If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then (#30) He Is Lord and God

  1. Share
Truth Encounter Ministries
1 2

 “declared to be the Son of God… by His resurrection from the dead” Romans 1:4

Last time, we pondered how the resurrection was the Great Confirmation, affirming everything the Scripture said about Him and all of His words. Now we want to contemplate the rest of this statement by Paul: that it was the resurrection which declared Jesus to be the Son of God… God in the flesh.

Of all the things that were written of Him, of all the things that Jesus claimed for Himself, this is the ultimate. 

When Jesus was crucified, the centurion, who had probably been present from the arrest to the death, had watched Him through the whole process. And when darkness covered the land and the earth shook so hard that the rocks split, he confessed, “truly this was the Son of God”.  

But what does “Son of God” mean?

The best way to understand this is to look at what the Jewish leaders thought it meant:

And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.  Matthew 26:83-65

First of all, the high priest was equating “Christ”, or “Messiah”, with “Son of God”. In their mind, they were one and the same. And to claim to be the Son of God, was to claim to be “of God”, of the very nature of God. Jesus responded “you have said so”, a common way of saying “yes, and you have said it yourself”, as evidenced by the high priest tearing his robes at this declaration and crying “blasphemy”. 

When they brought Him before Pilate, this was their charge:

The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” John 19:7

This phrase is not, as some have claimed, something akin to “all we are creatures of God”. The Jews wanted Jesus put to death for this. They rightfully saw this as blasphemy if Jesus were not God in the flesh.

But He was.

The Holy Spirit moved John to write it this way:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:1,14

From the beginning, this title was laid on Jesus by the angel at His birth:

 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35

This was God being made manifest in the flesh. There is much more that could be written on this title: “Son of God”, but let’s turn our attention to the life of Jesus for a moment and ponder all the things Jesus did that confirmed His deity:

He forgave sins: Remember when a paralytic was lowered through a hole in the roof by his friends because the crowd was too big to get in? Jesus first told him that his sins were forgiven. The scribes were incensed:

Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! 

Who can forgive sins but God alone? Mark 2:7

The scribes were right. They just didn’t know that Jesus was indeed God and had the right and authority to forgive sins.

He lived a sinless life: One thing we all know about ourselves is that we are not only imperfect, but in the context of God’s holiness, we are deeply sinful. Paul writes “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But Peter, who walked with Jesus for three years, wrote that “He committed no sin” and that Jesus was the “unblemished and spotless” lamb. Paul says that Jesus “knew no sin” and in Hebrews we read that Jesus was tempted in all things, “yet without sin”.

When Jesus was engaged in that difficult dialogue with the Jewish leaders in John 8, He asked His accusers at one point, “Which of you convicts me of sin?” The implication is that Jesus had no sin. For a man to live his entire life without sin would be unthinkable, but to claim to be without sin would be either arrogant and deceitful or it just happened to be true.

Jesus accepted worship: We often read in the Scripture that when an angel appears to someone, they immediately begin to bow down and worship. And the angel’s instant response? “Don’t do that!” Why? Because they weren’t God. You can almost sense fear in the angels that someone would worship them. In fact, in Revelation 19:10, when John falls down and worships an angel, the angel seems to shout at John: “Do not do that!... worship God!” When Cornelius fell at Peter’s feet and began to worship him, Peter yelled “Stand up! I am just a man!

But, remember earlier, when Jesus appeared to the other women after His resurrection? They took hold of His feet and “worshipped Him”. And Jesus let them. He didn’t rebuke them. Whenever anyone worshipped Jesus, He let them do so. When Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus didn’t tell Thomas that he was getting carried away. He said blessed are those who haven’t seen, yet believe.

When Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He would just worship him, Jesus rebuked him, 

“Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” John 4:10

Jesus was adamant that the only One who could be worshipped was God Himself. Yet, when Jesus walked on the water in the middle of a fierce storm and then got into the boat with a soaking Peter, the storm immediately stopped and they worshipped Jesus declaring “You are certainly God’s Son!

And Jesus let them worship Him.

He spoke as if He were God: The prophets of old would say, “Thus saith the Lord”, but Jesus spoke as if He were the authority:

  • “You have heard that is was said…but I say to you…”
  • “Truly, truly, I say to you…”
  • “Therefore, I tell you that the kingdom will be taken away from you…”
  • He said that “all authority in heaven and on earth” had been given to Him.
  • He said that He would set people free from their slavery to sin (John 8:36)
  • He said that if anyone would keep His words, he would never taste death (John 8:52)
  • He declared that He was
    • The bread of life
    • The light of the world (whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness)
    • The door of the sheep (if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved)
    • The true vine
    • The good shepherd
    • The resurrection and the life
    • The way, the truth and the life (no one comes to the Father except through Me)
  • When the people were praising Him and putting palm branches in the road before Him, He told the Pharisees that if the people were silenced, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40)
  • He said that He could give eternal life (John 10:28)
  • He said that apart from Him, we could do nothing (John 15:5)

C.S. Lewis made this beautiful comment:

"Among the Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He were God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among pantheists, like the Hindus of India, anyone might say that he is part of god or one with god. There would be nothing very odd about that. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God in their language meant the Being outside of the world who had made it and was infinitely different than anything else. And when you have grasped that concept you will see that what this man said was quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.”

