Friday, March 30, 2018

Why Jesus Came

Hello Friends ~ I hope you all are enjoying preparing for Easter. I hope and pray that in the hustle and bustle of the holiday you will ponder the real reason behind this holiday.

This is my favorite holiday, it is ‘Resurrection Day’, a day of rejoicing.

I want to share here a devotional from John Piper’s Solid Joys daily devotionals, from 11 Dec. 2017 as to the ‘why’ of both Christmas and Easter. Jesus is God in the flesh, come to set people free, now and for all eternity. All who believe in Him will have life forever with Him. No more pain, no more tears, no more sin/evil, no more death. All will be joy forever, better than we can even imagine.

“Why Jesus Came”

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

This, I think, is my favorite Advent text because I don’t know any other that expresses so clearly the connection between the beginning and the end of Jesus’s earthly life — between the incarnation and crucifixion. These two verses make clear why Jesus came; namely, to die. They would be great to use with an unbelieving friend or family member to walk them step-by-step through your Christian view of Christmas. It might go something like this, a phrase at a time:

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood . . . ”

The term “children” is taken from the previous verse and refers to the spiritual offspring of Christ, the Messiah (see Isaiah 8:18; 53:10). These are also the “children of God” (John 1:12). In other words, in sending Christ, God has the salvation of his “children” especially in view.

It is true that “God so loved the world, that he gave [Jesus]” (John 3:16). But it is also true that God was especially gathering “the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:52). God’s design was to offer Christ to the world, and to effect the salvation of his “children” (see 1 Timothy 4:10). You may experience adoption by receiving Christ (John 1:12).

“ . . . he himself likewise partook of the same things [flesh and blood] . . . ”

This means that Christ existed before the incarnation. He was spirit. He was the eternal Word. He was with God and was God (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9). But he took on flesh and blood and clothed his deity with humanity. He became fully man and remained fully God. It is a great mystery in many ways. But it is at the heart of our faith — and what the Bible teaches.

“ . . . that through death . . . ”

The reason he became man was to die. As God pure and simple, he could not die for sinners. But as man he could. His aim was to die. Therefore he had to be born human. He was born to die. Good Friday is the purpose of Christmas. This is what most people today need to hear about the meaning of Christmas.

“ . . . he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil . . . ”

In dying, Christ de-fanged the devil. How? By covering all our sin. This means that Satan has no legitimate grounds to accuse us before God. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33) — on what grounds does he justify? Through the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:9).

Satan’s ultimate weapon against us is our own sin. If the death of Jesus takes it away, the chief weapon of the devil — the one mortal weapon that he has — is taken out of his hand. He cannot make a case for our death penalty, because the Judge has acquitted us by the death of his Son!

“ . . . and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

So, we are free from the fear of death. God has justified us. Satan cannot overturn that decree. And God means for our ultimate safety to have an immediate effect on our lives. He means for the happy ending to take away the slavery and fear of the Now.

If we do not need to fear our last and greatest enemy, death, then we do not need to fear anything. We can be free. Free for joy. Free for others.”

I will close with this quote from John Piper.

God is most glorified in us
when we are most satisfied in him.

Have a blessed Easter.




Sandra said...

Beautiful post Lorraine, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and these wonderful quotes, you summarized perfectly what Easter is all about.

Hope you have a blessed Easter,

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Lovely thoughts on this holy weekend, dear friend. Wishing you blessings and a Happy Easter! Hugs xo Karen

Darcie said...

Thank you for reminding us of all that was done for our sakes, and the hope beyond the grave. Happy Easter.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Wonderful words from God's Word.Have a most Blessed Easter.

Morning's Minion said...

Beautiful and inspirational words. Our 'sharing' needs to be this winsome.

NanaDiana said...

Amen and Amen and Amen, Lorraine. I hope you have a wonderful, blessed Easter. xo Diana

BeachGypsy said...

Amen and Amen! Happy Easter sweet Lorraine, I sure enjoy your posts and your beautiful pictures, Have a lovely day!

September Violets said...

Wonderful thoughts Lorraine. Thank you for sharing this, and I hope you have a lovely Easter.
Wendy xox

GretchenJoanna said...

He has trampled down death by His death! And He is risen!

Happy Easter, Dear Lorraine!

M.K. said...

Rev. Piper has such comforting and strong words, helpful words, for Christians. I always find him encouraging and uplifting, and still so honest.

sweetbay said...

A beautiful post. Happy Easter, and I hope you are doing well.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Happy Easter and Blessed Resurrection Rainey! Lovely post although I'm still sussing out the last Piper quote.

Rebecca said...

Amazing truth to ponder...
to delve into...
to understand at fresh and new levels.
I want to know Christ AND the power of His resurrection.

Terra said...

Rainey this post is very timely for me, I took notes from it, esp. the Hebrews passage. Our women's Bible study will be reading "The Armor of God" by Priscilla Shirer, so this is very pertinent, plus I've been feeling a bit fearful today. This post reminds me to stop that!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Such a lovely Easter post! :)

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

Lovely thoughts and thank you for sharing. A big Amen! Hope that you had a blessed Easter.

L. D. said...

Thank you for sharing this. Easter blessing every day.

thefisherlady said...

a beautiful and true saying~ this post
thank you so much for sharing