All Believers should know that Jesus Christ is our focus, and that He is preeminent in ALL things.
Our relationship with God is solely and completely contingent upon Jesus the Christ of Nazareth, Who is not only our Savior, our Lord, our King and our Master; but also the Divine Son of God, Deity incarnate while He was on the earth, and God (which Jesus proclaimed Himself, please see footnote #1) Who has existed with His Father throughout eternity.
Jesus now sits on His Father’s throne, waiting to return to this earth to collect all that He died and paid for by giving His life for us, those He redeemed with His precious blood; wherein He will sit on His father David’s throne as Gabriel prophesied in Luke 1:31-34, which states:
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.“ (KJV)
It is the preeminence of Jesus that we will focus on in the next few pages.
The Bible Is about Jesus
The word of God, the Bible, holds Jesus as preeminent; it is Him about which it is written, with salvation considered only after His divine preeminence. Many people focus only on the idea that the Bible is about salvation, which it is to a lesser degree.
But primarily, the Bible is about Jesus Christ and Him fulfilling the Will of God, wherein we so graciously are destined to receive salvation according to His own will, yet we must always remember the Bible is about Jesus Christ.
So many believers spend little time in the Old Testament, claiming it is confusing, and not applicable to their life.
As the old dear saints would say in bygone centuries, if something seems confusing, put Jesus in the middle of it to gain clarity. Jesus said as recorded in John 5:39,
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (The Bible is about Jesus – see footnote below #2)
“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
First, we need to realize that the writer here is quoting Psalm 40:7 (Psalm 40: 7 has always been understood to be a Messianic Psalm referring to the Messiah.), as well as stating its current application to Jesus, even as it related to the sacrificial system; thus indicating that this Scripture has fulfillment of the Old Testament in the New Testament, as the passage has meaning concerning both the Old and New Covenants (Hebrews 8:13), indicating that Jesus is preeminent in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The writer of the book of Hebrews indicates how Jesus was the fulfillment of the Hebrew Messiah.
In the English this text seems somewhat straightforward, though many misunderstand the use of the word “volume” thinking it means the amount of space concerning what is written; yet this is not what it means, it has greater significance than even this misunderstanding.
The word that is translated into the English word “volume” in the Greek is kephalis, which holds great special significance in understanding this passage.
The Biblical Scrolls are about Jesus
At the time it was written, the Hebrew Holy Scriptures were copied onto long manuscripts which we commonly refer to as scrolls, which were rolled up due to their massive length.
Different than codices, which might be synonymous with our ideas of a book with individual pages that were held together by a binder were not yet prevalent.
Codices and books were ingenious devices, in which you could turn to any section and read at will, commonly known as random access systems. Whereas scrolls are a chronological device, in which you start at one point and unroll to another point, while reading.
Because scrolls were so large and unmanageable, in order to handle the scroll without damaging it, and to aid in reading the scroll, the Hebrews used two kephalis, which were wooden rods that would be placed at the end of each side of the scroll, in order to facilitate the reading of the scroll by simply unrolling the kephalis on the left, and rolling up the kephalis on the right (Remember, Hebrew was read from the right to left).
The kephalis was what held the Scripture together and made it functional – readable, and understandable in that you could go from section to section, cross referencing passages, able to do great research, and maintain Biblical context, not simply immediate context (Biblical context can be as important as immediate context, matching subject matter with subject matter many books in order to gain greater insight and clarity), while at the same time protecting the scroll itself.
It would be somewhat synonymous with our current understanding of what bindings on books are meant to do.
Jesus Holds Together the Word of God, He is the Basis of Everything in It
The point that this Scripture is making is that Jesus holds together God’s Word and presents it in such a way that it is readable, understandable, and protected – Jesus in essence is the foundation and the mortar that holds the pages of God’s word together concerning its subject matter – which is Jesus Himself.
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36 ~ KJV)
“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:20-23 ~ KJV)
1. Jesus’ Claim of Deity as the Son of God
Jesus made many claims in regard to being the Divine, the Son of God Incarnate (as well as His death for the world, and rising 3 days later, see footnote #3); we will look at two major passages.
There are many other issues which display His belief that He was divine, such as the titles He used for Himself which were titles used of deity, His claim of sinlessness, His posture of superiority to the Pharisees, who He refused to cow-down to.
On only one occasion He orchestrates worship of Himself, which we refer to as the Triumphal Entry, he performs many healings wherein He receives worship, and the fact that He seated within Himself the power to forgive sins – who does that, except God?
