We can all look into history and name men and women, famous or not, who seemed to be born for one specific purpose. For these individuals there seemed to be no alternative. They had to do the one "thing" that was inside of them.
Jesus Christ was just such a man. Even as a boy of 12 years we see him staying behind in Jerusalem after a Passover feast (and to the great alarm of his parents) so that "He could be about His Father's business" (Luke 2:49). What was His Father's business? What was to be Christ's destiny?
Let's look in this study at........
Day 1- For many people God is a far off entity somewhere beyond the
clouds. Certainly in Bible times the Jews saw God as in the Heavens but NOT on
earth - at least not as a human that they could see and hear. Isaiah the
prophet, centuries before Christ came, predicted His birth and called Him by
the name Emmanuel that means "God with us".
Isaiah 7:14 / Isaiah 8:8, 10
Day 2- The gospel writer Matthew states with great simplicity what the
purpose for Christ's coming was to be.
Matthew 1: 21-23
Day 3- In order to be "God with us" He had to come down to "our level".
This took place in a great miracle called the "Incarnation". This is the union
of God and humanity into the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was fully God and
John 1: 1, 14 / 2 Corinthians 5:19
Day 4- Although fully God, Jesus gave up being the One to be served to
become the servant. He willingly submitted Himself to being human within the
laws of the Universe.
In "emptying" Himself He did not become less than God but rather voluntarily let go of His divine rights and powers.
Day 5- Because He was fully human He experienced the same things that we
do. He got tired, hungry, felt sadness and wept; yet He did so without sin. So
when we come to Him with any concern or need we are coming to someone who can
empathize and not just sympathize.
Hebrews 4: 14-16
Day 6- Christ differs from us in that He suffered all of Satan's attacks
without ever giving in. Therefore He has endured even greater temptation than
we have and knows how to be victorious.
1 Peter 2:22 / 1 John 3:5
Day 7- With His humanity Christ can empathize with us but it is because He is God that He can.......
A. Forgive our sins - Mark 2:7
B. Understand our deepest needs - Hebrews 2:17/ 4:15
C. Be our mediator with God - Galatians 3:20 / 1 Timothy 2:5
Day 8- Before Jesus was even born His obituary had been written. Time
was just waiting to get hold of Him. We might say that He was "born to
Isaiah 53: 3-7a
Day 9- And so when Christ was born a host of angels proclaimed from
Heaven "to you is born this day.....a Savior".
Luke 2: 8-11
Day 10- Jesus knew His destiny and spoke of it Himself on a number of
Matthew 16:21-23 / Matthew 17:22-23 / Matthew 20: 17-19a / Matthew 26: 1-2, 6-13
Day 11- If men were to be able to walk into the light and be free from
the powers of darkness then Jesus Himself would need to do battle with all that
is evil and dark. The thoughts of this leap toward death caused Him untold
Matthew 26: 38-39
Day 12- John records the final minute before Christ's death. His last
words "Tetelestai" mean, "It is finished". This does not refer to His suffering
and death but to the task that He was born to do: i.e. "to save His people from
their sins". (Matthew 1: 21)
John 19: 28-30
With these words "It is finished", the bridge between Heaven and Earth was finished.
Day 13- We might think that the Son of God coming to earth would be
something like the manager showing up to spot those that aren't working to full
capacity. If you think this way you can relax. Why did He come?
John 3:17/ Luke 19:10
Day 14- It is SIN that stands as a wall between God and us. Sin comes
from a Greek word that means, "to miss the mark". The Bible says that ALL men
have sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23). Whether we miss the mark by an inch
or a mile we still miss it. It is sin that divides and keeps us from being
united with our Creator.
Psalm 66:18 / Isaiah 59:2 / Isaiah 64:7
Day 15- Sin's penalty is death - both physical and spiritual. It is
serious because the heart of sin is rebellion towards God. It destroys the
closeness that we were meant to have with God and in the end destroys us.
Ezekiel 18:4 / Romans 5:12 / Romans 6:23a
Day 16- In the time before Christ (or Old Testament time), God
prescribed for the people a way that they could deal with their sins. It was
through sacrifices. A priest would offer up to God an animal. The whole affair
was messy, gruesome and bloody. God wanted the people to see that sin is messy
and gruesome. It also had to be a perfect animal to show that their
imperfection could only be atoned for by what was perfect.
Day 17- These gruesome sacrifices had to be repeated over and over. Sin
and sacrifice was a never-ending cycle. But when God chose to send His Son
Jesus to earth He broke this cycle. For through His Son, God provided for us a
"once and for all" sacrifice for sin. Jesus became the spotless, perfect lamb.
With His death, all men for all time could be forgiven and united to their
creator. This is why the death of Jesus matters so much to each of us.
