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well.  At one point she said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming.  When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."106

She was astonished, both at his statement and at his ability to tell her everything about her life.  Leaving her water jar, she went back to the town and said to the people,  "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.  Could this be the Christ?"107

Why would Jesus admit to the Samaritans he is the Christ and not to the Jews?  Because the Jews would not accept anything the Samaritans would say.  He could reveal himself to the Samaritans without fear that the Jews would learn his true identity.
 

Misunderstood Prophecies

As we noted earlier, the Jews had fixated on the passages which said the Christ would remain forever.  They overlooked those which spoke of his suffering and death.  This was evident when one in the crowd spoke up, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, `The Son of Man must be lifted up'?  Who is this `Son of Man'?"108

Jesus refused to answer.  Soon he left and hid himself from them.

Others in the crowds said, "He is the Christ."  Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee?109

Just like the people in our churches who have fostered the heresy exposed in this book, those Jews didn't know their Scripture.  They knew only what they'd been told.
 

The People Wondered

Just as do our church-goers today, the people tended to believe their religious leaders who said Jesus was not the Christ and threatened to put out of the synagogue anyone who said he was.110

When the command was given to arrest Jesus, but he continued to teach in the temple, the people were confused.  Some asked, "Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him.  Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ?"111

Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him.  They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?"112
 

Few Knew Who He Was

The tetrarch Herod heard about all that was going on.  He was perplexed; some said that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.113  None of his advisers suggested that Jesus was the Christ.

When Jesus asked, "Who do the crowds say I am?"

His disciples replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."114
 

His Reason for Concealing His Identity

For centuries the Jews had looked forward to their Christ.  Under no circumstances would they have crucified him.  They wanted to follow their Christ who they believed would bring them honor and glory as a nation.

It was God's plan that Jesus die as a sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins.  Jesus explained,

His identity had to remain a secret among most of the people or he wouldn't have been killed.
 

Ordered Not to Tell He Was the Christ

Jesus was asked to heal the daughter of Jairus.  Before he could get there, the child died.  At the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child's parents.  All the people were wailing and mourning for her.
"Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep."

Knowing that she was dead, they laughed at him, but he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!"

Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.  Jesus told them to give her something to eat.  Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.116

Repeatedly, when Jesus healed the people, he ordered them not to tell what he had done.
 

Some Knew Jesus As the Christ

Even though Jesus hid from most of the people the fact that he was the Christ, some were permitted to know.  One day, when Jesus was passing nearby, Andrew heard John the Baptist say, "Look, the Lamb of God!"

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (i.e., the Christ).117

Jesus allowed his close friends to know who he was.  For example, Mary and Martha sent word to him to come to heal their brother Lazarus who was very sick.  Jesus delayed for days, waiting until Lazarus died.  He finally came to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead.  Mary and Martha were understandably upset.  They had seen Jesus heal many who had been as sick as Lazarus who, when Jesus arrived, had been in the tomb four days.

"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."118 

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?"119

"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."120  Martha's confession showed that she believed Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Christ.
 

Jesus Finally Admitted His Identity

Only when the general populace could not learn until too late did Jesus admit he was the Christ.

At his trial by the Jewish leaders after his arrest, the high priest asked him question after question.  Jesus remained silent.  Then the high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God:  Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."121

No longer could Jesus remain silent.  He was charged by the high priest to answer under oath.  To confirm he was the Christ would mean almost certain death.  What did he answer?

"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.

With that admission as an excuse, the Jews beat him, sent him to Pilate, and demanded his crucifixion.  Though three separate times Jesus was found not guilty of any crime for which he could be executed,122 the Jews demanded he be killed, saying, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"123

The Christ was executed by crucifixion in fulfillment of prophecy.  And his blood was on the Jews and on their children.


