(13.) On Christ as the Holy One

(13.) On Christ as the Holy One

(13.) On Christ as the Holy One.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:67-69; NIV, NRSV, and many other translations).

Holy = Hebrew, Kadosh; to be set apart from the common or the ordinary; to be separate from the profane or impure; to be distinctive in character and life purpose; to have attributes that are uniquely sacred; to possess blameless integrity and innocence.

The Holy One= When we read “the Holy One,” especially in Isaiah, the literal translation is “The Holy,” and the “One” is assumed. Yahweh God, the Lord of the universe, was called The Holy in Scripture, and now it is Jesus’ turn. God the Father and God the Son are utterly distinctive in this world, set apart in every imaginable way. The Father and Son are both worthy to receive one-of-a-kind honor, respect, reverence, and adoration. They are completely separate from any taint of sin, any meager hint of evil, and have perfect freedom from anything that would compromise their character. God is Truth in spirit, Jesus is Truth in the flesh. They are both high and lifted up, above and beyond comprehension and imagination. Yahweh God had no personal shape or form, and yet remained a Person, Someone in whose image we are all made. God the Son did indeed have shape and form, and was 100% human while being 100% divine. With Jesus, He was somehow 200%… one of the factors that sets Jesus apart.

Peter’s confession in John 6 remains one of Scripture’s greatest, most succinct statements of faith. Peter is confessing that Jesus is the true Messiah, the official heavenly representative of the Holy One of Israel. God-fearing Jews are well-acquainted with that title for Yahweh. Isaiah, overwhelmed with God’s holiness after seeing Him high and lifted up and the attending angels singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” referred to Yahweh as the Holy One almost 30 times in his book. “The great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.” (Is. 12:6); “I am Yahweh, your Holy One, Creator of Israel, your king.” (Is. 43:15). When Peter called Jesus the Holy One, he is claiming that Jesus is co-equal with Yahweh, the authentic Son of God. Since the word “saint” means “holy one,” one could say that Jesus, God in the flesh, is the ultimate Saint, the One who is perfectly saintly and completely holy.

Holiness is one of the chief attributes of Yahweh and Jesus. What sets Jesus Christ apart from all of creation? What makes Him so profoundly distinctive in the universe? In what ways is Jesus uniquely separate from everything else? Did Peter understand that he was saying quite a profound mouthful when he called Jesus “the Holy One?” How was, and is, Jesus set apart?

(1.)  Jesus is set apart as the Holy One because He is the Co-Creator.

Jesus Christ has been accepted as a Co-Creator ever since the early church, and that belief has not wavered one bit in the Christian church ever since. The early church theologians also considered the Proverb 8Wisdom” to be the Person of Christ. Jesus has indeed been the Holy One for all eternity.

“In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things came into being; not one thing came into being except through Him.” (John 1:1-3)… “He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, thrones, ruling forces, sovereignties, powers – all things were created through him and for him. He exists before all things and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17).

“Lord Yahweh possessed me, Lady Wisdom, at the beginning of His work. I was the first-fruits of His fashioning, long before His deeds of old. I was appointed from eternity, firmly set in place from the beginning, established ages ago. I was poured out, anointed, before He created the universe, before there was even an earth, before the world began… I was there with Him, the master craftsman at His side, right beside Him as His artist and confidant. I was filled with delight day after day, enjoying His company, rejoicing in His presence, playfully rejoicing before Him. I laughed and played, so happy with what He had made. I delighted in mankind, happily celebrating the human family.” (Proverbs 8:30-31).

(2.) Jesus is set apart as the Holy One because He was Yahweh’s Messenger in the Hebrew Bible. 

“The Angel of Yahweh is the visible Lord God in the Old Testament, as Jesus Christ was in the New Testament. Thus His deity is clearly portrayed in the Hebrew Bible.” (Amplified Bible notes)The mysterious Angel of the LORD in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) appears many times from out of nowhere and in unexpected settings. This unique Angel appears as a divine visitor to Abraham, a welcome comfort to Hagar, and a wrestling opponent to Jacob. This same heavenly Messenger saved Isaac from being sacrificed, and spoke in a burning bush to Moses. This Angel of the LORD was God in the form of man, the preincarnate Christ, the appearance of Jesus according to Early Church theologians and many modern scholars as well. Since God is a Spirit, and one cannot see God face-to-face and survive the experience, He sent Jesus as His unique representative to speak His mind and accomplish His will on earth during the life and times of the Old Testament. Scholars believe that when God is seen in physical form in the OT, Jesus has made an appearance. “There is a fascinating forecast of the coming Messiah, breaking through the dimness with amazing consistency, at intervals from Genesis to Malachi.” (Cambridge Bible).

