This is a scriptural outline of those passages which most explicitly affirm the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His equality or consubstantiality with God the Father. The schematic was designed to aid students in a course in Christology, therefore texts pertaining explicitly to the divine nature of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity are not provided. These quotations, we hope, will prove beneficial in refuting all the modern sects and sophistries that never weary in assaulting God’s kingdom on earth through their blasphemous teachings concerning the very identity of the Person Whose birth rent the veil of time in two.
“Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?” the blind man inquired. “… thou hast both seen him: and it is he that talketh with thee,” answered Jesus. (John 9:35)
A. Jesus explicitly called God
Upon seeing the risen Christ, the doubting apostle Thomas exclaimed: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
“Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and Our Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)
Saint Paul is referring here to the second coming of Christ in “glory,” in contradistinction to His first coming in humility and meekness. The “great God” and “our Savior” are both predicated to the same Person, Jesus Christ.
And we know that the Son of God is come: and he hath given understanding that we may know the true God, and may be in his true Son. This is the true God and life eternal.” (1 John 5:20)
Saint John’s two epistles and the introduction of the first chapter of his gospel (the last of his writings chronologically) were written to refute the incredulous gnostics who, thinking to honor Christ as a mere man, they dissolved Him of His divinity, thus meriting for themselves this severe condemnation from the beloved apostle: “And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God: and this is Antichrist …” (1 John 4:3)
In chapter five of his epistle given above Saint John makes use of the demonstrative pronoun “this” in reference to its antecedent “true Son.” God and “life eternal” are interchangeable. Thus we find at the start of the same letter the concept “life eternal” supposited for Son of God: “We declare unto you the life eternal which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us” (1 John 1:2)
Jesus = Son of God = life eternal = true God
“From whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is over all things God blessed forever.” (Romans 9:5)
“In this we have known the charity of God, because He hath laid down his life for us …” (1 John 3:16)
It is Christ then, Who is “over all,” and Christ Who is “God blessed forever.” Whose love was made known by Our Lord’s sacrificial death? God’s love, says Saint John. Therefore God laid down His life for us. God was hung upon the cross at Calvary. Could the two apostles have made themselves more clear?
“Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, ‘God with us.’ (Matt. 1:23 & Isa. 7:14)
“Say to the fainthearted: Take courage … God himself will come and will save you.” (Isaias 35:4)
“For a child is born to us and a son is given to us … and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, Prince of Peace.” (Isaias 9:6)
B. The Lord of the New is the same as Yahweh of the Old Testament.
“My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1: 46-7)
Saint Luke wrote in Greek. Our Lady dictated to him in Aramaic. The word Mary used for her Lord was the same as the Hebrew ‘Yahweh.’ The authors of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, rendered Yahweh (Lord) as Kyrios. This is the same appelation given to Christ through-out the New Testament.
Jesus = Kyrios = Yahweh = the Lord God
The name Jesus in Hebrew means “Savior.” When Mary uttered her Magnificat of praise before her cousin Elizabeth she proclaimed in her own tongue her joy in God her ‘Jesus.’
“He that made me hath rested in my tabernacle.” (Ecclus. 24:12)
These sublime words are preeminently prophetic of the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God. The ‘tabernacle’ wherein God would find such peaceful rest was Mary’s womb. A tabernacle in Hebrew was a home, a tent, a temporary place of shelter. God alone is the Creator. He that made Mary became incarnate within Mary. He, Jesus, the Word of God, rested in her tabernacle.
C. Jesus is the Son of God
1. Testimony of Christ Himself:
“Tell us if thou be the Christ the Son of God. Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it.” And the response of the high priest: “He hath blasphemed.” (Matt. 26:63-4)
There are those who, in willful disregard of Jewish idiomatic usage, are blind enough to insist that Our Lord was denying His divinity with this answer: “Thou hast said it.” The truth is the contrary. This form of reply was the most emphatic way a Jew could respond in the affirmative. If it were a denial then why did Caiphas consider it blasphemy? Saint Mark, who wrote his gospel in Greek, transmits the exchange without the idiom:
“Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God? Jesus said to him; I am.” (Mark 14:61-2)
To the man born blind: “Dost thou believe in the Son of God? … Who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?” To which Jesus replied: “Thou hast both seen him: and it is he that talketh with thee.” (John 9:34-35)
2. Testimony of the Father
At the baptism of Our Lord: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:13)
At the Savior’s transfiguration: “This is my most beloved Son, hear ye him.” (Mark 9:6)
3. Testimony of Saint Peter
“Thou are Christ the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:15)
4. Testimony of Saint Martha
“Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the Son of the living God.” (John 11:27)
5. Testimony of Nathaniel
“Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the king of Israel.” (John 1:49)
6. Testimony of Saint Mark
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1)
An important aside: Note that Saint Peter was not the first to testify to Christ’s divinity. Saints Martha and Nathaniel made the same profession before the apostle did. And, in fact, there were many others who rendered Him adoration as the Scriptures do tell. Yet, it was not upon Martha or Nathaniel or upon any other that Jesus chose to build his Church. Nor did the Savior change the name of any other but Simon bar Jona to that of Cephas, which is translated as ‘Petros'(rock). Hence, Protestants err greatly when they allege that it was not Peter but Peter’s faith that Christ willed to build his Church upon. For Faith does not exist except in the hearts of men. So the Church, being a visible society, would of necessity be built not upon Faith – as an abstract virtue – but upon a faithful man.