Footnotes

1 Matthew 16:16; see also Mark 8:29-30, and Luke 9:20.
2 Matthew 16:15-17.
3 Matthew 16:20.
4 Matthew 26:63-64 also states clearly that Jesus is the Christ:  The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."
  "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
5 John 8:24.
6 Acts 4:7.
7 Acts 4:10.
8 Acts 4:12.
9 Acts 2:36.
10 Acts 2:36-38.
11 John 20:31.  Jesus said the same:  "The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me (John 10:25)  Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.  But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father" (John 10:37-38).
12 John 17:3.
13 Galatians 3:22-28.
14 1 Thessalonians 5:9.
15 Romans 6:23.  Paul also said, "Just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:21).  Peter reminded Cornelius:  "You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all" (Acts 10:36).
16 2 Corinthians 4:5.  In the New Testament, there are seventy-six (76) times the name Christ appears with the title Lord.  Jesus is referred to as the Lord Jesus Christ (60), Lord Christ (2), and Christ the Lord (1).  In a more personal way, he is spoken of as our Lord Jesus Christ (35), Christ Jesus our Lord (7) and Jesus Christ our Lord (5).
17 Romans 14:9.
18 Likewise, the announcement of the birth of Jesus by the angel:  "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).  The angel was saying that this baby who is the Christ, in fulfillment of all the prophecies about the coming of the Christ, is also the Lord, the supreme ruler in heaven and on earth.
19 1 Corinthians 8:6.
20 Romans 1:4, 16:18, 1 Corinthians 1:2,9, Ephesians 3:10,11, Philippians 2:11, 3:20, Colossians 3:24, 1 Timothy 1:2,12,14.
21 Daniel 7:14.
22 Psalm 2:2.
23 From the Hebrew word Meshiah meaning Anointed One.
24 From the Greek word Christos meaning Anointed One.
25 Psalm 2:6.
26 Psalm 2:7.
27 Psalm 2:9.
28 Psalm 110:2.
29 Psalm 110:5-6.
30 Daniel 7:14.
31 See John 12:34:  The crowd spoke up, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'?  Who is this 'Son of Man'?"
32 The Jews belief came From Daniel 7:14:  He [the Messiah] was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
33 Isaiah 53:10.
34 Isaiah 53:12.
35 Isaiah 53:6.
36 Isaiah 53:3.
37 Isaiah 53:5.
38 Isaiah 53:8.
39 Isaiah 53:9.
40 Psalm 16:10.
41 Psalm 22:1.
42 Psalm 22:6-8.  See the fulfillment of the prophecy in Matthew 27:39,41,43-44; Mark 15:29,31-32; and Luke 23:36,39.
43 Psalm 22:14-15.
44 Gentiles - the Roman soldiers - were known to the Jews as dogs.
45 They have pierced my hands and my feet (Psalm 22:16).
46 Psalm 22:17.
47 Fulfillment is recorded in Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, and John 19:24.
48 Matthew 16:20-21.
49 An example is in Luke 18:31-33:  Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.  He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.  On the third day he will rise again."  See also Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 10:32-34, and Luke 17:25.
50 2 Timothy 4:3.
51 Please don't misunderstand this important point.  There are those who carelessly refer to accepting Jesus as Savior in order to have salvation, yet live with Jesus as their Lord.  These people assuredly have salvation; they really believe in and confess Jesus as their Lord, but doubtless grieve the heart of God as they orally represent his Son to the world as Savior when God commanded that we proclaim Jesus as Lord.
52 1 John 2:22.
53 2 John 1:9.
54 Gnosticism denied Christ's true humanity two ways:  (1) Some said that Christ only seemed to have a body, a view called Docetism, from the Greek dokeo ("to seem"), and (2) others said that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus at baptism and left him before he died, a view called Cerinthianism.
55 2 John 1:7.
56 Is it significant that Jude's warning is in the next to last book of the Bible?  If so, it occurred to me that the prophecy could be fulfilled close to the end of time, just before the great tribulation.
57 Jude 1:4.
58 Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ (Matthew 16:20).  Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, warning them not to tell who he was (Matthew 12:16).
59 Though Jesus hid the fact that he is the Christ from most of the people, some were permitted to know who he was.  One day, when he passed nearby, Andrew heard John the Baptist say, "Look, the Lamb of God!"  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ) (John 1:41).
   Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were some of Jesus' closest friends.  After Lazarus died and Jesus came, Martha confessed her faith:  "Yes, Lord," she told Jesus, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world" (John 11:27).
60 See Matthew 13:10-15.
61 An example was the place of the birth of the Christ.  Confronted with the wise men, Herod asked the Jewish leaders where the Christ was to be born.  They didn't hesitate.  "In Bethlehem in Judea, for this is what the prophet has written: `But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel'" (Matthew 2:5-6).
62 See prior footnote.  When the Jewish leaders were asked, they knew the prophecy referred to the birthplace of the Christ.
63 Daniel 9:25.  Each "seven" is a week of years.  Each year is 360 days.  The prophecy refers to 62+7=69 weeks of years or 483 Biblical years which equals 483 X 360 = 173,880 days.
64 Daniel 9:26.
65 Zechariah 9:9.
66 This is another example of the remarkable specificity of the prophecies of the coming Christ.  Matthew recites the prophecy that was fulfilled:  "See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Matthew 21:5).
67 Luke 19:37-39.
68 Luke 19:41-42.
69 Luke 24:16.
70 Luke 24:19-24.
71 Psalm 16:11.
72 Luke 24:25-27.
73 Luke 24:36-44.
74 Luke 24:45-48.
75 Acts 3:18.
76 Acts 17:2-3.
77 Acts 26:22-23.
78 Many other miracles are in Matthew, Mark and Luke.  John is selected because John chose miracles he believed were most important to prove that Jesus is the Christ.
79 John 2:1-11.
80 John 4:46-54,
81 John 5:1-9.
82 John 6:19-21.
83 John 6:5-13.
84 John 9:1-34.
85 John 11:1-44.
86 John 21:1-11.
87 John 14:31.  Jesus also said, "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.  I know that his command leads to eternal life.  So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say" (John 12:49-50).  See also John 14:10, 14:24, 7:16, 6:38, 5:19, 3:32, and 3:34.
88 John 20:31.
89 Paul recognized the essential importance of the resurrection:  If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Corinthians 15:14).
90 1 Corinthians 15:4-8.
91 During his ministry, Jesus attempted to hide the fact that he was the Christ from the masses following him.  If they had been convinced that he was the Christ, the leaders would not have dared to kill him.
92 Acts 5:42.
93 Acts 8:5.
94 Galatians 1:17.
95 Acts 9:22.
96 Acts 18:5.
97 Acts 18:28.
98 Galatians 1:12.  Also Ephesians 3:1-6, in which Paul spoke more about the revelation given him that the Gentiles and Israel are sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus.
99 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
100 2 Corinthians 4:5.
101 Luke 4:41.
102 Matthew 16:16; see also Mark 8:29-30, and Luke 9:20.
103 Matthew 16:20.
104 Matthew 12:15-16.
105 This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.  In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: `You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.  For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them'" (Matthew 13:13-15).
106 John 4:25-26.
107 John 4:28-29.
108 John 12:34.
109 John 7:41.
110 John 9:22.
111 John 7:26.
112 John 7:31.
113 Luke 9:7-8.
114 Luke 9:18-19.
115 Luke 9:22.
116 Luke 8:51-56.
117 John 1:41.
118 John 11:21-24.
119 John 11:25-26.
120 John 11:27.
121 Matthew 26:63.
122 First Pilate (Luke 23:4), then Herod found him not guilty (Luke 23:15), and Pilate a second time (Luke 23:16).
123 Matthew 27:25.