If Jesus is God, what was his sacrifice?
If we look at what Jesus declares about himself, we can determine who he is. Jesus says, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from Him who sent me.” (John 7:16)
This statement verifies the Father-son relationship. In the next verse, Jesus says, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”
This statement emphatically defines the separateness between him and his Father. God and Jesus have separate wills, and Jesus does the will of God.
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.” John 6:38
Jesus says that he and his Father are separate beings and that his Father is greater than he (John 14:28). More proof that Jesus is God’s Son and not God himself is the fact that Jesus, on numerous occasions throughout his ministry, prays to his Father. We will cite just a few instances.
Jesus went to the mountainside and prayed all night to God before choosing the twelve disciples who would be his apostles (Luke 6:12-13).
Jesus prayed before he raised Lazarus, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here that they may believe that you sent me.” (John 11:41-42)
John 17:1-26 records Jesus’ prayer to his Father for himself, his disciples and for all believers. It is a beautiful prayer. He mentions his Father several times in the prayer. He begins by saying, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son that your Son may glorify You.” (John 17:1)
Jesus directly identifies himself as the “Son of God” and not God in John 10:36. “What about the one whom the Father set apart as His very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, I am God’s Son?”
This statement infuriated the Pharisees who accused him of blasphemy because they believed him to be a mere man. We believe it is clear from the Scriptures that Jesus is telling us by his own words and actions that he is not God, but His Son.
Since Adam was a perfect man who sinned, only another perfect man who did not sin could redeem not only him but also his entire race. God knew that Jesus would need to actually die in order to redeem the fallen human race. After Jesus fulfilled his mission, he was resurrected divine and now sits at the right hand of God.
Is Jesus God? No, he is God’s Son, who was given the gift of immortality after he died a perfect, sinless, mortal man as a ransom for Adam and the entire human race. What was his sacrifice? It was giving up his perfect human life in order to redeem the entire fallen human race.
To learn more about Jesus’ ransom listen to, “Are Jesus’ Ransom and Our Salvation the Same?”