7. Testimony of the wicked spirits
“And the unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him: and they cried, saying: Thou art the Son of God. And he strictly charged them that they should not make him known.” (Mark 3: 11-12)
D. Christ was the Only-Begotten Son of God; God’s own Son:
“For God so loved the world, as to give his only-begotten Son …” (John 3:16)
“And we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father.” (John 1:14)
“He that spared not even his own Son.” (Romans 8:32)
“… God hath sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we may live by him.” (1 John 4:9)
And numerous other passages affirm the same.
E. True Son: Jesus is truly a Son to the Father
The strongest text affirming this most poignant aspect of our theme has been given already : (1 John 5:20)
F. Son of God by Nature not Adoption
“… God sent his Son, made of a woman … that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
G. The Son Equal (Consubstantial) with the Father
“Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant …” (Phil. 2:6) Form here means nature.
“Hereupon the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He did not only break the sabbath, but also said God was His Father, making himself equal to God.” (John 5:18)
The Jews had enough natural logic to understand that nature begets nature and, therefore, if God has a Son then the same must be God, for no being can generate a substance of a lesser nature than itself. It follows that the Son and the Father must be One God, not two, for the people of Israel knew well that the divine nature cannot be multiplied or communicated. Therefore were the scribes and pharisees more wicked than illogical when they accused Jesus of blasphemy, for they understood well that, in claiming to be the Son of God, it was logical to assume that the Man before them was claiming to be equal to God. And their assumption was indeed correct. But blasphemy it was not – no, rather, the truth. Therefore did Jesus proclaim himself more openly to the faithful in these words:
“The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30);
” … he that seeth me seeth the Father also.” (John 14:9)
“All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine.” (John 16:15)
All things, including the divine nature, belong to the Son — ‘whatsoever the Father hath.’
“All my things are thine, and thine are mine.” (John 10:17)
How can these utterances be explained differently from the literal sense in which the Catholic Church understands them? This is the exact sense in which they were received by those who heard them, both the good and the bad. And Christ did not dilute them one iota. False Christians, dissolvers of Christ, you think it “robbery” for Jesus to be equal with God; you who would deny the Unity of the Son with His Father, you are duller of heart than the incredulous Jews:
“For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33)
H. One in Nature with the Father; but Two in Person
“Who being in the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance.” (Heb. 1:3)
Penetrating ever deeper into the mystery of Christ’s divinity, Saint Paul utilizes sublime imagery in conveying the marvelous truth which we have been defending. The apostle differentiates in this passage between God’s nature and person, applying a singular to the former and a plural to the latter. “The brightness of his glory” expresses the unity or consubstantiality of Father and Son.
Comparing this text with the beginning of Saint John’s last gospel, we can draw a parallel that will reveal the meaning of Hebrews 1:3.
“In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.” (John 1:1-3)
As the sun and its splendor are inseparable, so too is God One and the same as His divine expression, His Logos. The divine Idea, the Concept of God of His own very Essence, can be nothing less than the generation (conception) of another Person. If the Father’s eternal self-knowledge were less perfect than the eternal generation of a consubstantial Son, then this reflection of Himself would not be perfect nor infinite, and the divine knowledge would have a potency about it which is impossible for God Who is Pure Act. The Son of God, therefore, is the Father’s very Thought or Understanding or Knowledge of His own infinite and eternal Essence. He, the Word, is Eternal Wisdom. Applying this truth to our text we may say that the Father is glory, the Son is His brightness. He ‘manifests’ the glory of the Father.
