Friday, August 25, 2017

Who Does Jesus Say He Is?

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all people, nations and men of every language worshiped him
(Daniel 7:13–14).

The expression “Son of Man” as a title for Jesus Christ occurs about 80 times in the New Testament. Almost without exception it is found on the lips of Jesus Himself. It was His favorite name for Himself.

Most Christians naturally think that the expression “Son of Man” refers to the humanity of our Lord, while the expression “Son of God” refers to his Deity. When we look at the Bible, however, we find something else.

The key passage to understanding the term “Son of Man” is in Daniel 7. There Daniel sees a divine figure coming on the clouds of heaven. This is a reference to the glory cloud of God Himself, the cloud that appears so often when God appears. Clearly, the person approaching on this cloud is divine.

This Person is called the “Son of Man,” and He is the Father’s agent to rule and judge the world. The principal role of the Son of Man is judge. The Ancient of Days calls on the Son of Man to bring judgment. He comes to earth from the Father, evaluates the situation, reports back to the Father, and participates with the Father in judgment. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke of the “crisis” or judgment of the world. By saying that He was the Son of Man, Jesus was saying to the Jews, “I didn’t come from Bethlehem. I came from heaven. I have come to judge.” It was time for all men to make up their minds whom to serve.

In Acts 7 we read of the stoning of Stephen. As he died, Stephen saw heaven opened and the Son of Man standing next to the Father. He saw that the One who is judge of all was also standing as his advocate and defense attorney. Do you understand that Jesus acts both as your judge and defense attorney? For many it is difficult to conceive that He could perform both roles. The Good News of the Gospel is that the Christian can embrace the Son of Man as judge, because we know that He has taken upon Himself the penalty for our sins, and that we are declared righteous before God in Him.