This post is an example of the tremendous anger that I had toward the church of Jesus Christ for many years. Even its dying embers exhibited an enormous pride and hostility, may the Lord forgive me. I was going to rewrite or remove this post, but I think it is important to recognize that this life is a process of continual maturation and growth. For this reason, I leave the post as it is and ask you to forgive me for the nearly unendurable pride and self-righteousness contained herein. 5/18/2017
I have decided to post my book A Rational Faith section by section. This is section 3.4 wherein I discuss the Supremacy of Jesus Christ. A more recent post of the ideas in this section is found in “Bad Theology Part 1“.
A Rational Faith Section 3.4 The Supremacy of Jesus Christ
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is unique in that he has
existed with God the Father since before time was created. He is absolutely morally and
spiritually perfect. He made the world and everything that has ever been made was made
through him. He was born of a virgin and rose again from the dead after being tortured
to death for our sakes on a Roman cross. The blood that he shed for us on the cross
reconciles God the Father to our sinful ways and allows us to be adopted as sons and
daughters into the family of God. This is what the Bible says of Jesus Christ.
Human beings are made in God’s image. Though we have a capacity for love and joy
and share in the beauty of our creator because we are made in his image, we are not like
him. He is good and flawless and perfect; we are evil and flawed an imperfect. Without
the redemption of Jesus Christ, no human being is worthy of eternal life with God. There
are NO exceptions to this rule. Moses is not an exception and Elijah is not an exception.
Everybody needs the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ that was given to us as a gift
through the blood that he shed for us. It is not possible to emphasize this truth too
strongly. Everybody needs the redemption of Jesus Christ. Everybody.
The reason that it is important to stress the supremacy of Jesus Christ is because nobody
actually believes it. Christians pay lip service to the idea that Jesus Christ is God and
that he is perfect and that nobody compares to him, but when push comes to shove they
believe that human beings are righteous just like Jesus is. Because Christians have
missed this essential truth for two millenia, I am going to once again emphasize that the
idea that human beings compare favorably with Christ is completely false. If you do not understand that Jesus Christ is as superior to every human being who has ever lived as
we are superior to an earthworm, then you do not understand the first thing about the
Bible or Christianity. Jesus Christ is God, and human beings are not God. Is this clear?
Can we move on? No we cannot.
Now I am as bored and impatient with this as you are. I know you are reading this
saying, “Come on already! I get it! Jesus Christ is better than me! I understand! I really
do!” Unfortunately, you don’t and I am going to show you that you don’t later on. For
now I am going to emphasize again that Moses and Paul were murderers. These men
were the central human figures of the Old and New Testaments respectively and they did
not and never will hold a candle to the sun of Jesus Christ. They simply cannot be
compared to Jesus Christ in any way. Jesus says of John the Baptist that “For I say unto
you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the
Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28) Yet John affirms the supremacy of Jesus Christ when he says: “John answered, saying unto
them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of
whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose” (Luke 3:16)
As central to the Christian faith as believing that the God we worship is better than
human beings is, you would think that it would not be possible for people to make an
error in this regard. As you will see later on, you would be wrong in making this
assumption. Previous generations of Christian thinkers have fundamentally
misinterpreted many Bible stories because they assume that man is righteous like Jesus
Christ. Because they have made an error that borders on blasphemy, they made a muddle
of a good fraction of the Bible.
Now many Christians will object to this truth saying, “We would never make that
mistake. We would never misinterpret the Bible by believing that human beings could be
righteous like Jesus Christ. The Bible is emphatically clear that this is not possible and
we would never believe that a mere man could attain the moral purity of the Son of
God.” It is true that the Bible is emphatically clear on this subject, yet it is also true that
Christians assume that human beings are righteous like Jesus Christ every day.
How is this possible? How could intelligent Christians, led by the Holy Spirit and
thoroughly versed in the Scripture be misled in such a way? How could faithful and
hard-working people be so completely fooled for almost two thousand years? The
answer is clearly pride. The hearts of human beings are desperately wicked and we
yearn to believe that we are righteous independent of our savior. The Bible says that we
are saved “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:7-9), but we quietly
add the addendum, “except for those of us who are truly righteous before God like me”.
In order to see the this fundamental error and the pride that leads to it, we must first
examine the history of the error. As we shall see later on, the error first appears in the
Old Testament. In order to see the error clearly, however, we are going to focus on its
first manifestation in the New Testament. This occurs on the Mount of Transfiguration.
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. (Matthew 17:1-8)
In this passage, Peter tries to compare Jesus to the Old Testament prophets Moses and
Elijah. God the Father, however, will not allow this comparison. “While he yet spake,”
the Father cuts him off and says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;
hear ye him.” What is the purpose of this passage? Why does God manifest himself in
such a way that the Apostles are “terrified” (NIV)?
God the Father is teaching Peter and the other Apostles of the supremacy of the teaching
and ministry of his Son Jesus Christ. It is as if the Father was saying to Peter and the
others, “Look I know you guys are going to be tempted to listen to my servants Moses
and Elijah, but they are not at the same level as my Son. This is my Son! Listen to him!”
The Father is urging the Apostles not to make the same mistake that the Pharisees have
been making when they constantly bring up Moses while rejecting Jesus. Moses and
Elijah were sinners who need the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse them from
unrighteousness. Jesus even later goes on to talk about the inferiority of the
understanding of the ancient prophets:
And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes
which see the things that ye see:
For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Luke 10:23-24)
When we interpret the Old Testament, therefore, we must bear in mind the lesson of the
Mount of Transfiguration and remember the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. The
Old Testament prophets were sinful men who did not have as complete a revelation of the
purpose and plan of God as we do in Jesus Christ. Only by interpreting the words of the
Old Testament in the light of this vital truth can we make sense of them.