First, Mark 14:60-62, which occurs at Jesus’ trial, when He was asked by the High Priests (Which according to the Torah, a suspect had to answer, therefore Jesus had to answer as a suspect as in fulfilling the Law. Jesus went through 6 trials [See Footnote # 4], 3 secular and 3 religious, and only twice did He give an answer, once in fulfillment of the Torah when the High Priest demanded an answer, and once when the secular judge Pilate, based upon Roman law demanded an answer, again fulfilling ALL righteousness), if He was the Messiah (the “Christ”), the Son of God.
The text states:
“And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 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.” (KJV)
The second passage we will address is probably one of the most dramatic dialogues Jesus held with the Pharisees wherein Jesus claimed Divinity as the Son of God; as recorded in John 8:12-47, which states:
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always [meaning, “I do only”, claiming to be sinless] those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication [They were inferring He was illegitimate, because many knew about Mary’s pregnancy]; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (KJV)
Jesus also made seven “I AM,” statements, which the Jews understood to be an allusion that Jesus was using to indicate He was God, the one speaking from the “Burning Bush” as seen in Exodus 3:14, which states:
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (KJV).
Jesus used this “I Am” statement many times, such as John 8:28:
“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he [“he” is not in the original text, it is added by the translators thinking it was needed], and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
And to make sure that He was referencing Exodus 3:14, Jesus said in John 8:58,
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Jesus left no ambiguity in connecting Himself to the “I AM” statements, therein claiming Deity (The 7 “I AM” statement are recorded in: John 6:35; John 8:12; John 10:7; John 10:11; John 11:25; John 14:6; John 15:1)
“Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 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.” (John 10:24-33)
Please also see: John 10:25-33; John 5:17-18; John 5:23-24; John 8:12-47; Mark 2:5-7, John 14:1; John 14:6, John 14:8-11; John 20:28-29; John 5:39; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-46.
2. The Bible is about Jesus
God’s Word, the Bible is ALL about Jesus as recorded in the following Scripture:
Hebrews 10:7 ~
“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.”
John 5:39 ~
“you search the Scriptures for in them you think you have life, it is these that speak of me.”
Matthew 5:18 ~
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
Luke 24:27 ~
“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Acts 8:35 ~
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture [Isaiah 53:7], and preached unto him Jesus.”
Acts 26:22-23 ~
“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”
Acts 28:23 ~
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.”
Romans 1:1-3 ~
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
Hebrews 1:1-3 ~
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
Matthew 24:35 ~
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
3. Examples of Christ’s prophesies of His crucifixion & Rising in Three days.
Matthew 16:21 ~
“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”
Matthew 17:23 ~
“And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.”
Matthew 20:19 ~
“And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
Matthew 27:64 ~ (The Pharisees knew that Jesus said He would be buried and raise again)
“Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.”
Mark 9:31 ~
“For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.”
Mark 10:34 ~
“And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
Luke 9:22 ~
“Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.”
Luke 13:32 ~
“And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”
Luke 18:33 ~
“And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.”
Luke 24:7 ~
“Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
Luke 24:21 ~
“But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.”
Luke 24:46 ~
“And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day”
1 Corinthians 15:4 ~
“And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”
4. The Trials of Jesus in their Sequence
Jesus was put through six trials, three secular and three religious (Within the Bible, 6 is the number of man, Jesus as a Ultimate Man Judged; though He was God).
Trial #1: Jesus was taken to Annas. (Mark 14:53; John 18:13-24), Annas was the original (former) High Priest, however, the Romans in order to reinforce their own the power, placed his son-in-law, Caiaphas, the current High Priest. And while Caiaphas, was the high priest of record, the Sanhedrin still look to Annas as the true high priest.
Trial #2: Jesus was taken before Caiaphas. (Matthew 26:57-68; John 18:24-28)
Trial #3: Jesus reviewed before the Sanhedrin. (Luke 22:66-71)
Trial #4: Jesus taken before Pilate. (Luke 23:1-6; John 18:29-38)
Trial #5: Jesus taken before Herod. (Luke 23:8-11)
Trial #6: Jesus taken back before Pilate. (Matt. 27:11-24; Mk. 15:1-14; Lk. 23:13-24; John. 18:39-19:16). Pilate offered either Barabbas or Jesus; the crowd choose Barabbas to be released, and Jesus condemned to death.