Hebrews 2:9 / Hebrews 7:27/ 1 Peter 2: 24-25 / 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 / Hebrews 9: 12, 28
Imagine yourself on one side of a large canyon with God on the other side. One step too far and it's a fall straight down to your death. But if someone laid a strong, long piece of timber over the canyon you would now have a way to get to God on the other side. The Cross that Christ died on is that bridge between man and God.
Day 18- The death of Christ not only matters to us because He took our
place in death and dealt with our sin but because He restored our relationship
1 Timothy 2:5 / Hebrews 9:15/ 1 Peter 3:18 / Colossians 1:22
Day 19- If you ask the motive that God had in giving us His Son you'll
find only one.
John 15:13 / John 3:16 / 1 John 3:16 / Revelations 1:5
Although Salvation is usually thought of in terms of sin, it cannot be limited to the initial stage of redemption - i.e. the forgiveness of our sins. "Soteria" is a Greek word for salvation that can be translated "deliverance".
Day 20- Jesus Christ was raised up a "horn of salvation" so that we
should have deliverance and be saved from our enemies.
Luke 1: 68-71 / Psalm 18:48 / Psalm 106:10
Day 21- When trouble and affliction come, Jesus saves us from the
"sting" of whatever we are facing. It will not be able to permanently hurt us.
2 Timothy 4:18 / 2 Peter 2:9 / 2 Corinthians 1:10 / Psalm 107:8, 13 / Psalm 91:3/ Job 5:19
Day 22- This deliverance enables us to serve God without fear. Jesus
delivers us from all fear so that we can be rested workers able to serve in
holiness and righteousness.
Luke 1:74-75 / Isaiah 41:10 / Isaiah 43:1-3 / Psalm 34:4
Day 23- Jesus delivers us from being slaves. We are slaves if someone or
something owns and controls us. Many of us are slaves to the sinful habits that
control us such as overeating, or drugs. But we are freed from having to commit
John 8:32-36 / Romans 8:2/ Hebrews 2:14-15
Day 24- It is a fact that we will be tempted but Jesus delivers us from
being tempted beyond what we can bear. With all temptation, He provides a way
of escape for us if we will look up to Him during the temptation.
2 Corinthians 1:10
Day 25- We need to recognize that man's problem and therefore our
problem is a direct result of our decision to live life independently from God.
Isaiah 52:6a / Matthew 15:8
Anything we do, even what looks good, if done apart from God is worthless. For example: you donate $500 to charity. That looks like a very good thing to do. Deep down you felt that you should really use the money to help your 85-year-old neighbor repair her broken fence. But, you don't want to get involved as it will take up your time and that might lead to other things you would be called upon to do. So giving $500 to charity eases your conscience and looks good to everyone else too. We must understand this point: what looks good to man is worthless if it isn't recognized by God!
Day 26- Man's disease is called SIN. As we mentioned earlier in Day 14
it is a falling short of doing our duty. It is a failure to do what we know is
right to do in God's sight and therefore we are dead before God (see day 15).
The "god of this world" called Satan works very hard to keep us thinking that
we are good men and women!
2 Corinthians 4:4
And therefore if we think we are good and do not recognize the sin that
separates us from God then we become as the blind.
Isaiah 59:10 / Ephesians 4:18
Day 27- We need to see that a radical change is needed in our inner
being and this is something that only God can do. The Creator that made us is
also the Creator that will remake us! Listen to Jesus' explanation of this
John 3: 1-9
Day 28- God has sent His Holy Spirit into the world to open our eyes. He
wants us to see the truth about ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit's job to
convict us. He helps us to clearly see the truth concerning our own sins but
also to see the truth about all that Jesus Christ has done for us as our
Savior. The Holy Spirit is our personal surgeon. Yes, there is pain in the
cutting but it is followed by life because the tumor is out! He works always to
John 16: 8-15
Day 29- God, through the Holy Spirit, is always at work in every man,
trying to bring us to Himself.
The truth of the Word of God (i.e. what is recorded in the Bible) is
what the Holy Spirit uses to show us things. It is why a man or woman might be
enlightened through the words of a song or sermon or a believing friend or
through reading the Bible.
Hebrews 4:12 / John 8:32
Day 30- Do you hunger to be changed and united with your Creator but are afraid of what you'll see about yourself or maybe have to do? If you feel this way then be glad rather than afraid. Salvation for you cost Jesus His life and it will cost you something as well. Like a baby born through pain, your recreated self and new life with God is waiting for you and will be worth it all!
It will be important now to listen and not resist what the Holy Spirit
is showing you. Yield yourself to His prompting and obey. The Bible solemnly
warns that God will not strive with man forever.
Genesis 6:3 / Proverbs 29:1 / Hebrews 2:3a
We'll continue in our next study to answer the question: How does Salvation that is already accomplished in Christ become mine?
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