Jesus and the Father had a divine relationship: This, of course, is too familiar to us and therefore has limited impact. But think about someone in which heaven opens up and God speaks saying “This is my beloved Son, hear Him.” That might just cause you to think there was something special in their relationship! Jesus said that He only spoke what the Father told Him to speak. In fact, if you take the time and just read the “red letters”, you will find an amazing insight into this relationship. Several times Jesus declared that He and the Father were “one”. This is the intimate relationship that exists within the triune nature of God. 

Jesus assumed divine titles: You will hear people say that Jesus never said He was the Messiah nor God, but the records beg differently. Keep in mind, also, that Jesus often used veiled speech with unbelievers. Nevertheless, there were times He was quite clear:

Messiah: When Jesus dialogued with the Samaritan woman, we read this, “The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he.’” John 4:25-26

Son of Man: When Jesus used this self-designated title, it was based upon the reference in Daniel. Though prophecy is almost always veiled, it is clear that the “son of man” carried divine attributes:

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. “Daniel 7:13-14

When Jesus said, speaking of Himself, that “the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins” (Mark 2:10-11) and “the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27), and “the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61), He was linking this title to deity as did Daniel.

Son of God: We saw this earlier. Jesus was put to death for claiming this title.  

Lord and God: When Thomas declared Jesus to be “My Lord and my God!” Jesus did not correct nor rebuke him. 

I am: Although some aren’t as convinced, I think there is something significant in the response of Jesus to those who came to arrest Him in the garden. When He asked them who they were seeking and they said “Jesus the Nazarene”, Jesus replied “I am”. When He said this they “drew back and fell to the ground.” I suppose if this were isolated, we might pass it by, but in the light of everything else, it seems to me that this is a clear reference to the great “I Am”, Yahweh. For sure, there was something powerful in those words because it caused the Roman soldiers and the Temple guard to fall to the ground.

Jesus manifested divine attributes: I will leave to you the task of thinking through where these attributes are manifested in the life of Jesus:

  • Holy
  • Omniscience
  • Omnipresence
  • Omnipotence
  • Eternality
  • more?

And time nor space allow us to speak of the many, many other "audacious" things Jesus said: to pray in His name; if you have seen Me you have seen the Father; before Abraham was, I am; My Father glorifies Me; He who keeps my word will never die; you are from below, I am from above; today you will be with me in paradise…

As C. S. Louis said, these are either the worlds of a liar, a lunatic, or Jesus was, indeed, Lord of all.

Everything points to Lord of all and the resurrection cemented it.

Coming back to Paul’s statement, that Jesus was

 “declared to be the Son of God… by His resurrection from the dead” Romans 1:4

we are again struck by the weight of the resurrection. As Berkhof said, “it put the Father’s seal on the completed work of Christ” and it declared His divinity. When Jesus rose from the dead, it was the declaration throughout the universe that Jesus was God in the flesh. Everything makes sense in the context of that declaration and that truth claim… all the miracles, all the words of Jesus, and all the prophecies:

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23


And, now, along with Paul, we are

“…waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. “ Titus 2:13


[previous] [next]

Community tags

This content has 0 tags that match your profile.


To view comments or leave a comment, login or sign up.

