Why Did Jesus Come?
Why did Jesus come?
This is a good question because it assumes a very important part of the Gospel story - Jesus came. He came from heaven to earth, leaving his intimate union with the Father, taking on flesh, becoming like us. His coming is the story of Christmas and the reasons why are many.
If you don’t understand these reasons then it is likely that you will only see Jesus as one of many religious teachers that have come and gone. But once you put all the pieces together, you will see the story behind the story.
Jesus came to serve (Mark 10:45). This was expressed by Jesus in contrast to the desire among some of his disciples to be elevated to special positions of authority. Jesus made it clear to them, on more than one occasion (Mark 9:33-34) that in the eyes of God, those who want to be great must be last in line and a servant of all (Mark 9:35). Who better to teach us this then Jesus himself (Philippians 2:6-7).
Jesus came to testify to the truth (John 18:37). He said this to Pilate, the Prefect of the Roman province of Judea. From an earthly perspective, Pilate had the authority to free Jesus or have him crucified. Jesus, however, had received all authority from his heavenly Father (Matthew 28:18). His authority was not only expressed in the power of his miracles (John 14:11; Matthew 9:6-7), but also in the truth of his words. New Testament listeners commented that he taught as one who had “authority” (Matthew 7:28). He knew what he was talking about. He holds the answers to all our questions. He came to teach us about the mysteries of life.
Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work (I John 3:8). One of the mysteries of life is the origin of evil and the propensity of mankind to do evil. Part of the answer stems from spiritual forces that oppose the work of God (Ephesians 6:12). Stop and think about this for a moment. The little baby that was born in Bethlehem came to wage war against the devil. You may not have been aware of this, but the devil certainly was. He showed up as Jesus was fasting in the desert, in preparation for ministry (Matthew 4:3,5,8) and then again as Jesus was working with his disciples (Luke 22:3-4).
Jesus fought back against the devil in order to break his power over us (Hebrews 2:14). He took on our form and likeness to win the battle for us. He came into our world and joined our team so that we could beat the opposition. No man or agency or government has ever beaten death, but when Jesus died (in our place) and rose from the dead (to provide a way), he created a scenario where our team can always be the winning team. This includes the promise of our own resurrection (Romans 6:4) and it means that we no longer need to fear death (Hebrews 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
Jesus came to save (John 3:17). Contrary to the image of God who is just waiting for us to make a mistake and condemn us to hell, God did everything possible to save us. He did this because he loves us (John 3:16) and because he doesn’t want any of us to perish (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus is the best example of the word, “Priest” (Hebrews 2:17). He came to mediate between heaven and earth, between God and man, bridging the gap between us and paying the price for our sins.
Have you been saved? Have you experienced the life-giving gift of God’s forgiveness? (Romans 6:23) If you haven’t, then know one more thing. Jesus came for you (Luke 15:3-4,7).
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