understand that our Lord Jesus left His heavenly throne above on a rescue
mission to earth to recover lost and wandering souls – His sheep -- that needed
to be delivered from the hands of the predator, the evil one. “We all, like
sheep, have gone astray, each has turned to his own way...” (Isaiah 53:6a) This
special assignment was mounted in a bid to bring back the people of God who
were lost and had become ‘sheep without a shepherd.’
Essentially, he had come to save ‘the lost sheep of Israel’ that had been suffering under the weight of sin and were at the mercy of Satan and his cohorts who had been wrecking havoc on earth. He came to wage war against the lies and deceit of the devil and to free humanity from the shackles of sin by which Satan has kept us bound.
Our Lord Jesus came as the Light of the world
Our Lord Jesus had come to unconditionally offer His perpetual light and love to a world that was shrouded in darkness. Indeed, He came to redeem it. The prophet Isaiah alluded to this in his appeal to the Children of Israel; “Arise, shine, for the light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2)
He came as the Sent One, God’s Messenger
“See, I will send My Messenger to prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the Messenger of the covenant, whom you desire,” says the Lord Almighty. But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites (the priesthood) and refine them like gold and silver.” (Malachi 3:1-3b) This Messenger is none other than our Lord Jesus who had come to clean up the pile of rubble sin had brought about.
John the Baptist, the forerunner, charged to announce the coming of the Messiah and to prepare the way, prophesied what exactly He would accomplish. “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” (Luke 3:5-6) The road would be rid of every hindrance and obstacles strewn on the way, intended to deny us an encounter with the Saviour.
Grace and Truth
“For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) Our Lord Jesus is the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) He declared that He came not to abolish the Law of Moses but to fulfil it. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” (Matthew 5:17)
In the first place, God’s Laws given to Moses were never intended to condemn the world but to show to what extent God loved humanity. Keeping His Laws (obedience) is a source of manifold blessings as spelt out in Deuteronomy 28 verse one: “If you fully obey the Lord Your God and carefully obey all His commands I will give you today, the Lord will set you high above all the nations on earth.”
The truth is that our Lord Jesus operated by extending a gracious hand to all who came to Him with a repentant heart. To those who were guilty in the eyes of the law, He took them in and pardoned them in keeping with His statement, “... and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)
Where the law meted punishment, our Lord Jesus offered His pardon. A woman caught red-handed committing adultery was brought before Him by the teachers of the law (the Pharisees). “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now what do you say?” Initially, our Lord Jesus ignored them, but as they insisted, He replied; “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:4-9)
To their shame, one after the other dropped their stones – the older ones first. Then our Lord Jesus turned to the woman and asked; “Woman, where are they? (Her accusers, that is.) Has no one condemned you? ‘No sir,’ she said. Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus answered. Go now and LEAVE your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11) The punishment for adultery was death by stoning but the woman received God’s grace.
Our Lord Jesus came to break the good news of salvation for all. “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) He came to lay His life for all who believe in Him. “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
Primarily, He came to redeem humanity. “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Corinthians 5:21) and to reconcile us with God. “...for God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
He gladly offers us a place in His kingdom. “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also will be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)
He came to assure us of eternal life.
“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s life remains on Him.” (John 3:36)
He offers us protection and security in His strong tower where we can run into and feel safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
If you did not know all our Lord Jesus offers, then He calls YOU ‘to come.’ If YOU already do, then He bids YOU ‘to go’ and tell the world about it. I am doing just that!