THE ETERNAL EXISTENCE OF CHRIST
If man was not so deeply enclosed in darkness his inquisitive mind
would be intrigued by the thought that there was a Man who lived on
this earth who pre-existed. Today the makers of science fiction novels
and movies create fictional characters of mystical origins. The
response to these fictional portrayals are both enthusiastic and
lucrative. Yet in the realm of truth, the only true story of a real Man
who pre-existed prior to His birth is largely ignored or ridiculed.
John the Baptist became acquainted with Jesus Christ in the early days
of His earthly ministry. Upon first meeting Him, John admits that he
did not know Him (John 1:33). In the New Testament account, John’s
mother, Elizabeth, was a relative of the mother of Jesus. Mary visited
John’s mother while they were both expectant mothers (Luke 1:30-41).
Mary remained with her about three months, and then returned home.
Elizabeth’s full time came and she gave birth to John (Luke 1:56,57).
She delivered her child about six months before Mary gave birth to
Jesus Christ (Luke 1:36). Therefore, John was older than Jesus.
John bore witness of Christ and cried out saying, “This was He of whom
I said, ‘He who comes after Me is preferred before me, for He was
before me” (John 1:15). As John came to know Him and to learn about
Him, he was convinced that Jesus Christ existed before He came into
This same truth was also revealed to John, one of the twelve disciples
of Jesus Christ. In writing about Jesus, John referred to Him as the
Word. Just as we reveal ourselves to others through words, so Christ
reveals God to us. John said that the Word (Christ) became flesh
(human) and lived among us, and we actually saw His glory, the glory as
of the only begotten Son of the Father (John 1:14). He states that He
became flesh, verifying that He existed before He became a Man. For
this reason, He stated earlier, “He was in the beginning with God”
There is further evidence of Christ’s eternal existence before He ever
came into this world. “For by Him all things were created that are in
heaven and that are on earth.....All things were created through Him
and for Him. And He existed before all things, and in Him all things
are held together” (Colossians 1:16,17). He not only existed before He
came into this world, but He made this world (John 1:10). The very
first verse in the Bible declares, “In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth.” Thus we must conclude that this pre-existing
One who was born in the manger at Bethlehem is God, the very God, who
before the appearance of Christ was not seen by human eyes. “No one has
seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the
Father, He has declared Him or brought Him out where He can be seen”
(John 1:18). “He is the image (the exact likeness) of the unseen God
(the visible representation of the invisible)” (Colossians 1:15).
THE ETERNAL WORK OF CHRIST
Just prior to Christ’s death, He cried out on the cross, “It is
finished” (John 19:30). There are two questions that arise upon hearing
this victorious cry:
- What was finished? How
could anyone, with His hands and feet fastened to a cross, finish
anything. In anticipation of His death on the cross, Jesus Christ was
able to say to His Father as He prayed to Him, “I have glorified You on
the earth. I have finished the work which you have given Me to do”
(John 17:4). As He looked ahead to the final hours of His life, He saw
Himself as having completed all that the Father gave Him to do while
here on earth. What was the special assignment that was given to Him by
the Father that He was about to finish in the final hours of His life?
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things,....but
with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and
without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the
world” (1 Peter 1:18-20). It is made clear, that the eternal Son of
God, before this world was made, was destined to be the Lamb of God
when He came to this earth. God sent Him for this express purpose and
He finished the redemptive work of God for sinful man when He gave His
life for us on the cross.
- For how long is this work finished?
Let us suppose that a man has been painting his house for the past
three weeks. One glorious day he makes the last stroke with his paint
brush, gets down off the ladder, runs into the house, and proclaims in
a loud voice, “It is finished.” It is surely a triumphant day, but we
all know that five to ten years later, he will need to pick up his
brush, can of paint, and ladder and go out and paint that same house
all over again. Prior to the cross of Calvary, sacrifices were never
finished. They had to be repeated over and over again. “But this Man
(Jesus Christ), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). He had offered a
single Sacrifice for our sins that will avail for all time and
eternity. He was able to sit down because the work of salvation was
totally and completely finished.
