Saturday, December 28, 2013

Why He Came

One of the greatest mysteries of our Christian faith is that Jesus Christ, Son of God yet God Himself, the Fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9), present since before time began (John 1:1), the Creator of all (John 1:3), came to earth in human flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Why did He come to us in this unique way? It will be incomprehensible until we see Him in glory, yet here are a few possibilities to consider:

He came to Seek and to Save: Jesus said that He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Sinners, certainly, lost and condemned to eternal death in hell without the salvation and eternal life only He can bring (John 3:16-18). But Jesus also sought out and restored those who had lost their health (Luke 8:43-48; Matthew 10:8), their sanity (Mark 5:15; Luke 8:35), the comfort of human relationships (John 4), and hope itself (Matthew 5 :3-4).

Jesus sought His apostles, transforming them from simple, coarse fishermen and tradespeople to fishers of men (Matthew 4:18-22), to the first missionaries who would spread His Good News, first to the Jews and ultimately throughout the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).

Praise God that He loved and sought us before we even knew Him (1 John 4:19), and that Christ knocked on the door of our heart until we answered Him (Revelation 3:20), transforming us from enemies of God (Romans 5:10) to joint heirs with Himself (Romans 8:17), becoming His friends and His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Praise God that when Christ rose from the dead, He saved us from death, so that all who trust Him as their Savior also have eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

He came to Sacrifice: Holy God cannot allow sinners into His presence unless they are made righteous in His sight and unless His just anger at our sin is appeased (Romans 3:22-26; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Salvation is therefore only possible through the perfect, sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29,36). In His perfection, He submitted to crucifixion and willingly laid down His life as a sacrifice to pay for all of our sins, past, present and future (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16; Colossians 2:10-14). He took the punishment we deserved and paid our debt that He did not owe and that we could not pay (Isaiah 53:5).

He came to Substitute: In a transaction we will not fully understand until we reach glory, all of Christ’s righteousness is imputed or credited to our account, and all of our sin was debited against His account. When God the Father looks at those who have placed their faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), He no longer sees our sins, but He sees only the perfect righteousness of His Son (Romans 4).  

He came to Submit: As the Word, Who created all, became flesh (John 1:3,14), He became the embodiment of submission to the Father’s will (Luke 22:42). He was born to a humble virgin betrothed to a carpenter of modest means (Matthew 1:18-23), and He entered this world in a lowly feeding trough among barnyard animals (Luke 2:7). In His human form He became the ideal example of putting God’s will before our own desires, trusting that God will work all things for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

Despite His infinite power, He submitted with meekness and humility to those in authority, knowing that God was in control and that His perfect will must be done (Matthew 26:52-54),. He came to fulfil the law, not to abolish it (Matthew 5:17-18), for in His sinless state He was the only man capable of keeping it. He knew that His teachings would bring division between His followers and the religious leaders of the day, resulting in persecution, yet He preached nonviolence (Matthew 5:38-39; 10:17-23; 34-39).

He came to Serve: Christ will return as Lord of Lords and King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16), before Whom every knee will bow (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10). Yet in His first coming, He came as a servant, putting others first, even stooping to wash His apostles’ feet (John 13:4-15). If He could humble Himself in this way, how much more should we serve one another, and in so doing serve Him? In service as in all things, Jesus was the ideal of humanity in Whose footsteps we should follow.

He came to Suffer: Only by tasting our sadness, hurt, fatigue, hunger, cold, betrayal, and pain could Jesus identify with us in our suffering. When we approach His throne in prayer, we can have faith that He personally has experienced our need and has compassion for us in whatever trial we are enduring. He was like us in all ways, even tempted, and yet perfectly without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16).

He came to Show the Way: No man can directly look on God, and yet those who were blessed to see Jesus in His earthly ministry, and all of us who know Him through His recorded Word, know the Father, for Jesus and His Father are One (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 8:19; 28-29). At the moment of our salvation, the Holy Spirit enters the believer’s heart (Ephesians 2:20-22), teaching us about Jesus, Who is the express image of the invisible God the Father (Hebrews 1:3). As He walked the earth, He taught us how to live, to be born again (John 3:3-8), and to have faith (John 20:29). Jesus is the only Way to the Father, to forgiveness of sins, and to everlasting life (John 14:6).

He came to Set up the Kingdom: Jesus was the promised Messiah, as foretold in Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 9:6-7), to deliver the nation of Israel (Romans 11:26). In His Second Coming He will rule in the Millennial Kingdom on the throne of David (1 Kings 2:33,45; 9:5; Luke 1:32). Yet in His first coming, when His ministry was directed primarily to the Jews (Matthew 10:5-7) His chosen Hebrew people not only rejected Him, but crucified Him (Zechariah 12:9-10; Revelation 12:5; Matthew 23:37-39).

