Lesson 1: Jesus is "the Christ", the Promised Savior
The most wonderful book in all the world is the Bible. It is God's message to us. God is "the God of truth," and He gave us the Bible that we might know the truth.
There are two main parts of the Bible—the Old Testament, which was written long before Christ came, and the New Testament, which was written after Christ rose from the grave and went back to Heaven.
The Old Testament tells how sin and death came into the world through the disobedience of the first man, Adam.
It also tells how God promised to send a wonderful Savior to us—One who would save us from our sins.
Did God keep His promise? Yes, He did! The New Testament tells us that the promised Savior has come. The apostle John wrote, "…the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14).
God is the true Author of the Bible. He knows the future. He told men of God, called prophets, to write down things that were going to happen, long before they happened. These writings are called "prophecies." God wanted His people to recognize the promised Savior when He came, so God gave many "prophecies" telling about Him.
In the Bible, the promised Savior is called "the Christ," which means the One chosen and anointed by God to be our Savior. Let us look at some prophecies which tell us that Jesus is "the Christ."
The promised Savior would be born in Bethlehem.
Seven hundred years before the promised Savior was born, the prophet Micah told us exactly where He would be born. Micah wrote, "But you, Bethlehem…out of you shall He come forth…whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).
• The Lord Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. The Bible says, "…Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea…"
The promised Savior would be
a miracle child.
His birth would be different from that of any other person. This miracle child would be born of a virgin, a pure, unmarried woman, who had never had sexual relations with a man.
• In the New Testament we read how the Lord Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. An angel named Gabriel was sent to a virgin named Mary. He said to her,
"Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call His name JESUS" (Luke 1:30,31).
Mary asked the angel how this could be, since she was a virgin. The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest [God] shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy One which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).
The promised Savior would be "God with us."
The prophet Isaiah wrote, "A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel [God with us]" (Isaiah 7:14).
• The Lord Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. The Bible says,
"In the beginning was the Word [the Lord Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word [Jesus] was made flesh [came into the human race], and dwelled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten [Son] of the Father…"
God has been here! Think of it! Jesus is "Immanuel," which means "God with us." The Son of God has been here on this earth.
When Jesus was just a tiny baby, Joseph and Mary took Him to the temple. At the temple there was a holy man of God named Simeon. God had revealed to Simeon that, before he died, he would see the Lord's Christ, the promised Savior.
When Simeon saw the baby Jesus, he took Him in his arms and said, "Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word: for my eyes have seen Your salvation"
(Luke 2:29, 30).
God's salvation is a Person! The Lord Jesus Christ is "God's salvation." Jesus is the promised Savior. When we take Him as our Savior, we are saved.
The promised Savior would be rejected by His own people, the Jews.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about the coming Savior, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…" (Isaiah 53:3).
• The Lord Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. The Bible says,
"He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own [His own people, the Jews], and His own received Him not" (John 1:10,11).
The prophecies in the Old Testament also tell us that the promised Savior would be betrayed by a friend, that He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver, that His hands and feet would be pierced, that He would be crucified with sinners, and that He would rise from the grave. The Lord Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies.
The Lord Jesus said that He was "the Christ." A woman said to Him one day, "I know that Messiah comes, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I that speak to you am He" (John 4:25,26).
The disciples believed that Jesus was "the Christ." When Jesus asked them, "Whom do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:15,16).
John wrote the Gospel of John that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we might have everlasting life through His name.
(See John 20:31.)
The Bible says, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…" (1 John 5:1). This means that, when we believe that Jesus is "the Christ," the promised Savior, we are born into the family of God.
3 great facts
- In the Old Testament God gave many prophecies about "the Christ"—the promised Savior.
- The New Testament tells us that the promised Savior has come, and His name is the Lord Jesus Christ.
- When we believe that Jesus is "the Christ," the promised Savior, we are born into the family of God.
continued from Best Friends 1
The story so far...
Maria received Jesus as her Savior when she learned God would forgive her for lying. She wanted to be one of five winners going to a Christian camp.
