Familiarity can be dangerous.
We should examine our beliefs, especially with one simple question: “why?”
-Why didn’t Jesus just come from heaven as a 33-year-old man and go straight to the cross?
-Why did he have to live for over 3 decades, be wrongly accused and murdered by crucifixion?
-Why do Christians focus mainly on Jesus’ birth (Christmas), death and resurrection (Easter)?
I think it’s right to focus on these important events, and I’m not implying that we shouldn’t, or that we should do so less. I actually think we should spend even more time throughout the year looking thoughtfully into these crucial events and what God accomplished in and through them. But the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus were only significant because they were held together with a 4th crucial event, which took much longer, and can be less appreciated. I am referring to the entire earthly life of Jesus. Jesus lived for around 33 years before He was crucified, buried, rose from the dead, and 40 days later ascended back into glory, where He now sits at His Father’s right hand. This means that the individual events of Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection make up around 7 out of more than 10,000 days of His life on earth.
Are we to think that any moment, word, thought, deed, or day in the life of Jesus, was less significant, or any less essential than the other parts of God’s salvation plan? The main purpose of Jesus becoming one of us and living with us was not primarily to set us an example. That was part of it, but not the most important purpose. The primary purpose for Jesus’ living was to live on our behalf (whoever receives Him), as an essential component of all He did to accomplish eternal salvation for all those who will believe in Him.
Take a moment to carefully consider these 2 verses:
(Romans 5:19) “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
(John 8:29) “And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”
The gospel is not only that Jesus died to forgive the sin and unrighteousness of all who will trust in Him, but also that through His perfect obedience He achieved and secured a perfect righteousness for us, a righteousness which is imputed and imparted to us and actively at work in us, once we place our trust Him. The gospel is not only about Jesus being punished on the cross as a substitute for all who trust in Him, but also being our active substitute in His entire life of obedience.
From the moment of Jesus’ birth, every thought, every word, every deed, was classified by the above statement He makes in John 8:29: “I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (my emphasis added). This is why The Father audibly spoke from heaven at least twice and said “this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 my emphasis added). We are all unrighteous by nature (Romans 3:10-12). We need the righteousness of God to become pleasing to God. Jesus was not conceived by man, but by The Holy Spirit. Yet, as a true man, He maintained His righteousness throughout His earthly life by perfectly obeying the law of God, fulfilling the law, and He therefore fulfilled all righteousness (Matthew 3:15) by God’s own standards, and never fell “short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This is what it means for the Lord Himself to be our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6). This is why the only way we can be saved is if we turn from our sin, our self-trust, our self-effort, self-righteousness, and trust completely in Christ alone for salvation; putting our faith in who He is and believing that what He has done was perfectly and personally done for us. By grace, through faith in Christ alone, we receive the righteousness of God because of what Christ has done. This righteousness grants a deep inward peace and a true fellowship with God now and eternally for all Christians. The Holy Spirit Himself now lives within, working to change us and make us more like Christ, until one day we see Him face to face, and all things will be made new (1 John 3:1-3). Together we will live with Christ in glory, all because of what He has accomplished in His living, dying, and rising again. Here is the best news of all time: The gospel of Jesus Christ…the cradle, the cross, and 365 days of perfection for each of the 3 decades lived, culminating in His crown. Receiving or rejecting this gospel are the only choices we have…
Which choice are you making?
Trust in Christ today, and you will receive forgiveness, everlasting life, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!
All other ground is sinking sand.
Romans 1:16a “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes”Tags: Christ Christian Faith Gospel Grace