The Son of God - the Christ
These two terms seem interchanged in Acts 9:20,22. In Psalm 2 , they are used together. Yet they have different meanings.
“Son of God” is the term expressing relationship. This is quite different to ‘child of God’ which refers to generation – having a beginning and created by God into the family with parental and childhood responsibilities. ‘Son of God’ refers to relationship with, and representation of God.
The Lord Jesus is the perfect representation of God, so much so that He is called the ‘image of God’. He is one who proceeded out from God (only begotten) to reveal the Father. The Bible never speaks of Jesus as a child of God (except for a translation error in KJV), but many times in Old and New Testament as the Son of God. He became the child of Mary by becoming a man, but always was the Son with God the Father. Reading the Gospel by John, confirms in detail that He who was the “Word”, was manifest to reveal God as the Father.
“The Christ” is that beautiful expression linking the Old Testament prophecies with the New Testament events and also into the future.
‘Christ’ is the Greek, ‘Messiah’ is the Hebrew. The prophets in the Old Testament times foretold of one who would come, a king who would be revealed as the Son of God and the Servant of God and the Son of man and the Saviour of the world etc. It was anticipated that the child to be born as the Christ would be anointed by God to fulfil the mission given Him. This is exactly what happened beside the river Jordan, as the Spirit of God descended on Him in the appearance of a dove. Jesus identified Himself as the Christ at Nazareth and on many other occasions.
When Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin court, the vital question was asked “ Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” - His answer was clear “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” Mark 14:62. Because He answered “I am”, they could respond in one of two ways – bow down and worship Him, or condemn Him to death as an impostor. They condemned Him to death. What is our response?
If He was who he claimed to be, then our reconciliation to God depends on Him. Our forgiveness depends on his sacrifice in His death. The hope of the future is totally wrapped up in His return. Future accountability will be at His judgement throne.
How good it is that He the living Christ, seated at God’s right hand, is willing to receive, forgive, transform all who truely believe in Him.
Remember the words He said so long ago, are appropriate today:
“Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...” Matthew 11:28