The Son is also called Truth. Truth is a manifestation of what is. It is a conformity of what is to a mind that comprehends it. Truth presupposes two: a thinker and a thought; a knower and something known. Truth presupposes being, for something must exist before it can be true. Now the Son being eternally begotten of the Father, is His Truth, His Brightness. Brightness proceeds from light as truth from being, therefore it is proper to attribute Being to the Father and Truth to the Son who proceeds or is generated. And, as in nature, we know that light and its splendor are one and the same substance, so too, by Faith we know with Saint Paul that the Father and Son are one and the same substance.
The apostle of the gentiles did add that Christ is “the figure of his substance.” Greater understanding can be garnered when we ally this clause with the first segment of the gospel text: “And the word was with God.” Paul’s analogy and John’s vision presuppose two realities – and such can only be of persons. The ‘figure’ or image of ‘his substance’ posits a distinction, a separate identity, between the image and the substance of which it is a reflection. Look again to the last gospel. The text clearly expresses a distinction of Father from Son, for to be ‘with’ someone, a person cannot be the same as that someone ‘with’ whom he is. The ‘Word’ then, who is ‘with God’ is another Person than the Father; but again “the word was God.”
To put this doctrine in terms more understandable, let me phrase it the way I once heard our founder, Father Leonard Feeney, express it: In God there are Three Whos and only one What. (The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is, of course, understood) To the question: Who is God? I answer: God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To the question: What is God? I respond: God is One, the Infinite, the Eternal, the Omnipotent Supreme Being. None of the many divine attributes can be multiplied or communicated. Powers belong to nature; Actions belong to a person.
The distinction then between ‘figure’ and the ‘substance’ of which the figure is, is a distinction of person. The Person of the Son (the Exemplar) subsists (exists on His own) independent of the Father and the Holy Ghost as an agent or doer. Enough commentary has been given. The mystery of the Holy Trinity can only be affirmed, not explained. That book is not open to the ramblings of fools who attempt to put it to the scrutiny of reason. The Bible does speak for itself.
I. The Word of God is God: Christ is the Word of God
“In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God.”
The English translators of the Douay-Rheims Bible, in faithful adherence to the Greek New Testament codices, provide the only true translation of this all-important text. Some anti-Trinitarian sects invert the last four words of this passage to read: “And God was a word.” How sublime! Not content with dethroning the Son, they have annihilated the Father as well. Groups, like the Jehovah Witnesses, invent their own Greek syntax to justify this mistranslation and a host of others almost too numerous to count.
Permit a brief indulgence in Helenic grammar: In Greek predicate-nominative sentence construction, the object predicated may come before the linking verb. The subject in such a case would follow. The same order is found in Latin. In Latin the meaning of the sentence can only be known by usage because the language has neither definite nor indefinite articles. Greek has no indefinite article, but it does have the definite article. The subject of a sentence is always accompanied by this definite article. In the text quoted, the Greek word Logos is preceeded by the article O, that is ‘the.’ Theos en o logos. If the Jehovah’s were correct the Greek would have to read: Logos en o Theos. Moreover, O cannot translate the indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ because Greek has no indefinite article. Therefore O, in the controverted clause, has to be translated as ‘the,’ that is, the definite article – and it must modify the subject, for that is how the Greeks use it.
“And the word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.” (John 1:14, no comment mecessary)
“And He (Christ) was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood; and his name is called the Word of God.” (Apoc. 19:13)
J. Jesus claimed Divine Honors
“That all men may honor the Son, as they honor the Father.” (John 5:23)
“And all my things are thine, and thine are mine.” (John 17:10)
“Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 28:19)
Who can deny that Jesus claimed the divine honor? Who can deny that He claimed the worship due to the Father — that of the highest adoration – cultus latriae? If Jesus were not God then how could He place His Name on the same level as the Father in the baptismal formula? Note well, the Savior did not employ the plural when He equated His Name and that of the Holy Ghost with the Father. He did not say to baptize in the Names of the Father, Son and Spirit, but in the Name. For all Three Persons are One God and all Three have but One Name, that is One Nature.
