Most movies about Jesus, such as The Passion of the Christ, depict Jesus as powerless while being whipped, beaten, spit upon and nailed to a cross. Jesus never raised a fist, fought back, or retaliated in any way against his enemies. Some depict Jesus as weak because he refused to defend himself.
But the New Testament tells us something much different. It reveals that Jesus Christ is the most powerful, intelligent being in the universe who could have obliterated his enemies with a mere word from his lips. Have you ever thought of Jesus as the one of whom Genesis says, “created the heavens and the earth”?
As we gaze at the stars in a night sky or observe a raging ocean storm, the power and genius of creation becomes apparent. However, few think of Jesus Christ as the one who flung the stars in space and created the DNA of life.
Prior to Jesus’ resurrection his disciples never fully understood his role in creation. They believed in him as Messiah, but couldn’t even begin to think of him as Creator of the universe. On the one hand, they saw him as a man who needed sleep, got hungry, felt pain and eventually died on the cross. On the other hand, they saw him heal the blind and lame, halt storms, turn water into wine, bring the dead back to life, and eventually rise from the dead. They were perplexed.
However, after Jesus’ resurrection, the apostles came to understand that the one who had been in their presence was actually the eternal Creator of the universe. It was only after they grasped who had been in their presence that they went everywhere proclaiming him as their risen Lord (See http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/6-jesus-rise-dead).
Let’s take a look at what they wrote about the one called Jesus of Nazareth.
Speaking of Jesus as the “Word,” John writes:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3
So who is this “Word” John is speaking of? A few verses later he tells us that “the Word became flesh”, a clear reference to Jesus Christ.
Also speaking of Jesus as Creator, the author of Hebrews writes:
“Through the Son God made the whole universe….You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” Hebrews 1:2, 10. J. B. Phillips
Paul the apostle writes this amazing fact to the Colossian believers:
“Now Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God. He existed before creation began, for it was through him that every thing was made, whether spiritual or material, seen or unseen. Through him, and for him, also, were created power and dominion, ownership and authority. In fact, every single thing was created through, and for him.” Colossians 1:15-17 J. B. Phillips
Each of these passages reveals Jesus Christ as our Creator. According to the New Testament, Jesus has both the “DNA” of God and man. Paul goes on to explain how God has fully manifested himself in Christ: “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” Colossians 2:9
Like John, the apostle Paul tells us that at the appointed time, Jesus Christ, the one who created everything that exists, took on human form. As a human, Jesus limited himself. He temporarily put aside his “divine prerogatives, and humbled himself to become a man who would die for our sins.” Philippians 2:6
The mind-blowing revelation that transformed the lives of the apostles is that the Creator of the universe loved us so much that he came to earth as a man to redeem us from our sins. In other words, the one who created our universe is the very one who came to die for us on a wooden cross—which he had made.
So how should we respond to Jesus Christ? Should we think of him as a prophet or angel with unique powers?
No Jew in his right mind would ever worship a prophet, angel, or any other creature, no matter how high or powerful a being. It was the desire for worship that led to Lucifer’s (Satan’s) downfall. Furthermore, most of the apostles were of Jewish heritage and believed God alone is to be worshiped.
But as we have seen, rather than a creature, Jesus is Creator. And that is why the apostles freely worshiped Jesus as Lord and Creator.
In Revelation, the apostle John depicts the twenty-four elders bowing before the throne of God and worshiping the Creator saying,
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things and by your will they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11 J. B. Phillips
The twenty-four elders worshiped the Lord because he “created all things.” If Jesus is our Creator, then we most certainly should worship him.
But if we praise and worship Jesus (God the Son) as our eternal Creator and Lord, will God the Father be angry and jealous, or will he be pleased if we worship Jesus along with him? In order to respond biblically to Jesus Christ we need to ask: What did the apostles do? Did they worship Jesus?
The answer is, “Yes.” In several instances they prayed to Jesus and worshiped him. Stephen and Paul both prayed to Jesus. Thomas worshiped him as, “My Lord and my God” (John 10:28). All the apostles proclaimed him as their risen Lord, and most were martyred for him.
According to the New Testament, everyone is to bow their knees before Jesus in honor and worship. Paul tells us that “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
Therefore, to please the Father, we should each bow to Jesus and proclaim him as Lord. To not do so is to disobey God.
Once we understand who Jesus Christ is and what he did for us, it should move our hearts to worship him. These wonderful truths are explained in “Is Jesus Relevant Today?” at http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/7-jesus-relevant-today.
To read more about what the apostles believed about Jesus’ deity, read: http://y-jesus.com/more/ajg-apostles-jesus-god