The Divinity of Christ, part 14
The breath of God, the breath of Life
We are continuing to pile Bible passage upon passage to overwhelmingly demonstrate that Jesus is God, the only God, who is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is or ever will be.
Before we continue with another category of proofs of His divinity, let me share this thought with you. This connects with where we left off in the last blog. We were talking about Jesus being equated with the Father because both claimed to be “the life.” That is to say, They are the source of our life, They sustain our mortal lives and They are the only source of eternal life—immortality. I think all of those ideas are bound up in Jesus’ statement: “I am the resurrection and the life.”
For further context before I come to the point, do you remember how in the Garden of Eden, God formed Adam from the dust of the ground? In other words, He took of the 100-plus chemical elements of the earth and He formed a body of flesh and bones. It was laying there on the ground in the Garden of Eden as lifeless as a corpse in a casket…until what? Until God breathed into its nostrils the breath of life, and at that point, the Adam-man became a living soul.
The point for context here is the breath of life. Only God creates and gives life. We have spoken many times about the sovereignty of God and how everything that happens is part of His Plan. As I address in my book, Sacred Secrets of the Sovereignty of God, even the greatest evils in the world are part of God’s Plan for ultimate good.
But let’s take just a tiny example of evil, such as profaning the name of the Lord. Yes, I understand that it is sin and when I call it a tiny example, I am not saying it is trifling. I am only saying that it is not on the scale of—say, the slaughter of 30 million Christians by the Red communists in Russia and the Soviet Union in the 20th century.
I am talking about a commonplace, everyday, tiny evil. Something we have all heard others say, or perhaps some of us, before we were converted, used to profane God’s name like this: Often times it occurs when we momentarily lose our temper, such as when a driver on the freeway cuts us off, we hit our thumb with a hammer, or we drop a pie on the floor as we’re taking it out of the oven. Suddenly, we hear these words uttered in that moment of anger or disgust. We hear someone say: “Jee-zus Cuh-rist!” Right?
Or how about this variation: Did you ever hear someone say, as in astonishment: “Jesus H. Christ!” Did you ever think about that? I mean: why do people put an “H” in there, like it’s His middle initial or something? Does it stand for Harry or Henry or Howard? Who made that up? Who originated that? Jesus H. Christ.
I don’t know if such a profaning of God’s name is common down under in Australia or South Africa or in the British Isles, but it is certainly common in America. My guess is that it’s just one of those things that got started and no one will ever be able to track down how it originated.
But the fascinating thing about it is when we realize that in the Hebrew alphabet the fifth letter is heh [spelled in English h-e-h]. That letter symbolizes the breath of God, or the breath of life. Its equivalent letter in English is the “h.” So that when people lose their cool and they yell “Jesus H. Christ,” on the one hand, they are profaning the name of God; but on another level, they are unintentionally and unconsciously praising God for being the source and sustainer of life!
It is also interesting to note in this connection that all those places in the Old Testament where the translators put LORD in all capital letters, what it is replacing is the Hebrew “tetragrammaton,” which is just a fancy word that means a word consisting of four letters.
The four letters are the name that we pronounce as Yahweh. The four letters are yod-heh-vaw-heh, or YHVH or YHWH in English. And therefore, we notice that this Old Testament name of God contains a double witness of the breath of life.
Of course, I am neither condoning nor encouraging anyone to profane the name of the Lord, but I thought you might find it interesting concerning how people inadvertently praise God when they think they are profaning His name.
Let us now examine Jesus’ testimony concerning John the Baptist. It is indeed a testimony about his (second) cousin, John, but even more so, it is a testimony about Jesus Himself and His divinity.
Matthew 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written,
So now here Jesus is quoting something from the Old Testament.
Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
This is the Father speaking to the Son! Remember this and we will make the connection shortly.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
So, Jesus referred to his cousin, John the Baptist, as the one who fulfills the prophecy about the messenger who would prepare the way. Keep that in mind as we look at Mark 1 because there is another reference to this prophecy there and some added information.
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Once again, we see that there is a reference here from the Old Testament in verses 2 & 3. Did you notice that the word “prophets” in vs. 2 is plural. The reference is actually to more than one prophet. We will find them in Isaiah 40 and Malachi 3. Let’s go first to Malachi 3.
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Take note: who is speaking? …the LORD (in all caps) is; i. e., YWHW is. And what does Yahweh-God say will happen? Look at this verse again. He says that He will send His messenger (which we know is John the Baptist), and this messenger will “prepare the way before… ME!”
Here is the connection I promised. Let us now go back Matthew 11 and look at verse 10 again. Remember, this is the Father speaking to the Son. It says:
Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
So that we see that the “thy” and “thee” here is speaking of Jesus, yet in Malachi it is God saying that the messenger would prepare the way before ME, meaning Yahweh. Conclusion: Jesus and Yahweh are one and the same. Do you see that? Isn’t that a beautiful proof?!
Now in Mark 1:3 where it says “Prepare ye the way of the Lord,…” we could say that the translators have obscured this reference to the deity of Christ because that phrase is a quotation from the Old Testament and in the Old Testament the word “LORD” is Yahweh.
On the other hand, we could say that even despite the well-meaning mistake of the translators of replacing the holy name with “Lord,” (lower case), we find that the LORD (in all caps) of the Old Testament equals the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Once again, it is a case of God’s sovereign hand showing that even when men goof, the truth is still there. Just as in Jesus H. Christ, right?
We mentioned Isaiah 40 as the second witness to this passage, but we shall go to Isaiah 42 first. We’re going to save Isaiah 40 for later when we will discuss it in another context. Meanwhile, we read in…
Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Obviously, this is God speaking here, but to whom is He speaking? He is speaking to the Savior. This is made more clear when we continue.
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
That sounds very much like Isaiah 60, doesn’t it? It’s that passage that Jesus read when He was in the temple and He picked up the scroll of Isaiah, read part of the verse, and then sat down as He told them that on that day was this prophecy fulfilled in their eyes. But, I digress…
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Technically, His name, as given here, is Yahweh. The point to remember is that Yahweh-God says that He will not give His glory to anyone else. We will continue this train of thought in the next essay in this series.