(3.)  Jesus is set apart as the Holy One because He fulfilled so many prophecies in the Hebrew Bible. 

There are conservative estimates that Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies from the Hebrew Bible. One leading biblical scholar, Alfred Edersheim, claimed he discovered 456 references to messiah that Jesus fulfilled. We will only quote for our purposes the passages that refer to the Prophet of Moses, the Covenants of Abraham and David, the Suffering Servant, and two central prophecies in Isaiah.

The Prophet of Moses. “From among ourselves, from among your own brethren, Yahweh your God will raise up a Prophet like me; you will listen to Him. I shall put my words into His mouth and He will tell them everything I will command Him. Anyone who refuses to listen to my words, spoken by Him in my Name, will have to render an account to me.”  (Deuteronomy 18:13-19).

The Covenant with Abram. “Yahweh said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your kindred and your father’s house for a country which I will show you. I shall make you a great nation. I shall bless you and make your name famous; you are to be a blessing! I shall bless those who bless you, and shall curse those who curse you, and all families on earth will be blessed through you.”  (Genesis 12:1-3).

The Covenant with David.  “Yahweh tells you that He will make you a dynasty. And when your days are over and you fall sleep with your ancestors, I shall appoint your heir… I will make His royal throne secure forever. Your dynasty and your sovereignty will ever stand firm before Me and your throne be forever secure.”  (2 Samuel 7:11-16)… “Now, Yahweh, may the promise which you made for your servant and as regards his family hold good forever, and do as you have said. May it hold good, so your Name will be exalted forever and people will say, ‘Israel’s God is Yahweh -Sabaoth; He is God for Israel.” (1 Chronicles 17:23-24).

The Suffering Servant. Most of Isaiah 53 directly points to Jesus, but this passage needs to be highlighted:  “He was despised, the lowest of men, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering, from whom we averted our gaze, despised, for whom we had no regard. Yet ours were the sufferings he was bearing, ours the sorrows he was carrying, while we thought of him as someone being punished and struck with affliction by God; whereas he was being wounded for our rebellions, crushed because of our guilt; the punishment reconciling us fell on him, and we have been healed by his bruises.”  (Isaiah 53:3-5).

The Child Christ. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14; refer to Matthew 1:22-23)… “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them; for a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace. On the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness, from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7).

(4.)  Jesus is set apart as the Holy One because He is thought to be Yahweh in the flesh. 

Jesus is the incarnation of Yahweh. Jesus Christ the Messiah is Yahweh with flesh on. In the mystery of the Trinity, Jesus in the gospels is the same Person as the Yahweh of the Hebrew Bible. If we want to know the character of the mysterious Yahweh, then look at His character being fleshed out in the Jesus of the gospels. Completing the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love that unites the Father and the Son, Yahweh and Jesus, in their eternal union. “Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being.’ (Heb. 1:1-3).

In the gospels, Jesus considered Himself to be on equal footing with the Hebrew Yahweh. He claimed to be of one essence with Yahweh God. He declared that He shared the divine identity with the Great I AM. When the Epistle writers quoted “Lord” in the Hebrew Bible, they assumed Jesus, they pointed to Jesus as equivalent to Yahweh. In the book of Acts, Peter quoted Joel 2:28 about “the Lord,” and then referred immediately to Jesus. Jesus Himself left little doubt that He was of the same essence as the Father God. In John 14:9, for example, He said that anyone who has seen the Son has in fact seen the Father. And in John 10:30, Jesus flatly declares, “I and the Father are one.” The most compelling gospel proof assuming an equality with Yahweh is His frequent use of the “I AM” formula in His teaching ministry. Jesus clearly referred to Himself with an abbreviated form of Yahweh, YHWH, I AM WHAT I AM. With His many I AM’s, in the Gospel of John alone there are 23 I AM statements by Jesus, He staked His claim to divinity, to equality to Yahweh. Jesus indeed claimed the name of Yahweh as His own. That was outlandish of Him, but it was true. And it got Jesus into a lot of trouble. Somehow, in the impenetrable mystery of the Trinity, the divine Godhead, the Three-in-One, Jesus maintained His distinctive role as the Son, as did the Father. Yet still Jesus was one with Yahweh. Jesus was and is Yahweh.  Referring to one means you are referring to the other. God is spirit, Jesus is flesh, and yet they are so close to each other that somehow they are inside each other as One God, while keeping their unique identities.

