'The devil is trying to discredit the truth about God’s Word'
Life would be so simple if we were not responsible for our choices, but we are. We are living in what has been described as the information age, where information seems to be the new currency. And, while information has always been critical to all we do, what distinguishes this present time is "... that there is a lot more information (and misinformation) available than ever before ..." (The Great Omission - Dallas Willard).
Part of the challenge for Christians is that people and organisations with anti-Christian agendas push falsified information into the public arena in an attempt to discredit God, Christ, and the Christian faith.
It is a battle strategy of the devil to get us not to believe God and to keep us from God's best by discrediting the truth of God's Word and Jesus' divinity.
That is why Christians need to know what they believe and why they believe. Today, we will answer the question: Is Jesus the Messiah? And why was it necessary for Him to come to earth and die?
The Bible is about the Messiah, and Jesus Christ was the fulfilment of God's prophecy about the Messiah that:
The Messiah would:
n Be born at Bethlehem - Micah 5:2;
n Be preceded by a messenger - Isaiah 40:3;
n Enter Jerusalem on a donkey - Zechariah 9:9;
n Be betrayed by a friend - Psalm 41:9;
n Be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver that would be thrown in God's House and used to buy a potter's field - Zechariah 11:12-13;
n Be silent before His accusers - Isaiah 53:7; and
n Be crucified - Psalm 22:16.
The life of Jesus was no coincidence. His life was lived on purpose for purpose.
So why did Jesus make His entry into mankind? We read in 1 John 3:8 (NIV) that, "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the Devil's work." For many of us, the life we are living now was not the plan of God. We live in heartache, distress, depression and discouragement, but Jesus, the Son of God, came into our world in human form to destroy the devil's work of sin. Sin can be anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NLT) says, "Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all."
So how has Jesus taken our sin and the pain that comes with it?
1. Jesus bore our burdens
Jesus suffered so that He could bear our griefs, sicknesses, diseases, afflictions, our sufferings and all the oppressions of Satan. Jesus wants to lift our source of grief from us and carry it for us. Many of us are fighting fears in our minds. On the cross, He carried our sorrows, the pains of our mind, anxiety, guilt, disappointments and the troubles of the soul.
2. Jesus received our punishment
God's plan is for our wellbeing on earth and in eternity. For us, to fully experience God's wholeness in body and mind, we must also restore our spirit. God's wholeness for us includes joy, peace, purpose, and eternal life. John 10:10b NIVsays "... I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
But from birth our nature has stood in our way. Isaiah 53:6a (NLT) says, "All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own ..." God has given us free choice, but we are responsible for the acts of free choice. We are prone to stray and get lost in life; our selfishness, poor decisions, lusts, temptations, and much more have caused us to sin, which has consequences - even unto death.
We are separated from God's best because of our sin;we even try to do good works, but this is not enough.
Because of our sins, Jesus stepped in with the plan of restoration vs 5: "But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed."
This is far more than sympathy and compassion. It is the actual bearing the consequence of our eternal judgment for our sin.Before God could forgive, His justice had to be satisfied. He took our punishment for sin, the whipping for us. He shed blood on Calvary so that you and I could have eternal life.
Do you have eternal life? Would you believe today that Jesus has done this for you?
We need to start seeing life from a different angle - that our lives were part of a spiritual battle, and we must purposely place ourselves in a fortified place to fight this battle as disciples of Christ. For Jesus came to set us free to do the will of God and experience the favour of God.