Christianity is, not surprisingly, all about Christ. The good news in the Bible is that Christ died for the sake of the sinner on the cross, and rose again on the third day. Yet this death could only be effective if Christ was literally God made flesh.
There are those that doubt the deity of Christ. This list shows that the Bible clearly claims that Jesus Christ was indeed God, both by claims Christ made himself or claims made about Him. The Bible has left you no "middle ground." He was not only a "good man", a "good teacher" or simply a "prophet." Your response can only be one of two things:
"My Lord and my God" as Thomas proclaimed, or "He has a devil" as proclaimed by the Pharisees.
John 8:56-59. In this discussion between Christ and Pharisees, Christ states:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
To understand this verse and what Christ was actually saying to the Pharisees, we must go back to the Old Testament where God revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 3, in the burning bush. When Moses asked God what name he should report back to the Israelites to prove that God had sent him, God replied "I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
I AM is literally "I will be what I will be (or become)." And Moses understood that God's people would recognize that name as representing God Himself. We can see this in the response of the Pharisees—they take up stones to immediately stone Christ to death for blasphemy, but of course Jesus escapes through there midst (right in the middle of them) for Christ said in John 10 "I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself."
By equating the name "I AM" to Himself—before Abraham's day—Christ was literally saying that He was one with the Father—that they were the same. If the Pharisees—the experts of that day in what such a thing would have meant—understood it that way, then there is no other alternative for us today.
John 10:30-33. Again we'll see the Pharisees attempt to stone Jesus Christ for what He will say, because they consider it blasphemy.
"I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone Me? The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God."
Here there is little explanation needed, for the Pharisees themselves provide it. Simply put: "for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God." They understood this based on His comment "I am my Father are one."
John 1:1-3. John begins his gospel by proving that the Word was indeed God Himself. There is no need to delve into Greek theory or wonder about what is being said here, for it is crystal clear.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made."
In these three verses we find that the Word not only was at the beginning and with God, but the Word was God. Furthermore, He is the creator—"All things were made by him." "The Word" is Jesus Christ in the gospel of John. This means that the Bible here claims that Jesus Christ pre-existed His physical birth. That He literally created the universe. We already have Christ in point #1 pre-existing Abraham, who had lived some 2000 years before Christ.
Mark 14:61-64. Ah, but the Pharisees are not done trying to condemn Christ to death for blasphemy. One more time:
"But He held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death."
For those who would tell you that Jesus never claimed to be Christ, this verse clearly shows that He did. Then He further states that He will sit on the right hand of power, and this time the high priest rends his clothes he is so angry. "What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death."
Matthew 28:16-17. For an Israelite, to worship anything other than the Father was idolotry, a wicked sin. For any man to accept worship would be to set himself up a God. Yet in the Bible we have multiple accounts of Christ accepting the worship of other men. If He were merely a "good teacher" He would have rebuked these men instantly for their error, but no such rebuke ever came. (Peter in Acts 10:26 is a good example of refusing such worship). Men worshipped Jesus and He did not refuse:
Colossians 2:9. Jesus Christ is divine in substance.
"For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
In the same book of Colossians in verse 15 we also see:
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature"
And to Philip in John 14:9, Christ states "he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."
Hebrews 1:8, John 20:28. Jesus Christ is called God by God.
"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom."
In John, Thomas responds to the risen Christ by the statement "My Lord and my God!" In Philippians 2 we have the statement "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:" And of the child Jesus that would be born, Isaiah states:
Isaiah 7:14 "A Child Will Be Born And His Name Is Called 'Emanuel: God with us' and Isaiah 9:6 "A Child Will Be Born And His Name Is Called 'Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace'".
Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. Both of these verses have Peter and Paul (the writer of Titus) calling Jesus "God".
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"
"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:"
John 1:15. Jesus existed before John the baptist who was six months older than Christ:
"John bare witness of Him, and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for He was before me."
Were Jesus only a man, it would be impossible for Him to exist before someone who was physically older than He was.
John 6. Jesus claims to have come down from Heaven itself. In yet another discourse with the Pharisees, Jesus claims to have come down from Heaven to earth:
"For I came down from heaven.."
At this the Pharisees murmured, thinking only of His physical life that they knew—Jesus the son of Mary. How could He "come down from heaven" if He was only a man?
In John 20:31. In the conclusion of the gospel of John, we have the statement that Christ is the Son of God, and that life comes through His name:
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name."
God has left you two positions to take on Jesus Christ. He is God incarnate come to take away the sins of the world, or He is a crazy man not to be trusted. There is no choice in the middle.Tom Dell'Aringa