K. Jesus received Divine Honors; Adoration
1. From angels
“And when He again bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith: and let all the angels of God adore Him.” (Heb. 2:5)
2. From men
The Magi: “And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him.” (Matt. 2:11)
The apostles: ” … and they that were in the boat came and adored him saying …” (Matt. 14:33)
A leper: “And behold a leper came and adored him …” (Matt 8:20)
The father of a recently deceased daughter: “… behold a certain ruler came up and adored him, saying …” (Matt. 9:18)
The Syro-Phoenician woman: “But she came and adored him, saying: Lord, help me.” (Matt:15:25)
The two Marys at the holy sepulcher: “But they came up and took hold of his feet, and adored him.” (Matt.28:9)
The possessed man of the Gerasenes: “And seeing Jesus afar off, he ran and adored him.” (Mark 5:6)
The faithful blind man: “And he said: I believe Lord. And falling down, he adored him.” (John 9:38)
Testimony of Saint Paul as to the whole of mankind: “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: As I live saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Rom. 14:11)
Again: “… that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow …” (Phil. 2:10) Christ is clearly the Lord swearing the oath above. What sense would this make to bow to Christ and then turn and confess to God? The confessing and bowing are both to be performed before God as He sits in his glorified human nature in the seat of judgment. For the damned will never see God, except veiled in the flesh of Christ the Judge. Only the saved will see God in the beatific vision as He is, face to face; then shall Jesus be seen in His divinity along with the Father and the Holy Ghost, no longer as Judge but as Lord and Savior.
L. His Divine Attributes
1. Substantial Holiness: The address of the Angel Gabriel to Mary:
“The Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
God alone is holiness itself. Jesus did not receive holiness, as men and angels do in grace; Jesus is substantial holiness – the Font of all holiness. Holiness is measured in men by the degree of their conformity with the divine Will. As God the Son, Jesus is the Object of the Father’s Love, or Will. The Son is the Beloved. He is substantial Conformity, the perfect Image, the Exemplar of the Father. “Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts,” cried the prophet Isaias as he peered over the veil upon the shadow of the Blessed Trinity. Note too, that the Archangel does not identify the child to be born of Mary as ‘the holy one,’ but as ‘the holy,’ for this divine Infant is holiness itself.
2. Self-Existence; Uncreated and Eternal
“Before Abraham was made, I am.” (John 8:58)
In the Book of Exodus, God identifies Himself to Moses as “I am Who am.” There is an infinite depth of mystery here. Philosophy provides a wisdom in understanding at least a glimpse of the meaning. Saint Thomas teaches that God is His own existence. By this the doctor would have us understand that God receives His Being from no other; therefore, we can reason that God must be eternal, He can have no beginning. In order for anything to come to be another must first have being that being might be communicated. But God could not have received His Being from anyone for there is no being greater or before Him. All created things were brought into being by God. God is the first cause of all that is, but He Himself must be uncaused, because nothing can be the cause of itself – that would be a contradiction. If God is the Uncaused Cause, as Saint Thomas says, then God must have had no beginning; He must be eternal.
Notice that Jesus does not say, ‘Before Abraham was made I was;’ rather He says: “Before Abraham … I am.” There is no time in eternity. Time is a measure of change in created things. God is not created and does not change. In God, when we speak of change, we speak analogously and only in terms of His relation with us. There is neither past nor future in God; if there were, God would be a changing being with potencies unrealized. An infinite and eternal being can have no potency to anything; He must by necessity be what philosophers call Pure Act. God as God is immutable; however God could adopt a nature capable of change, this He did two thousand years ago. But remember, Jesus had two natures. As man, He could say: ‘I am thirty-three years old;’ as God He could say: ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ If you were to ask Jesus when His Birthday was as God, He would say ‘Now!’
“All things were made by him and without him was made nothing that was made.” (John 1:3)
This passage verifies all that we said above. The Word was not made, but always existed. If the Son of God was made then ‘all things’ were not made by Him, for no one can make himself. If, then, “all things were made by Him,” He was not made but existed always, the Eternal.
“All things were created by him and in him.” (Col.1:16)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Apoc. 22:13)
The Alpha, the first, the beginning, is God. Who is their before God? The Omega, the last, and the end, is mankind; preeminently – the elect, whose nature the Alpha has assumed forever, such that He can say: “I am the Alpha and the Omega.”
3. Author of Life
“But the author of life you killed.” (Acts 3:15)
“I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live.” (John 11:25)
4. Absolute Truth
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
“He that sent me is true: and the things I have heard of him, these same I speak in the world.” (John 8:26)
5. Immutability: Self-same, Eternal:
“They (the works of creation) shall perish, but thou shalt continue … they shall be changed: but thou art the self-same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Heb.1:12)
Saint John the Baptist:
“He was before me.” (John 1:30) As man this was not so, for John came before Christ, in his ministry as Precursor and in his conception.
