Napoleon Bonaparte said, “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His Empire on love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”
Napoleon saw Jesus as a man of conquest because that is how he saw himself. In the end he had to acknowledge the wisdom of Jesus to overcome in love and not by force. Today Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and Napoleon are footnotes in history whose kingdoms have come to an end, but Christ still reigns over His kingdom which will never end.
How does someone define Christ? First we define the title. As you may already know, Christ was not Jesus’ surname, it describes who He was and is. Instead of “Jesus Christ” it would more properly be said, Jesus “the” Christ. “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed one” or “chosen one.” This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach, or “Messiah.” Christ refers to the one foretold who would come to free people from their sins.
But no words could properly give a full account to who the Christ really is. Dr. S.M. Lockridge was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego for 40 years and he was famous for His many worded attempt to describe Christ (I invite you to look it up, its much to long to print here). In the end he finished this attempt with the words, “Oh I wish I could describe Him to you.”
He said that because no words could properly define Him. He is unfathomable, yet easily reached. He is all-knowing yet intimate. He is omni-present yet He never leaves us. He is all-powerful yet gentle as the sweetest lamb.
Christ cannot be defined because He was so much more than a mere mortal, 100% man yet 100% God. Lockridge said, “His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”
To define Christ, one must try and attempt to describe greatness beyond compare and love that is everlasting. Since we have no ability to understand the depth of His greatness and love, a proper definition would be impossible. It is easier to try and define who Christ is to us.
Jesus Christ defined Himself this way: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6). Only through belief in Christ can we be saved. It was He who paid the ultimate sacrifice and it is He who has won for us salvation. No other path leads us to heaven.
Paul describes Christ to Timothy saying, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 2:5). He is our connection with the Father. Our defense attorney in the trial of life. He is the most powerful spokesman on our behalf.
John portrays Christ this way saying, “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 have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14). He always was and He will always be. He died but rose from the dead. He lived among us yet sits at the right Hand of His Father. He is the Word made flesh. The Word of truth and hope.
Finally, Isaiah describes Him before He was even born saying, “But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Even our most grievous sins were washed away upon His death and resurrection. Only His perfect sacrifice would suffice for the transgressions of the whole world. Only by His blood are we saved.
Christ is so much more than we could ever put into words and, one day, we will see Him face to face. Can you imagine that moment? Put your faith in the indescribable. Surrender to the undefinable. Give glory to the unfathomable. You don’t need to define Him to lay your life at His feet. Just trust that He is all that His Word says He is. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your only Son, the Christ, the promised Messiah. Though He cannot be defined, thank You for letting Him be as approachable as our closest companions. Help us to trust in all He has done and all he continues to do to bring us to salvation. Amen.