The New Testament goes to great lengths to make clear who Jesus is. John explained the purpose of his Gospel account, where he recorded remarkable signs and teaching about Jesus: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30–31).
This Advent series explores the identity of the One whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, using the description found in the Apostles’ Creed.
“This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” (Acts 17:3, NKJV)
The Greek word “Christ” translates the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Both Christ and Messiah mean “Anointed One,” the One set apart and endued with the Spirit of God as God’s promised prophet, priest, and king. All of the Old Testament points to Jesus as the Messiah promised from the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15), the One who would bring deliverance.
Over the years we would learn more about this Messiah as more and more of the Bible is written. We learn He would be a greater prophet than Moses. In fact, He would be called the Prophet (compare Deut. 18:15-18 with John 1:21). He would be the perfect Priest. Remarkably, He would be both priest and sacrifice (Is. 53; Heb. 7:26-28). And He would be the ultimate King, the son in the line of David who would sit on the throne of an everlasting, redemptive kingdom (2 Sam. 7:12-16; Luke 1:30-33).
To say that Jesus is the Christ is to ascribe to Him all that the Old Testament heralded of God’s Messiah. The fifth chapter of the Gospel of John paints an epochal portrait of Jesus, speaking of His identity and the climactic character of His mission. In that chapter Jesus says this: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).