(5.)  Jesus is set apart as the Holy One because of His miraculous birth.

“The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that). Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.  While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus – ‘God saves’ – because he will save his people from their sins.’ Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream. He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.”  (Matthew 1:18-25, Message; also notice a description of the conception process in Luke 1:35: “The Holy Spirit will fall upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you with the bright cloud of His presence.”

Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. It means Yahweh who saves, or the LORD to the rescue. Yeshua, or Y’shua, is a common form of the Hebrew name Yehoshua, which translates to Joshua. The name Jesus is actually an English version of the Greek version (Yay-soos) of the Hebrew Yeshua. And since Greek was the common international language used when spreading word about Yeshua, Jesus (Yay-soos) is the name most of the world ended up with. Yeshua is the name most commonly used by Hebrew-speaking Christians in Israel and followers of Messianic Judaism. The name Yeshua represents His Hebrew identity, and anyone who called Jesus by His Hebrew name while He was on earth would have called Him Yeshua.

(6.)  Jesus was set apart as the Holy One because of His prophesied Mission. 

“So Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. And when He opened the scroll, He found the place where it was written…” (Luke 4:16-17, paraphrasing Isaiah 61:1-2).

That’s right, the Holy Spirit of Yahweh has anointed me, your home town boy! Yes, I am the Messiah, the “Anointed One.” The Spirit fell on me at my baptism not long ago, and that was my official anointing for this ministry of the Lord. In fact going back to the beginning, I was even conceived by the Holy Spirit, right here in Nazareth! It was a miracle. And so in many ways I have been anointed since birth, and the Father has simply been waiting for the right time to send me on my mission. So the time is now! The year of God’s grace has come! Yahweh has accepted this time period as the one “when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound.” (Amplified Bible). The prophet Isaiah has defined my mission well:

  1. To preach the Good News to the poor.” In Isaiah 61:1, “poor” means humble or meek. So I am giving words of hope to the poor in spirit, those who are spiritually bankrupt, hopelessly poverty-stricken in their spirits. In fact, I hereby promise that the poor in spirit, the empty and helpless, will receive the Kingdom of heaven and become spiritually rich. I am here to tell the lowly that they will be held in honor, and will receive all the blessings of God’s new world. I will seek out the humble to tell them that they will be raised up to a new life of fullness and new-found strength.
  2. “To proclaim liberty to the captives.” In Isaiah, “captives” referred to prisoners of war, or by extension anyone in bondage to sin because of our ongoing spiritual war. I will minister unto those who are casualties of our war with Satan and with sin. I will release all those who are battling their demons and those who realize they are in bondage to their sinful nature. I will grant a full pardon to all these victims of hidden warfare, to these prisoners held captive by the enemy. During this time of favor and blessing, all prisoners will be liberated from sin and Satan. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (John 8:32-36). If you are in bondage to sin, you indeed are a slave to sin, you are imprisoned by sin. And in this spiritual Jubilee, I will release the slaves and set the prisoners free.
  3. “To heal the brokenhearted.” Some historical manuscripts omit this phrase from the Luke passage. But the original Isaiah 61:1 reference includes this phrase, so in keeping with some NT translations and the Isaiah reference, this phrase will be included here. As Messiah, I will heal those who have had their hearts broken by rejection, by loss of loved one, by shame or guilt or failure. I will bind up those who are broken by the state of the world and its presence of sin and wickedness and pain. I will mourn with those who mourn, and my heart will be broken by whatever is breaking your heart as I come alongside you. I will personally bring the Good News of salvation and healing, and so we will mourn as those with hope. My tears will absorb your tears as I offer my comforting and healing presence to your misery.
  4. “To proclaim recovery of sight to the blind.” This phrase was added to the passage in Luke, and is in the spirit of the spiritual Jubilee. To all you who are spiritually blind, I will open your eyes to see the truth and goodness of the Lord and His Kingdom. Since you are helpless to take off your blinders by yourselves, I will remove your blinders personally. You simply can’t make yourselves see without my help. I will open your eyes to see the reality of God and His love. And to make sure this important truth is understood, I will heal every physically blind person who comes to me in my ministry. All of these physical healings of the blind will be a sign of what I will do spiritually to those who allow me to do so. I will cure your blindness to the depravity of sin, to the depth of your sinful nature, to the hope of God’s salvation. And then finally, you will truly see and believe. “Everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness.” (John 12:45).
  5. “To set free those who are oppressed.” The “oppressed” in Isaiah is intended to include anyone who is downtrodden, burdened by life’s difficulties, bruised by the system, broken down by some calamity. I will deliver you from these spiritual bruises, from whatever may be weighing down your spirit. I will come to encourage you and help you rise above life’s travails. If you feel oppressed in any way, I will deliver you and set your spirit free. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29). So come to me during this acceptable time of blessing and favor, all you who are oppressed in some way, and I will be your liberator.

