Jesus had a very specific plan in mind when He came to earth. What was it?
He who separates himself seeks his own desire [what mankind has done to his relationship with God],
He quarrels against all sound wisdom.
When Jesus began His ministry, He went to His hometown of Nazareth and preached a sermon–a mighty short, but powerful one! It got Him run out of town!!!
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-20
Jesus conspicuously left out the second half of verse 19, which is, “and the day of vengeance of our God…” At the very beginning of His ministry, He began to give us a new way to look at God, or rather, the RIGHT way to look at God. Up until this point, mankind had a skewed view of God, as though through a smoked glass, or a veil. Paul had something like scales on his eyes. Jesus came to recover our sight and to set us free. It is the year of the Lord’s favor!
What specifically was it that Jesus did? Let’s read it:
31 Now is the time for judgment on this world[‘s leadership]; now the prince of this world will be driven out. John 12:31
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world [and its leader, the devil].” John 16:33
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15
4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:4-5
Jesus was all about unity and oneness. He tore down the “dividing wall of hostility” between Jews and Gentiles, and between us and Himself.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [Jews and Gentiles] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. Ephesians 2:14-16
When Jesus died, God tore the veil in the temple from top to bottom, thus tearing down the dividing wall of hostility between man and God, which was man’s doing, not God’s. From then on, we are living temples with Christ on the throne of our hearts. His mercy seat resides within each of us (Hebrews 2:17; the LXX in the OT uses “mercy seat” for “propitiation,” thus giving a restorative tone). Christ has won the war; from that point on, there are only skirmishes. They only seem big to us. Were we to see them from God’s perspective, we would understand that Christ has already saved the world, and we have the happy job of sharing that good news!
“God is not saving the world; it is done. Our business is to get men and women to realize it.”
Abba, may we all begin to see things from Your perspective. You came to heal us of our blindness and to free us from our bondage. We are valuable because You consider us valuable. You have saved us! May we be about sharing this Good News. Amen.