Surely this was no surprise to God, Who in His omniscience and foreknowledge has known since the beginning of time who would accept and who would reject His Son, yet without interfering with our free will (Romans 8:29).

So why did God allow this? In His infinite grace and mercy, this delay in setting the King of Kings on the throne of Israel allowed the Gentiles to be grafted in to God’s family (Ephesians 2:11-20), so that whosoever would accept Christ would become children of God and inherit eternal life (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). Praise God that Jesus came to us to allow this wondrous plan, and may we be ready when He comes again, meeting us face to face in all His glory!

© 2013 Laurie Collett
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Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
It is easy to love those who love us isn't it - but God loved those who did not love Him, sinful mankind. What a wonderful creator we have.
God bless you.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Brenda! Praise God for His self-sacrificing agape love, loving us while we were still His enemies.
May 2014 hold many blessings for you!

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
What a beautiful portrait of Jesus Christ you have presented, just at the right time as this year comes to an end. Time moves on but Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you a happy new year to come.
God bless,

Janis Cox said...

Thanks so much for the blessings you have bestowed on me this year.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thank you so much for your uplifting comment! Praise God for His unchanging faithfulness, love, mercy & grace!
We had a blessed Christmas and are looking forward to what God has in store for 2014! Happy New Year to you & Alex, & God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Your blog, your artwork, and especially your encouragement have been a real blessing to me, Janis! I'm so glad to hear you have been blessed by me also!
Happy New Year,

Covenant Grace said...

Thanks for sharing the true meaning of Christmas. Happy New Year!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Trinity, for your visit and lovely comment! May you have all blessings in 2014 and beyond,

Unknown said...

How blessed we are that He came for us.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Donna! Can you imagine how meaningless and hopeless life would be without Him? God bless,

a joyful noise said...

Yes, we need to be reminded why Jesus came and Christmas is a good time for this. I was also thinking of another reason He came, and that was to break the curse that came because of the forbidden fruit. A promise was made and Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise. Thank you for sharing with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

Laurie Collett said...

Great point, Hazel -- He is the Redeemer and Deliverer, breaking the curse of sin and death! Thanks for hosting and may you have all blessings in 2014 and beyond!

Donald Fishgrab said...

Because he loved us, even while we were his enemies, he came to do each of the things you listed and so much more. Thanks for the wonderful reminder of how much he loves us.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald, for your encouraging comment! Praise God for His infinite love, come in the flesh to save us! Happy New Year & God bless,

Laura said...

Praise God for all these wonderful truths, Laurie. You have been a blessing to me this past year, friend. Praying God will bless your word ministry here in 2014. Much love.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Beautiful words...thank you for joining us in the blog hop. The work you are doing here for Christ will not go out void! Blessings!

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Laura,
It blesses me richly to hear that my writing has encouraged you, as yours encourages me! Thank you so much for the kind words, prayers and love. May God continue to bless you and your writing that does so much to spread His Word.
Love and prayers,

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Pam, for your lovely comment & for hosting! Your words are a great encouragement to me.
May you have all blessings in 2014 and until He comes again!

Create With Joy said...

Happy New Year to you Laurie! I stopped by to congratulate you on being one of my Top Commenters of 2013! Be sure to join us for Friendship Friday this week, where you are being honored! :-)

Create With Joy

Laurie Collett said...

Happy New Year to you also! What wonderful news -- I am blessed & honored! Thank you so much & God bless!

Lyli said...

Laurie, I am rejoicing right now after reading your words. I am so thankful that He came for me. Hallelujah!

I need to re-visit this post later with my journal in hand to jot these truths down.

Thank you for linking up to Thought-Provoking Thursday.

Helene said...

I especially appreciate that first point. That Jesus' eagerness to restore the lost was an eagerness to restore us in all the way we lost.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Lyli! Praise God that He came -- we have great reason to rejoice! Thank you so much for your encouraging words and for hosting.
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Helene, for your visit and comment. Without Him we are altogether lost, spiritually, physically and eternally.
Many blessings to you in 2014 and beyond,

Jen said...

Laurie - Such a great post, crammed packed with Biblical truth! So refreshing to know, our God came, died, resurrected all because He loves us! Stopping by from The Weekend Brew! Have a great weekend, Jen

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Jen, for your visit & kind comment! Praise God for His infinite, self-sacrificing love.
May you have a blessed week in Him,

Crafts a la Mode said...

Laurie, beautifully said. Thanks so much for helping to make Him so real. So now. So - for me. Blessings and love to you, Linda

Laurie Collett said...

Linda, your comment blesses me deeply! Thank you so much for being such an encourager and for all you do to spread His Word.
May God richly bless you and your ministry,