Who Was Jesus?
Sep 4, 2017 1903
Today, millions of people still ask the question, “Who was Jesus?” It’s one of the most frequently asked questions on Google. But Google may not always have the answer. Instead, why not listen to the answer that Jesus himself gave to that question when he was asked the very same thing while he was teaching here on earth? That was two thousand years ago, but the answer is still powerful!
Jesus had been claiming to be the only one who could forgive sins, and Jews incredulously asked him,
Who are you?
I am exactly who I told you at the beginning… When you have lifted up the Son of Man, you will know who I am (John 8:25,28, CEV).
This expression, “lifted up” refers to Jesus being lifted up above the earth at his crucifixion. Jesus was telling the Jewish people that they would receive the answer to their question when he was lifted up on the cross. Jesus is saying that if we want to know who he really is, we must look at him crucified!
Let’s get to the heart of this mystery. The meaning of what Jesus said is actually obscured by some Bible translations whose translators misunderstood or dared not deal with the awesome truth that Jesus reveals here.
The words in the original Greek are “ego eimi,” which literally means “I Am.”
Jesus is using the name, “I Am.” Jesus used this name for himself when he referred to himself as Jehovah God.
The Common English Bible is correct when it translates Jesus’ words as:
When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM (CEB; See also the ERV, ISV, Jubilee, and Wycliffe translations, which all translate this correctly, the same way, as “I Am”).
A little later in this same dialogue in John 8, Jesus hammers home the point. He identifies himself as the “I Am” who pre-existed Abraham (John 8:58). The Jews didn’t misunderstand at all, and they tried to stone him for blasphemy; in other words, for claiming to be the Lord God Jehovah (John 8:59; See John 10;33). The reason for this is that the Jewish people all knew that “I Am” was the exclusive name which the Lord God Jehovah had reserved for himself, by which he was to be known to the Children of Israel (Ex 3:14–15.) For that reason, the Good News Translation is correct when it translates v.28 verse as:
When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that ‘I Am Who I Am.’
The Aramaic Bible in Plain English is also correct, though paraphrased, when it renders the same verse as:
When you have lifted up The Son of Man, then you shall know that I AM THE LIVING GOD.
If you want to know who Jesus is, see him lifted up at Calvary.
Why was Christ’s true identity revealed at the Cross? Because only one who was truly Almighty God could pay an infinite price for the sin of the world. Because only one who was infinite love, could have done what was accomplished by Jesus Christ at Calvary. Not only did love overcome hate at Calvary, but love overcame death at the resurrection. None of this would have been possible if Jesus Christ had not been the one and only, true “I Am.”
If you want to know who Jesus is, see him lifted up. There, at Calvary, gaze at the face of God, who through love gave himself as a sacrifice for every sin that humanity would ever commit. God allowed himself to be judged as guilty, so that as long as you accept what he has done, you are free of condemnation, both now and forever.
The centurion in charge of the crucifixion confessed,
Truly, this was the Son of God! (Matt 27:54).
The name “Son of God” means that Jesus shared the very DNA of God, the very essence of Divinity. For unless Jesus was fully and originally God, then there could never have been any sacrifice for sin, and the way to heaven would be shut for all. None but he could have paid the price. To suggest otherwise is to cheapen salvation, and to underestimate the love of God, and to bring him dishonour. It will result, as Jesus told the Jews, in our dying in our sins (See John 8:24, CEB).
Yes indeed, to look at the Cross is to truly know who Jesus is. When Jesus announced himself to the people in John 8, we are told that,
many people put their faith in him. (John 8:30, CEV).
Will you? – Eliezer Gonzalez