Chapter 1 — A Special Friend
Maria had been sick, but was feeling much better. She wanted to go back to school, but the doctor told her to stay at home for a few more days. At first Maria objected because she did not want to fall behind in her schoolwork and miss an opportunity to go to camp.
Maria's grandmother volunteered to stay with her until she could return to school. Maria always looked forward to her special times with her Grandmother who told her stories about Jesus out of the Bible and helped her with her schoolwork.
One morning Maria leaned back on her pillow and said to her mother with a sigh, "I will surely miss Grandmother when she goes back home. She has been helping me with the schoolwork that Susan brings me every day. Susan is my best friend. We want to go to camp together. I just have to keep up with my lessons so I can go to camp. Will you let me go to camp if I win, Mom?"
Maria's mother looked out the window as she asked, "Why do you want to go to that particular camp, Maria? There are several other camps closer to home where we could send you."
"But this is a Christian camp, which makes it very special. It is called 'Camp Good Hope.' I think that is such a wonderful name. I want to learn more about Jesus and the Bible. Please say 'yes', Mom," Maria begged.
Mrs. Ortega turned from the window and looked at Maria. "We will see when the time comes," she answered. "Be a good girl and don't pester your grandmother. Get some rest now so you can get back to school soon."
The days passed by quickly. When Maria went back to school she found out that she was not behind in any of her schoolwork. She knew she could not have done it without her friend Susan's help.
That afternoon Maria and Susan left school together.
"Thank you for being such a good friend, Susan," said Maria. "It would have been hard for me to catch up if you had not brought my school work every day while I was sick."
Susan's thin face turned red at the praise. "I wanted to do it, Maria. You have been a special friend, too. You were my friend even when I did not deserve it. You forgave me when I messed up your notebook. And I know you got sick when you came to see me in the rain."
"Oh, well," Maria shrugged. "I am better now, so you don't have to think about that any more. Now we have to help each other do our best in school so that we can go to camp together. Have you told your mother about the camp contest?"
"No, not yet," Susan looked down at the sidewalk as she answered. "I am not sure that my Mother will let me go. So I keep putting off telling her."
"Don't be afraid to talk to your mother, Susan," Maria said. "We have been praying about this ever since we heard about the contest. If Jesus wants you to go to camp, I know He will make a way. I will pray for you tonight. Don't forget that good friends pray for each other," she reminded Susan.
"I know you are right. Thank you for encouraging me to talk to my Mom. I will do it tonight," Susan said. The girls said good-bye at the corner and headed off in opposite directions.
When Maria reached home, she found Steven waiting for her. She knew he was excited about something.
"Oh, Maria, I want to tell you something wonderful!" Steven said running after his dog, Captain.
Maria tossed her books on the step and ran after her brother. "Tell me, Steven!" she begged.
"I want you to guess what it is," shouted Steven while he was chasing Captain around the yard.
"Did you get a hundred on your history test?" asked Maria.
"It is something much better than that!" Steven stopped running and sat down with Maria. His face showed his excitement as he went on to tell her the news.
"Remember when I was no longer the doubting Thomas and asked Jesus to be my Savior at Mr. Warren's house?" Steven asked.
"Of course, I remember, but that was weeks ago," Maria answered with a puzzled look on her face.
"The next day, I told some of the boys at school. Most of them laughed at me just as they had done before, except Randy Williams. He did not say anything and just walked away. But ever since then he has been real friendly to me. And do you know what he told me today?" Steven asked Maria excitedly.
"I don't know, but what was it?" Maria asked eagerly.
"Today, Randy told me that he had asked Jesus to be his Savior some time ago, but he had been afraid to tell the other boys because he knew that they would make fun of him. Then, after he heard what I said to them, he felt so ashamed, he did not know what to do. But last Sunday, he talked to his teacher at church about it, and they prayed that he would be able to share with someone this week at school. And something exciting happened!" Steven told Maria.
Will Susan talk to her mother?
What will Steven tell Maria about Randy?
Don't miss the next exciting chapter in your next lesson.