When we were together this past Friday night, we concluded our time together, commemorating the Savior crucified, dead and buried. I established that the events of this dark night were indeed violent and horrific, but absolutely necessary. Necessary because this was God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. The Lamb of God, Jesus, was slain on the cross of Calvary for the iniquities of the world. However, however, the slain Lamb of God would not remain in the grave.
We are told in all four Gospel accounts that on the third day after the crucifixion Jesus rose from the dead. You see Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Many Christians (especially Pastors) spend much time talking about Jesus’ death and we should. Yet, we often ONLY talk about the death of Jesus. The Gospel is incomplete without the resurrection. According to Romans 4:25, “He (Jesus) was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (NLT)
The reality for us today is that we put all our confidence in the fact that Jesus Christ died on a cross, and He rose from the dead. Today, I am not going to have the traditional Easter message where I recount the events of that Easter morning, instead I have chosen a passage in Romans that will help us see who Jesus is and why He is significant to the Christian faith. We will look at four aspects of Jesus (Jesus the man, Jesus the divine, Jesus the God man and Jesus our Lord) to help us better understand who is risen indeed!
Romans 1:3 – 7
Jesus the Man
The O.T. prophets lived in hope and in anticipation for the day when the appointed Messiah (Christos – Christ) would come. There were prophesies about the Messiah and the prophets of old lived-in expectation for the coming Messiah.
In verse Romans 1:3 the Apostle Paul establishes first, that the Messiah (who was promised beforehand and later find out is Jesus Christ) was descended from the seed of David according to the flesh. What does this mean? It simply means, the Messiah would be a human being. Through the lineage of King David, the Messiah would come as promised by God throughout the O.T
What Moo is saying is that it is important for us to know that the Messiah (Jesus) was a human, but his human(ness) did not merely qualify him to be Messiah it is only a part of the equation. The Messiah was to be a human, but he was also to be of divine origin. So “According to the flesh” establishes first that Jesus was a descendant of David, He was a human being, and He was born of a woman (Isaiah 7:14) all of these are attributes of Messiah.
Jesus the Divine
Romans 1:4 tells us that Jesus is also the Son of God. He was “declared” the Son of God in the “power of the Holy Spirit”. The word “declared” means appointed, ordained, a decree – a divine oracle. Jesus was appointed the Son of God according to the Spirit and according to his resurrection. This does not mean the resurrection is what made him the Son of God. He wasn’t suddenly transformed at the moment the Spirit raised him from the dead. According to theologian Charles Hodge, “Christ was not predestined to be the Son of God. He was such from eternity.”  In other words, Christ did not become the Son of God after he rose from the dead (or even when he was born, baptized and betrayed) he always has been the Son of God from eternity past, present and future.
In verse 4 the text implies that Jesus was publicly declared the Son of God through the resurrection. The resurrection was his declaration of who he is. We now can accept, acknowledge and draw near to God because of the resurrection of Christ. We must also note it is not Paul (or any other disciple for that matter) who declares him the Son of God. God is the one who declares him. The Spirit/God publicly declares Jesus divine but scripture tells us that he has always been divine.
Thus, Jesus is also divine in nature or more specifically He is an equal to God according to scripture. In John 5:17 – 31 Jesus calls God his Father and also claims equality to God. It also says that Jesus…
Jesus the God Man
So far, we have seen that Jesus is fully human and fully God. His humanity is important for us to grasp because as Hebrews 4:15 states, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” We should take comfort in this because we know that the one we serve and worship has been in our shoes. He has experienced what we have experienced. He can truly say, “I know what you are going through.”
We read in the Bible about Jesus’ humanity in that he got angry, hungry, and tired. He experienced sadness, pain, suffering, poverty, anxiety and temptation as a human and yet, was still without sin. We also take comfort in knowing that Jesus will never leave us ill equipped to face the difficulties in life. Whatever difficulties you may have faced in life Jesus has been through it as well. This makes him an approachable Savior who can empathize with our earthly struggles.
On the other hand, he is also fully eternal God. Colossians 1:15,16 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For BY HIM all things were created… ALL things were created through him and for him. Only God creates and this shows that Jesus is also Creator making him equal to God.”
Jesus Christ Our Lord
Romans 1:5 says that through Jesus or because of Jesus we have received (seized, taken upon ourselves) grace (God’s loving kindness) and apostleship (people commissioned and sent as messengers) to bring about obedience of faith for God’s name’s sake to all nations…
Through Jesus we have received God’s grace, we have obtained the right to become apostles of Jesus (this is not something we deserve but through God’s loving kindness we have) and thus we are required to walk in obedience of faith. Obedience and faith go hand in hand. The idea behind this is that our faith produces obedience. We obey because of our faith and not because we feel we “have to.” The word faith in the Greek is pistis and it means the conviction of the truth of anything. In the NT it is a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things. Obedience should always accompany faith. Why? For God’s name’s sake. When we walk in obedience of faith, we are glorifying God and bringing honor to the name of Christ. The opposite to walking in obedience of faith (especially to the believer) is walking in the flesh thus disgracing the name of God. When Christians act and walk according to obedience we are bringing glory to God to all humanity. Again, Douglas Moo writes, “Paul saw his task as calling men and women to submission to the lordship of Christ, a submission that began with conversion, but which was to continue in a deepening, lifelong commitment… Paul called men and women to a faith that was always inseparable from obedience.” This, my friends, is what the Christian life should look like. The key is not obedience because we cannot truly be obedient to Christ without faith; the key is obedience OF faith. Submitting to God’s way and proclaiming the lordship of Jesus in your life is what Paul is talking about here. Obedient faith is only obtainable because of who Christ is and what he has done. Jesus, who is without beginning or end, took on the form of a man and experienced life on earth as a human. He willingly gave his life as an offering to God, He rose from the dead and then ascended to the Father so that all who believe in Jesus in faith can also share in the resurrected life. Truly this is a Savior who is worthy to follow in obedience in faith and to proclaim to all the nations.
Since today is Easter it is imperative for us to know and believe that Jesus lived, died and rose again so that we can live; die and rise again. This should give you hope, strength, faith and a desire to live fully for Him. He died willingly for His children so we may have life and have it abundantly. This is a promise given to us by the Savior in John 10:10. Jesus is victorious over death and in his victory, we too may be victorious in death. Sure, we are all appointed to die at some point in our lives. As believers in Jesus Christ we have hope and we live in the hope of knowing that death is only temporary, and it has absolutely no dominion over us whatsoever.
For those of us who believe and are fully committed to Jesus Christ we put all of our stock in the truth that Jesus Christ died on a cross and rose from the dead. As believers we have placed all our cards on the table in hope and anticipation of the resurrection. We know a dead Jesus in a tomb is not good news. A risen Jesus who has ascended to the Father for our justification is Good News, it is GREAT NEWS, in fact it is the only news worth declaring!
 Moo, Douglas: The Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996, p. 47
 Hodge, Charles: Romans- The Geneva Series of Commentaries. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust 1983, p.19
 Moo, Douglas: The Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996,
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
Preview or purchase Jeff's Books