“Then He rolled up the scroll, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, ‘Is this not Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:20-22).

(7.)  Jesus was set apart as the Holy One because He sought to reform the Torah. 

Jesus also wanted to enter a rabbinic debate about the Law and its implications for daily life. He wanted to reveal a fuller understanding of Torah. He wanted to explain the spirit of the Law and its original intent instead of being content with the superficial letter of the Law by the rabbinic authorities. He wanted to broaden the implications of certain Jewish laws, offering His own distinctive interpretation on specific verses. By sharing examples of how He interprets Scripture, Jesus wanted to provide an example of how other verses of the Law could be interpretated. Jesus wanted to show His disciples how to move from ritual obedience of the Law to an inner, heart-felt reverence and faith. Jesus wanted to raise the moral and ethical standards by revealing a righteousness of the heart and not the outward righteousness of mere observation of the commands. Jesus said that disciples must show a greater righteousness than the scribes and Pharisees. The greater righteousness involves a relationship with Christ instead with the dead letter of the Law, and allowing Him to change your heart and life.

For Jesus loved Torah. He was an observant Jew who cherished the Law. He accepted the authority of God’s Word in what we now know as the Old Testament. He felt strongly about the importance and permanence of Torah. He basically said that the Law of Moses would never cease to exist. When Jesus said in M. 5:18, “Truly, assuredly, neither the smallest letter of the alphabet nor the tiniest little mark on one letter would ever be removed from Torah,” He started out with “Amen.” That word that has a root in the word for truth means truly, assuredly, so be it, this is the truth. This was unusual, because most times someone would say Amen at the end of a prayer or special teaching, affirming the truth about what’s been said. But Jesus used Amen before He even said anything. Jesus is revealing His authority to speak the truth, declaring His words to be truthful before He says it. Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  “Like other rabbis and teachers, Jesus developed His own approach within the parameters of ancient Jewish faith and practice. He sought to reform and revitalize, not to destroy or replace. Jesus placed the meaning of Torah on a firmer footing.”  (Dr. Brad Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian).

(8.)  Jesus was set apart as the Holy One because of His defining moments. 

His Baptism. “One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy!” (Mark 1:9-11; also refer to Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; and John 1:29-34).

His Temptation. “After His baptism, Jesus was taken into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit for the Test, the Temptation. The Devil was ready to give Him the Test. Jesus prepared for the Temptation by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left Him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the very first temptation…” (Matthew 4:1-3). (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13). Jesus proved the Stronger Man. In Matthew 12 and Mark 3 and Luke 11, Jesus offers a quick little parable about the binding of a strong man in his house by a stronger man, who then takes the weaker man’s stolen possessions. In this case, the man’s possessions are those who are lost or captive to Satan’s wiles. Jesus bound the strong man to set the captives free! Because Jesus has indeed defeated Satan at the Temptation, Jesus has bound the strong man because He was stronger still. The kingdom of Satan is on its last legs after his defeat by Jesus in the Temptation. The Cross and the Resurrection are the nails in Satan’s coffin.

His Transfiguration. “And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John, and brought them up toa high mountain by themselves. Ande Jesus was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. Then behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:1-5).

His Death on the Cross. “So Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified. They took Jesus therefore and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of the Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with him were two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. And Pilate wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. And it was written, ‘JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.’ After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, said, ‘I am thirsty.’ When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”  (John 19).

His Resurrection. “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. But when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men (angels) said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen!”  (Luke 24:1-6).

His Ascension. “Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and then they could no longer see him. Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.” (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:9).

His Homecoming in Heaven. “Psalm 24 is the coronation song crowning Christ as Lord of all. It is a celebration of the Lord’s glorious entrance into the heavenly sanctuary and royal court.” (Father Reardon).

“Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory!” (Psalm 24:7-10).