Wednesday, December 19, 2018

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38)

In the above scripture, our Lord Jesus is explicit about His earthly mission. He had come to accomplish His Father’s will. It was not an easy task but He was poised to see it through. The succeeding paragraphs will attempt to capture the raison d’être of The Messiah’s coming to earth. He, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8) What, in substance, was our Lord Jesus’ mission?

--To give humanity the abundant kind of life

When we examine the life we live on earth, it is evident that we have lost hold of the very essence of our existence. Humanity has lost the purpose for which God created it, after having been blindfolded by the devil into believing that that purpose is defined by the accumulation of material wealth, inhumanity to man and self-centredness.  But our Lord puts that into perspective when He warns; “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly (to the full).” (John 10:10) Indeed, we have lost the meaning of our existence, to the extent of devaluing it completely.

--To seek and to save what was lost

At the height of our disorientation, our Lord Jesus came to save us and put us back on track. “For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) The way and manner He would do it, was not to point a finger or bring condemnation. “For God did not send His son to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17) The apostle Paul tells a jailor who enquired how he could be saved to “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved---you and your family.” (Acts 16:31)

--The Lamb of God

John the Baptist had baptised our Lord Jesus without knowing He was the Lamb of God come to save sinners. At their next encounter however, the Spirit revealed this to him and he proclaimed; “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

--For those who were sick and needed a doctor

Our Lord Jesus did not come for the wealthy and the righteous. No! He came for the downtrodden and the underprivileged. In fact those were the people He indentified with. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick..... For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12,13b)

--To save humanity from sin

The very name the Lord bore revealed what He had come to accomplish – to save sinners. “She (Mary) will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) This makes Him the Saviour of the world. “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)

--As the sacrificial lamb, to die for the sins humanity has committed

God had put in place the slaughtering (shedding) of an animal’s blood as the medium by which sins in the Old Testament days could be forgiven. This practice, constituted a foreshadow of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus on the cross as the Lamb of God who laid down His life as the human sacrifice for sins. Henceforth, there is no need for any shedding of blood because the blood of our Lord largely suffices. 

--The magi knew this

When the three wise men, the Magi who came from the East, having been guided by a star, came to visit the baby king, they presented Him with expensive gifts ‘as a worthy acknowledgement for a future king.’ They paid homage to the new-born King, now an infant. These were no ordinary gifts; they were indicative of His identity - Gold meant His royalty, incense--His deity, and myrrh - spice for a person who was going to die. Jesus was going to die, buried and raised to life again.  

--To reconcile humanity to God

The intimacy which God had knit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve was broken when they sinned. They were eventually sent out of the Garden. God took it upon Himself to restore that broken relationship when He sent His Son into the world. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation that God was reconciling Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

--To restore what humanity had lost, what the devil had stolen, to reinstate us as God’s ‘treasured possessions’

 “I will repay you for the years the locust have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locust and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.” (Joel 2: 25) At the creation, God had put Adam and Eve in the Garden and had put everything at their disposal except of course fruit from the forbidden tree. They had access to everything. But the devil deceived them and they fell.

Whatever it is we have lost will be restored to us; “A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38)

“Unmarked by human eye,” as recorded by the hymnist, few people were aware of the Lord’s coming (incarnation). That was two thousand years ago. We can no longer make such a mistake. Our Lord Jesus is here in our midst, come to redeem His very own.