Jesus Christ – The Promised Saviour
In this series Dudley Fifield has traced the message of the Bible through its 66 books, and has shown that although they were written over a period of about 1000 years they have one message, because they are books from God. Now he shows that the message of this wonderful collection centres upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Man Apart
It was not only the birth of the Lord Jesus that set him apart from the rest of mankind. That was remarkable in itself
– that he was born of the Holy Spirit to the virgin Mary. What also set him apart was his ability to combat sin in all its various guises. The gospels record the manner in which the Lord Jesus was tempted for forty days (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12, 13
and Luke 4:1-13).
Jesus was tempted to change stones into bread – but refused
In this dramatic way, when he underwent severe mental and physical trial but was wholly successful in resisting the temptation to misuse his God-given powers, the truth was emphasised that the Lord Jesus was susceptible to temptation in the same way that we are subject to it. In every sense he was seen to be a man who shared our experiences and emotions; in that sense he was ‘one of us’, except that never once did he fail. Triumphantly the Scripture can say of him that he was “without sin”. This is how the writer to the Hebrews describes the nature and achievements of the Lord Jesus, in his struggle against sin:
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared in the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their life- time subject to bondage … in all things he had to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted”
Saviour from Sin
In fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies that had been made, God provided a saviour from sin and death in the Lord Jesus Christ and all four gospel records describe the manner of his death by crucifixion. The fact that he shared our nature is important. He was ‘one of us’; thus he could represent all human-kind upon the cross. There he publicly displayed how God regards sin and acknowledged that God was righteous. In the words of Paul:-
“He (God) made him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us (Revised Version: “on our behalf”), that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This is the predominant message of the New Testament; that the Lord Jesus “died for us”; yet here was a man, the only man ever, who did not deserve to die. For never once did the Lord Jesus sin. So, says the apostle Peter, it was not possible for the grave to hold him (Acts 2:24).
On the third day God raised him from the dead and Christ, triumphant over all opposition, had conquered sin and death and had opened the way for those who acknowledge his sacrifice and recognise their need to share his victory by their own resurrection from the dead. That was exactly what Jesus had promised when he earlier declared:
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
Ruler Over All
By demonstrating that he was able to destroy sin in himself – that he could rule all the natural desires that others succumb to – the Lord Jesus showed that he is able and qualified to rule the world when, as the seed of Abraham and the son of David (Matthew 1:1), he will sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem exercising world-wide dominion on God’s behalf.
Thus it was that forty days after his resurrection, the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven to sit on his Father’s right hand. For his work to be brought to a conclusion he must return to the earth. So it was that, as the disciples watched him ascend
into heaven, angelic voices proclaimed the message:
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
The message was repeated by the apostle Peter preaching to the Jews, when he said that God will:
“send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:20,21).
There are over two hundred such references to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament, for his com- ing to earth is vitally important
Reproduced here by kind permission of the Glad Tidings Magazine: For more great articles see here… http://www.gladtidingsmagazine.org/ and to subscribe for a free monthly magazine visit here http://www.gladtidingsmagazine.org/free-magazines/
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