APPRECIATING THE MINISTRY & MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST
In order to fully understand the work of Christ, we must recognize that the coming and the whole life of Christ on earth was to accomplish God’s divine purposes. He did not just appear, nor did he establish his own mission to pursue in his life, but he was revealed for a very definite and fore ordained mission.
His Mission Was Preordained
The assignment of office took place before Christ became man. It was the work of eternal counsel.
- 1. He was foreordained before creation
1 Peter 1:20
‘He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake’.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—..”
2. He was appointed and affirmed by the Father
“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house”.
“In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
“He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
3. He was sent by the Father
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am — it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, O God.‘…
…First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
- He Came to do the Father’s will
‘For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
‘I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do’.
Read the opener by FF Bruce
“..the character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive in its practice and exerted so deeper influence that it may be truly said that the ample record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the dispositions of the philosophers and all the exaltation of moralists. The character of Jesus has been the highest pattern of virtue.”
- 1. Do you agree or disagree with the comment? Give reasons.
- How does this viewpoint influence your personal experience and daily living?
Jesus reveals God to humanity
Because of humanity’ ignorance and blindness with respect to God’s will and purpose, Jesus came as God’s prophet to dispel such. He both bore the word of God and also He is the word he bears.
- 1. Jesus brought the truth of God to the lost and ignorant humanity.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
‘Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
- Jesus grants the right of sonship
‘He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God’.
- Jesus is the ultimate expression of the prophetic word of God
In Jesus Christ, all the Old Testament prophesies about the messiah all came to pass.
“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted…
…But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this”.
‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’.
- Jesus is the incarnate wisdom of God
I Corinthians 1:30
‘It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption’.
‘My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’.
Jesus Is The Bearer Of Salvation And Reconciliation
- He is the Saviour of the world
Since the fall of man, humanity was in need of a saviour to be set free from the bondage of sin. This is what Jesus came to do.
John 3: 16-17
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
1 Timothy 1:15
“here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners … “
- Jesus reconciles God and humanity
The sinful nature of man made him and the entire creation to be separated from God. Therefore there is need for God’s appointed mediator to help heal the separation. Jesus did exactly this.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men — the testimony given in its proper time.”
“Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned”
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
- He removed the enmity between man and God through His death on the cross
‘He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption’.
Colossians 2:14, 16
‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,.. and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility’.
- He redeemed humanity from sin and the curse of the law
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit”.
“Yes, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us”
- Through Christ we gain righteousness
‘Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people’.
2 Corinthians 5:21
‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’.
Jesus Revealed God’s Kingdom Through Mighty Deeds
- He proclaimed the arrival of the kingdom
‘But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent’.
“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
‘then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick’.
- He came to set the captives free
“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan — The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned…
…You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.”
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
“…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
- He destroyed death and the works of darkness
Jesus aptly confronted and conquered the enemies of mankind- sin, death, powers of darkness and principalities.
1 John 3:8
‘The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work’.
2 Tim 1:9-10
“…This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”.
‘And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross’.
Jesus Christ Is Still At Work Today
Whereas Christ accomplished his mission on earth and ascended in to heaven, he is still active today.
- 1. Jesus continues to intercede for us
‘Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them’.
‘Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us’.
- His presence enables us to do ministry
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- He is the Head of the Church
‘And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it’.
‘And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy’.
- 4. Jesus rules over the creation
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
‘…and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth’.
‘But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom’.
- He will judge the world at the appointed time
2 Corinthians 5:10
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad”.
God has revealed himself to us through His Son. He has shown us mercy and delivered us from shame, oppression and eternal condemnation. What an amazing joy it is to know, that through Christ, we who believe in Him get the privilege of becoming the sons of God.
Reflect on John 1:12-13
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God”.
- How do you feel about the fact that as a believer, you have rightfully become a child of God?
- How should we live our lives in light of this privileged position in the family of God?
- Pray for one another that we shall bring glory to our Father in all we do, just like our ‘Big brother’- Jesus did.