“And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:13)
It is proper to God to fill heaven and earth. Neither the womb of His Mother nor swaddling clothes could contain the Immensity of the Word’s divine Omnipresence. In other words, the Son of God did not lose what He was in becoming man; but He assumed what had not been His, i.e. humanity. The descent was not a local motion so as leave a terminus a quo and arrive at a terminus ad quem; it was rather a movement of assumption. By His descent He clothed Himself in our nature so that He could converse with men. “His delight was to be with the children of men.” (Proverbs 8:31) While his feet were planted on the earth His Spirit filled the heavens. God is present everwhere, says Saint Augustine: “Not in mass but in might.” Which brings us to another attribute:
“And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28:20)
The calling of Nathaniel: “Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” (John 1:48)
It was not by way of physical eyes that Jesus saw Nathaniel under the fig tree, but by way of His Omnipresence. For there is nothing that can escape His gaze or providence. “Without me you can do nothing,” Christ assured the apostles at His last supper, (John 15:5), neither spiritually nor even naturally, for “in him we live and move and are.” (Acts 17:28)
7. Omniscience; All-Knowing
“Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.” (John 21:17)
“As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father …” (John 10:15)
“I know Him, because I am from Him, and He hath sent Me.” (John 10:15)
In these two passages from Saint John Jesus professes an intimate knowledge of the Father; He knows Him even as He is known by Him. Who could claim such knowledge but God alone? To know God in this way is Infinite Knowledge; for to know the Father as one is known by the Father is to know the Father perfectly and in this consists the Omniscience of Christ even in His created human intellect. The human knowledge of Christ however, although Omniscient, is beyond the scope of this specific study.
Another astounding example of Christ’s Omniscience is found in chapter seventeen of Matthew. When Jesus interrogated Peter concerning the obligation to pay the temple tax, He told the deep sea fisherman of Galilee, to get a pole and a hook and cast a single line into the sea and wait for a bite. When we imagine Saint Peter, who had with James and John just been privileged to behold his Master’s transfiguration on Mt. Tabor, sitting alone on the shore of Galilee waiting for a single fish to snatch his hook, it is somewhat amusing. But what Omniscient power was manifested in this overlooked miracle! For, just as Christ had foretold him, Peter drew up his first catch and upon opening its mouth he found the stater (a coin) with which he was to go and pay the tax for himself and for Jesus. (Matt. 17:26)
A. In General
“All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18)
Such authority could only belong to God. All power subjects all, whether in heaven or earth. If Jesus possessed less power than the Father then Jesus would not have all power and He would not therefore be equal to God. But Jesus received all Power in His eternal generation; He therefore, is God.
“Upholding all things by the word of His Power.” (Heb. 1:13)
“All things were created by Him and in Him, and He is before all, and by Him all things consist.” (Col. 1:16)
If the Son Himself was created then all things were not created by Him and in Him.
B. Over the Angels
“For in Him were all things created … whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers …” (Col. 1:16)
“Thou hast subjected all things under His feet.” (Heb. 2:8)
C. Over Demons
“Go out of the man thou unclean spirit.” (Mark 5:8)
“For with power He commandeth even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” (Mark 1:26)
In his many exorcisms, Jesus always commanded the demons by His own authority; examples of which the gospels abound.
D. Over the Elements
Jesus changes water into wine. (John 2:9) Jesus multilocates the loaves and the fishes. (Matt. 14:19, Mark 8:6, Matt. 15:36) Jesus walks upon the water. (Matt. 14:25) Jesus calms the wind and the sea. (Mark 4:39) Jesus withers the barren fig tree. (Matt. 21:19) Jesus, in his glorified body, passes through a closed door. (John 20:19)
E. Over every kind of desease and infirmity
Jesus restores sight to the blind (Matt. 9:28; Mark 10:51 & John 9:1) Jesus cures the deaf and the mute (Matt. 9:33; 12:22; Mark 7:37) Jesus cures the lame and all manner of diseases (Matt. 15:30 &21:13 and many others.
