Intertwined between the pages of God’s Word is a love story. A story that is wrapped in grace and forgiveness, offering hope and redemption to all mankind. It’s amazing how the birth of a baby changed the course of history and became a fulfillment of prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has a story like no other.
But what makes Jesus so unique? What makes His story differ from all other deities and religious leaders?
These are questions many ask as they come into the Christian faith or ponder at some point in their faith journey. Jesus being the Son of the Father in human form, but also God, fully divine, can be a difficult concept for anyone to wrap their head around.
Not to mention, the world has many views on who Jesus is. As believers, we know Jesus as a part of the Trinity. He came to this earth as a man to live a perfect life, providing an example for us to live by, and granting us salvation (John 10:15).
But how do we know that Jesus was more than a good man, prophet, or great guru?
First, we must recognize that Christianity is unlike any other world religion. Where every other religion focuses on merit and what must be done here on earth to get into good graces with their god, Christianity focuses on Christ.
Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
The Christian faith also recognizes that we are all sinners and are not good enough on our own, yet Christ stepped in to save us from our sinful selves. Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrates His love for us through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
So, who is Jesus, what makes Him so unique, and why is it so important to understand who He is?
The Unique Character of Jesus
Jesus. The humble servant. The best storyteller and teacher. Full of compassion, exuding grace and touching hearts with His unfailing love.
Jesus’ character is beautifully displayed throughout the gospels as we see His disciples and followers honor, respect, and seek His wisdom. But His followers didn’t start out so loyal and admiring. They were merely commoners, simple and mostly uneducated.
Before they encountered Jesus, they were arrogant and hot-tempered fishermen. Then there was the misfit tax collector, a mischievous thief, and even a traitor. I’m guessing it was a pretty rowdy and lively bunch. Yet, Jesus chose them!
Throughout the three years of extensive and intimate training, we see Jesus’ character come to life. We see His humble nature, His patience, kindness, and goodness poured upon His beloved disciples. What would have been difficult for any normal man, we see Jesus’ loving and gentle nature draw these 12 vastly different men together, bonding them in unity like brothers.
As we read the stories of those that had a personal and deep-seated relationship with Him, we see how Jesus chose the lowly. Sought out the poor. Healed the sick, restored the weak and hurting, and got acquainted with the lonely and lost. His mission was vastly different than the ways of the world.
Then there was the fact that He claimed to be God.
John 1:1-4 tells us, “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. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
Jesus is the Word. He is one with God from the beginning of time.
Just as a marriage is joined by two individual people and becomes one flesh (Mark 10:8), our Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are a united front. Three existing persons, one true God.
Jesus — a Son of God, unlike any other deity. The One full of grace and Truth (John 1:14). The One that seeks to have a relationship with us (James 4:8).
The One that grants us gifts in order to spread His message (1 Peter 4:10). The One that brought salvation to all people (Titus 4:16) and proclaimed to be the Son of God, who is God (1 John 5:20).
That is the unique character of our Lord Jesus Christ!
A Unique Life
Jesus didn’t have your typical birth story. He made His appearance as an innocent baby in a lowly stall in Bethlehem. What appeared to be humble beginnings shows the nature of His character (Luke 2:6-7).
Yet, when the echoes of His first cry pierced this broken and shattered world, angels rejoiced, shepherds looked up to the heavens, and three wise men made the long and rigorous trek to see and worship the long-awaited Messiah (Luke 2:15, Matthew 2:1-2).
God had entered the earth in human form.
Then the teaching and examples of how to live this life began. Throughout the New Testament, we see how God came in man form to relate to us, build a personal relationship with us, train us in His ways, and to ultimately save us by offering a redemption plan.
We see God’s hand in everything, from the teaching as a young boy in the church of Bethlehem (Luke 2:47) to the last words uttered on the cross — “it is finished” (John 19:13) and “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Jesus knew this life would not be any easy one and that He would experience pain and suffering. He knew He would be an outcast and misunderstood by many.
He knew He would be tempted by the deceiver. Yet, He still came as an innocent baby and grew to be a sinless man as part of a much bigger plan and greater purpose.
His unique life teaches us that He is one with the Father.
The King of the Jews, the title Jesus claimed, and the words that were displayed upon His fatal cross. While this unjust sentence to death by royal and religious enemies, who denied His status, calling Him a blasphemer, was utter torture, it marked the beginning of a new life.
As Jesus hung on a cross between two thieves, it appears so insolent, yet we know that God is purposeful in everything He does. This was no coincidence. Maybe it was to spread one last message to the people (and to us) of His undeniable role in the trinity.
Just as we saw in His humble beginnings, Jesus also reveals His character in His humble departure as He surrounds Himself around sinners. Then shows mercy to the thief which asked to be remembered (Luke 23:40-42).
As the skies grow dim, Jesus cries out, asking why God has forsaken Him (Matthew 27:6). This is the pivotal point at which Jesus has taken on all the sins of the world — past, present, and future. The sin distances Him from the Father, yet it had to be done. It is a fulfillment of prophecy.
As dark as that day was, it was filled with hope for all mankind.
This is where we meet Jesus on the pages of His Word, and He reveals His love story for us. He rescues us from the darkness (sin) and turns it into light through His selfless sacrifice. Hope and healing are freely given. Grace abounds. The debts of our sins have been paid in full.
Jesus offers us a new life — through Him!
Every other religious leader’s tomb you visit has a body inside, but Jesus’ tomb is empty. Every other religion has a list of good deeds to perform or a level of achievement you must obtain to be enough. With Jesus, we are enough.
This is what makes Jesus so unique.
He lived a perfect life. He died a purposeful death. And He currently lives at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus — the greatest love story ever told!