John Blanchard Writes:
His resurrection from the dead was the most dramatic proof in the New Testament that Jesus is both God and man, but there are others. The quality of his life speaks volumes. Although he was ‘tempted as we are’ he was absolutely faultless. He was ‘without sin’; he ‘knew no sin’; he was ‘without blemish or spot;’ he was ‘holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners’. When Jesus asked his opponents, ‘Which one of you convicts me of sin?’ there were no takers—and there are still none today. the man who betrayed him admitted, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood’ and even the way he died was so impressive that the soldier in charge of the execution cried out, ‘Certainly this man was innocent.’ He was not only the finest; he was lawless, a perfect role model of integrity, goodness, kindness, sympathy, purity, patience and love. As the English preacher and author Michael Green puts it, ‘The life of Jesus ... is so superb, and yet so unexpected, that no person could have made it up.’
Many of his actions clearly pointed to his deity. One of the New Testament writers claimed that if all the things Jesus did were recorded ‘I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.’ We need not take that literally to know why he said it. It has been suggested that Jesus performed more miracles in one day than occurred in all the centuries covered by the Old Testament—and that might be the case. We read of him calming a storm that threatened to drown his followers, feeding over 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, healing people of ‘every disease and every affliction’, including the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the lame, the leprous and the paralyzed. He cast out evil spirits and healed ‘all who were oppressed by the devil’. He even demonstrated his power over death by bringing at least three dead people back to life, including a man who had been buried four days earlier.
Another thing he did marks him out as being both God and man; he forgave the sins of people he had never met before and who had not sinned against him personally. If Jesus was merely a man, how could he do that? If a stranger told me of a sin or crime he had committed, I would have no right to forgive him and assure him that the slate was wiped clean. C. S. Lewis makes the point perfectly: ‘We can all understand how a man forgives offenses against himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? ... Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if he was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offenses. This makes sense only if he really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history.’Those listening to Jesus understood this: ‘Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ They knew perfectly well that all sin is against God, and only he can remove the guilt and pardon the sinner. They failed to see that Jesus had every right to do so.
The French artist, illustrator and sculptor Paul Gustave Doré (1832–1883) once lost his passport while travelling. At the next international border he explained his problem to an immigration official and assured him that he was who he claimed to be. The official handed him a piece of paper and a pencil and said, ‘Prove it!’ Doré quickly produced such a brilliant sketch that the official had all the evidence he needed. The things Jesus did point powerfully to his identity.