“And there came to Him great multitudes, having with them the dumb, the blind, the lame, the maimed, and many others: and they cast them down at his feet, and he healed them. (Matt. 15:30)
F. Jesus has power over life and death:
1. The widow’s son — “Young man I say to thee, arise!” (Luke 7:14)
2. The daughter of Jairus — “Talitha cumi!”, “Damsel arise!” (Mark 5:41)
3. Lazarus — “Lazarus, come forth.” (John 11:43)
4. “For as the Father raiseth up the dead and giveth life; so the Son also giveth life to whom He will.” (John 5:21)
5. “And bowing His head, He gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30)
Death had no power over Jesus. Even though every drop of Our Lord’s sacred blood had been poured out, and death had a right to claim such a body — for the very definition of death (physically speaking) is the separation of flesh from blood – this Soul would exit this Body on its own terms. “And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” (Matt. 27:50) More than the shaking of the earth and the rending of rocks, it was this ‘crying out’ that ignited Faith in the heart of the soldier standing by the cross. No man can lift up his voice at the moment of death. But Jesus was more than a man. His soul departed from His adorable body when He chose to give it up; He died by choice, not by necessity. Actual death does not occur until the soul is taken away; and here, at Calvary, the One who takes the spirit was the One who was giving up His own.
6. His own Most Glorious Resurrection
G. Power to Forgive Sins
” But that you may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then said he to the man sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house.” (Matt. 9:5 & Mark 2:5)
When Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic the pharisees were indignant (Mark 2) and, refusing to recognize the divinity of Christ, they accused him of blasphemy. “He blasphemeth. Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Their premise was correct, their conclusion wrong. It was a willful sin of disbelief on their part. They could not deny the miracle; but they were free to deny Him who performed it.
“Be of good heart, son. Thy sins are forgiven thee.” (Matt. 5:2)
To Mary Magdalen: “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” (Luke 7:48)
“Being now justified by his blood …” (Romans 5:9)
And many many more passages.
H. Absolute Fidelity
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Luke 21:33)
“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the beginning of the creation of God.” (Apoc. 3:14)
“And behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world.” (Matt. 28:20)
I. Subject of Theological Virtues
“You believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)
“He that believeth in me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)
Words of a man may be believed; the Word of God must be believed ‘in.’
St. Paul — “an apostle of Jesus Christ … our hope!” (1 Tim. 11:1)
“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:37)
To honor one’s parents is the highest commandment next to the worship of God; it is the fourth of the Decalogue. If the love herein sought so ardently by Christ is greater than that which we owe our parents, then it can be nothing less than divine love which the Savior desires from us.
Saint Paul anathematizes thoe who “love not Our Lord, Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 16:22)
“Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? … Nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus Our Lord.” (Rom. 8:35)
No ‘creature’ shall separate us from the love of Christ. Christ then is not a creature. Saint Paul clearly equates the love that we owe Christ with the love that we owe God.
J. Prayers to Jesus are as efficacious as to the Father.
“Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My Name, that will I do; that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 )
Saint Steven commends his soul at death to Jesus; whereas, if Jesus were a mere creature, even the highest of creatures, this would be a blasphemy: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:58)
K. Proofs from the Prophets
“I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated, and his train filled the temple. Upon it stood the seraphim: … And they cried to one another, and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is full of his glory.’ (Isaias 6:1-3) The three praises were to honor the three Persons of the Most High, and the Lord Who Isaias beheld in glory was Christ Himself, Who also, as God of angelic armies, was the object of the seraphs’ praise.
“For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us … and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty …” (Isaias 9:6 )
“God Himself will come and will save you. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free.” (Isaias 35:4)
In prophetic vision, the prophet Baruch foresaw the coming of Christ, describing Our Lord in these words:
“This is our God, and there shall no other be accounted of in comparison of him. He found out all the way of knowledge, and gave it to Jacob his servant, and to Israel his beloved. Afterwards he was seen upon earth, and conversed with men.” (Baruch 3: 36-38)
Two passages Our Lord Himself drew from the Old Testament to affirm the divinity of the Messiah:
a) “The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool. David, therefore calleth him Lord, and whence is he then his son?” (Mark 12:36)
Our Lord made use of this text from Psalm 109 to instruct the scribes in that which they ought to have known; that the Redeemer was to be both the Son of God and the Son of David.
b) “It is written in the prophets: ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me. Not that any man hath seen the Father; but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father.” (John 6:45-6)
No man hath seen the Father. But Jesus, He Who is “of God,” He ‘hath seen the Father.’ But no ‘man’ can see God and live: “Thou canst not see my face: for man shall not see me and live.” (Exodus 33:20) Jesus is more than a man. He is God.
“Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel (God with us).” (Isa. 7:14)
And many more passages do teach the same, though from other perspectives. These would involve too much commentary for this schema.
May the words of Saint Paul to the Hebrews be ingrained upon our own heart that we may defend until death the teachings of Eternal Truth as found in the Sacred Scriptures and in the deposit of faith we call tradition; which teachings are faithfully communicated throughout the centuries by the solemn magisterium of the Catholic Church.
“Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)