Related Content

If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then (#1) the Seal Was Broken
We don’t spend much time talking about the seal that was placed upon the tomb, but I think it is significant. Here is the historical record: The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Matthew 27:62-66 The historical account states that the chief priests and the Pharisees “made the tomb secure by sealing the stone…”.  This seal was most likely several ropes that were drawn across the stone and then affixed to the tomb walls with a soft clay imprinted with some symbol of authority. It was also likely that the ropes were also sealed at their juncture in front of the stone. In this way, no one could move the stone or the ropes without breaking the dried clay and destroying the “seal” affixed upon the clay.  The seal was there to “put on notice” that no one was to mess with the tomb. Rome could deal quite nastily with those who did so. Now, this doesn’t mean much to us today, for we are long past the norm of using “seals” as they were utilized in ancient times. but in those days, a seal was inviolable. It represented authority, authenticity, and finality. No one messed with a seal. In the book of Esther, when King Ahasuerus issued the order to save the Jews, he commanded them to “seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.” When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, “… a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel." In the vision concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, the Scripture says this: And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Isaiah 29:11 The permanence of a seal against all who were unauthorized to break it was an inviolable part of their world.  It becomes even more apparent when John is caught up to heaven and there beholds the scroll with seven seals. John begins to weep because there was “no one worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.” Of course, we find that the Lamb, “standing as though it had been slain”, was worthy to break the seals. And when each of those seals were broken, great calamity came upon the earth. Seals in the Scripture mean something. And John had wept, because the seal represented an inviolable wall to anyone who did not have the authority to break it. Seals show authority. They show authenticity. And they show finality for all except the one who had the authority to break them. And so, we now come back to the tomb. The seal, whether it was a Roman seal or the High Priest’s seal, represented a fixed closure that no one was allowed to breach. When it was set upon the tomb, there was a finality, a stamp of ultimate authority, that said, “this tomb is closed”. Ah, but God is not subject to the laws or seals of man. I can imagine that when the earth began to shake and the stone was rolled aside, that those clay seals with the authority of man impressed upon them broke into a thousand pieces and lay as trash littering the ground. If Jesus rose from the dead, then the seal of man, meant to keep Him in the grave, had been utterly and completely destroyed. But there is one more thing that must be mentioned regarding “seals”.  In John 6, Jesus said this: Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” John 6:27 If God seals something, it is sealed! In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Eph 1:13 “… it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Cor 1:21 This is God’s seal of authority, authenticity, and finality. You are His, sealed with His guarantee. Oh my! [previous] [next]
If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then (#5) the Angels Would Have Announced It
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:1-6 It may be too bold to say this, but I believe that it should come as no surprise to anyone that the announcement of the Lord’s resurrection was made by the angles, for this, indeed, was a cosmic moment. And, also not surprising, is that there is controversy over this: how many angels, where they were, and what did they really say. Matthew and Mark have one angel; Luke and John have two. We will deal with all of that soon. But today, we want to ponder the fact that it was the angels that announced the resurrection and why. Recall the great passage in Galatians (don’t skip through it… read it): What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Galatians 4:1-5 The advent of the Messiah was a “set time”—set by God. It wasn’t just that we landed on a nice calendar day. This was as if all the prophecies and all the promises were set on a timer and they all went off together at this moment. It was a cosmic moment: the time in which God was going to enter the world as a human being in order to redeem those who were in bondage under the law. It was a moment that began with the birth of the Messiah and extended through His resurrection… one big cosmic moment. John Calvin refers to the resurrection as “the closing scene of our redemption.” And the privilege of announcing this cosmic moment was going to be given to the angels. They came to Mary and to Joseph. They came to Zacharias and then on the night of His birth, the heavens were filled with a host of angels announcing the news… not to Herod or to the High Priest, but to the lowly, despised and smelly shepherds. Not in a palace or in the temple, but out in the middle of a common, ordinary field.  Should we, therefore, be surprised that it would be the angels who would announce His resurrection? And, to a woman in a graveyard? We will deal more with this later, but recall that women in that culture were second-class citizens. Jesus changed all of that forever. But it was no small deal in those days that the angels would break the news to a woman, and to Mary Magdalene, who at one time had been possessed by seven demons and no doubt suffered from the ravages those demons would visit upon her.  No, this is not surprising to us, for this is who God is. God’s heart is with the humble. And He blesses His creatures by allowing them to carry out His purposes and plans. Thus, He sends angels to announce the Moment of Moments. So, who are these “angels”?  Well, they are an amazing part of God’s creation. There are tons of them, “innumerable”, says Hebrews 12:22 and “thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand” says Revelation 5:11.  That is a lot of angels! There is even some conjecture that we might each have an “assigned” angel. When speaking of the children, Jesus refers to “their angels in heaven”. This certainly is inconclusive, but there surely are enough of them to go around! Maybe that is why there are so many. One thing we know for sure, they do minister to us: Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14 Angels are strong. They are mighty. They battle the forces of darkness and they serve God as He sends them to fulfill His purposes. They are messengers, but they also carry out some of God’s judgments. When Herod was struck down and eaten by worms because he did not give glory to God, it was an angel that struck him. (Acts 12:23) Some are sent to patrol the earth. (Zechariah 1:8-11) Scripture even says you might have come in contact with angels as they go about their duties in human form: Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2 And so, it was the angels who kicked off the Moment and became quite active in the events leading up to the birth of Jesus. And it was the angels who ministered to Him in His times of need on earth. When Jesus had finished 40 days of fasting and had been tempted by Satan, the angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:11) When He was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His soul was “deeply grieved to the point of death”, an angel came and strengthened Him. (Luke 22:43) I can imagine, then, how much they would have been straining at the bit to save Him from the scourge and the nails. All they needed was a word from Him and they would have swept in like a ferocious army. When Peter impetuously cut off the ear of Malchus, the high priest’s servant, during the arrest, Jesus admonished Peter and said,  Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:53-54 A Roman legion consisted of 6,000 soldiers. Twelve would be 72,000 mighty angel warriors. If one angel can buckle the knees of the guards, imagine what 72,000 would do?  So, as Jesus was being scourged and nailed, as he hung on the tree, all He needed to do was say the word and the angels would have rescued Him. But He didn’t.  Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how easy it would have been in the midst of all of that pain and suffering to call out for rescue and relief? To just say the word and all the misery of that moment goes away? But no, He didn’t. It was our sin and His love that held Him there—denying Himself for our sake.  The angels who filled the sky with praise and glory at His birth are now held in check, silent at His death. The earth spoke, yes, but the angels remained silent. But! On the 3rd day, all that changed! The angels are released and silent no more. They announce the News of News—“He is not here! He has risen just as He said!” Yes, if Jesus rose from the dead, then the angels would have been there to announce it. You could not have kept them away. He is risen indeed! [previous] [next]