But how? Understand that the Saviour of mankind had to be more than just a man; otherwise man would be saving himself, and that is impossible. Clearly then, the Saviour had to be God! For, again, only God can forgive sin and save sinners. Jesus spoke to the absolute necessity to see and believe this truth when he said; “...if ye believe not that I am he (God), ye shall die in your sins.” (Jn. 8:24) Meaning to be cast from God’s presence and light, into eternal darkness and damnation. Jesus also said; “...I am come that they might have life...” (eternal life) (Jn. 10: 10); which he gives by dying in our place on the cross! Jesus was saying to the Jews, then, that in spite of their covenant history they did not have life and were dead (lost) until he came! Note that this lost, hopeless state applies to gentiles, also.

To help believe that Jesus was the God-Man on the cross, consider the definition of incarnate: Embodied in flesh, especially human form, and incarnation: 1. The assumption of Jesus Christ of bodily form, 2. The bodily form assumed by a deity.

Jesus Christ, as a man, did not exist before being born of Mary. In this regard, God said; “..thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Heb. 1: 5) Please note there is no separation between Jesus as man and Jesus as God! So as the incarnation reveals, the Creator Father God dwelt with his creation as the Begotten God-Man (flesh): Jesus Christ! And, thereby, entered the blood-line of mankind; and in so doing, shed his own blood as a sacrifice for mankind’s sin!

Enter: God’s Lamb; the Lamb of God!

Cries for a Saviour were answered at the cross. The King of the Jews; the King of Israel; yeah, the Eternal Father God who said; “...I am the first and the last, and beside me there is no God” (Isa. 44: 6) was buying back what was lost to him to establish a holy nation and an everlasting kingdom! Being fully (100%) man and fully (100%) God, Jesus as a man died, but Jesus as God did not. So the 100% God (Jesus) raised up the 100% man (Jesus) from death with a new and glorified body!

Jesus, speaking in the first person singular as a man and as God said; “..destroy this temple (kill me) and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn. 2:19) By saying “I will,” Jesus is saying he is God, for it shows him present (alive) in the past, present and future at the same “time”; having no constraints as to time or space. Existing not only from the “beginning,” but from everlasting! So, he is alive as God while he is dead as a man, and is speaking from all time frames because his is an uninterrupted and never-ending life!

So, because of his glorious resurrection I can shout with the song writer; “He’s alive...alive and I’m forgiven. Heaven’s gates are open wide.” Oh, that I could bow before him and kiss his lovely feet!

His message? I love you. My life, death and resurrection in your place for your life. Say I am coming Lord to thee, dear Lamb of Calvary. Humbly at thy cross I bow. Save me Jesus. Save me now!

The Rev. Jess Shifflett, of Front Royal, is an ordained minister of the Southern Baptist Denomination and a member of Rileyville Baptist Church.