Easter Five Day devotional

Day One – Who Is Jesus?

At the center of Christianity is Jesus Christ. Christianity is not primarily about a set of ideas or rules of commands. Christianity is ultimately about a person: Jesus. And so the main invitation to everyone in the world is not to come and believe in a set of principles, but to come and believe in Jesus himself.

The Facts

Jesus was a man who lived in Israel over 2,000 years ago. He was born to an average Jewish couple and grew up in a small town called Nazareth. He became a traveling preacher and he worked amazing miracles and healings. Then he was arrested by the Jewish religious leaders, and he was put to death by crucifixion under the Roman authorities. Then, three days later, he was seen alive by many of his followers, who then went on to proclaim his resurrection to the world.

The Deeper Reality

Those are the surface facts of Jesus’ life. But the Gospel of John gives us a look beneath the surface. John 1:1-5 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Then, in John 1:14 we read, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. This tells us that when John is referring to the Word, he is referring to Jesus. The Word is the eternal Son of God. He is divine and he has always been in existence. He made everything in all creation. And then he became flesh. He became a human being in order to bring God’s light to all mankind.

What does this mean? It means that Jesus is not just a man who grew up and became someone important. Jesus is the Son of God and he existed long before he ever showed up on earth. In fact he says of himself in Revelation 1:17-18, I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!

One of the reasons that John refers to Jesus as “the Word” is because Jesus is God’s ultimate message about himself to the world. If we want to know what God is like, we only have to look at Jesus. Jesus himself said in John 14:9, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Jesus is not just one of many impressive teachers and leaders. He is the God Man. He is the ultimate revelation of God to humanity.

Seeing Jesus, Seeing God

If we’ve seen Jesus, we’ve seen God. This makes it amazing to read about the life of Jesus, and to get to see the character of God in him. All the stories of Jesus do this, but it’s worth looking at one specific example to get a taste of this reality. Matthew 9:1-8 tells a powerful story about Jesus: 

Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over the came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

In this miraculous story, we see two amazing realities about Jesus. He has the power (1) to heal people physically and (2) to forgive people’s sins.

In the story, the Jewish teachers are offended when Jesus announces forgiveness to the paralyzed man. The reason they object is that they (rightly) believed that only God could announce that a person was forgiven. It’s one thing to forgive someone for a specific way that they have wronged you. But it is a whole different thing to announce that a person is forgiven of all their sins.

Jesus does not disagree that only God can forgive sins. But, since he is the eternal Son of God, he has that authority. He is God himself in the flesh, and so he has all authority to announce that a person’s sins are forgiven. 

So, in order to answer his doubters, Jesus does something that will undeniably show his great power. He heals the man of his paralysis. And Jesus’ reasoning is that if he is able to bring about this physical healing, then this points to his ability to bring about spiritual healing.

In this passage Jesus shows that there is no disease, no injury, no situation that he cannot fully handle. All he has to do is say a word and a man is healed. And he also shows that he has an even greater power. He can bring us forgiveness for all of our sins. In fact, Jesus behaves as if forgiveness is much more significant than physical healing. 

And Jesus shows that it is God’s heart to bring us the healing that we desire. God is an eager forgiver. He does not begrudgingly forgive our sins. He is anxious to do so. Micah 7:18 says, Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

That is the heart of Jesus. And that shows us that this is the heart of God.


  1. Write down any thoughts or questions that you have about Jesus.
  2. Use this prompt as a way to approach God in prayer: Father God, I want to know you and I want you in my life. Help me to see how Jesus relates to how I can be connected to you.

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