There are many today who seem to think that Christ started the work of
salvation and now it is our responsibility to maintain and add to the
work He completed. Let us look “unto Jesus, the author and finisher of
our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne
of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
“Wherever the believer looks, back upon his
guilty past, he sees it blotted out by the precious blood of Christ; if
he looks forward to the eternal glory, he sees it secured for him by
that precious blood; if he looks within himself, poor, failing, feeble
as he is, he can say that the very blood which is upon the throne of
God is upon me also and is pledged to bring me into that place of
eternal blessedness.” (Samuel Ridout) At the beginning and the end of
the last book of the Bible, Jesus Christ declares Himself to be the
starter and the finisher of our salvation. “I am the Alpha and the
Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord (Revelation 1:8). “I
am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (the Before all and
the End of all) (Revelation 22:13). It can be said of the Lord Jesus
that He never starts anything that He does not finish. He has finished
to the end the work of salvation. For me to try to add anything to that
work is an insult to the throne of God. To suggest that I could do
anything more is a form of foolish pride and a failure to see the worth
of the work that was accomplished by His death on the cross.
When He, from His lofty throne, Stooped to do and die,
Ev’ry thing was fully done; Harken to His cry!
“It is finished” yes, indeed, Finished ev’ry jot;
Sinner, this is all you need, Tell me, is it not?
THE ETERNAL REIGN OF CHRIST
Nathan brought these words from the Lord to David, “He (David) shall
build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his
kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:13). Again the Lord said to David, And
your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you.
Your throne shall be established forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
The casual reader of the Old Testament would assume that this promise
was never fulfilled. Many years after David, the kingdom fell.
Concerning one of his last descendants to sit on the throne, Jeremiah
said, “Write this man down as childless; a man who shall not prosper in
his days; for no man of his offspring shall succeed in sitting upon the
throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:30). For
centuries now, no one has sat upon the throne of David.
Yet God through the centuries preserved the royal seed of David. Jesus
Christ was born into the world, of Whom Isaiah prophesied, “Of the
increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the
throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with
judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (Isaiah 9:7).
When the New Testament account begins, first of all, it gives the full
lineage of Christ through the line of David, pronouncing in the very
first verse, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of
David...” (Matthew 1:1). Paul carefully states in Romans 1:3,
“concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of
David according to the flesh". It was essential that
Christ should be born of the seed of David, because God, who never
lies, promised David that his throne would be forever and that promise
would be fulfilled by His Son sitting upon that throne.
Yet it appeared, when Jesus Christ was crucified, that the promise
failed a second time. In Revelation 12, we read that the woman bore a
male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. The dragon,
who was Satan, stood before the woman, ready to devour the Child. It
appeared that he had been successful and David’s throne was again
threatened by extinction.
God never lies; He made a promise. At this point, the most triumphant
victory in all the history of time and eternity occurred. Jesus Christ
was raised from the dead!! In the great resurrection chapter (1
Corinthians 15), one of the reasons given for His resurrection is: For
He (Christ) must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet
God addresses His Son in this manner: “Your throne, O God, is forever
and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom”
(Hebrews 1:8). We now learn that God has future plans for the throne of
David through His Son. He is coming back to this earth to reign forever
and His reign will be a reign of righteousness. All the other kingdoms
of this world have been temporary and unrighteous. And thus, as the
great clock of prophecy strikes its final hours, Jesus Christ will
return to this scene wherein the whole creation groans and labors under
the travail and tragedy of the wicked rule of ungodly rulers. When this
scene occurs, there will be mighty voices in heaven, saying, “The
kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His
Christ and HE shall reign forever and ever (for the eternities of the
eternities!)” (Revelation 11:15)
Every king who has ever reigned received His kingdom from God.
Nebuchadnezzar had to learn this lesson (Daniel 2:21). God also removes
kings because in their wickedness, they forget God. Wickedness and
corruption brings an end to their reign. Although many wicked rulers
defy God and seek to establish an invincible kingdom, they are
eventually subdued. They see themselves as great powers whom no one can
touch, and they laugh at God, independently seeking to bring everyone
to their knees. None has ever succeeded.
There is an astounding narration that accompanies the everlasting
kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will succeed!! “Then comes the
end....when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power” (1
Corinthians 15:24). He will accomplish that which has never been done
before. But when He accomplishes it, He delivers the kingdom over to
God the Father. The Father has put all things in subjection under
Christ’s feet. However, when everything is subjected to Him, then the
Son Himself will also subject Himself to the Father Who put all things
under Him, so that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:27,28).
Christ sits upon an eternal throne, established forever and ever, but
He sits upon it in complete subjection to His Father. He reigns
supreme, but He reigns in subjection. Blessed be His Name! There never
was and there never will be anyone to compare to our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is
above every name” (Philippians 2:9).