Have you ever wondered why Jesus came? Why did He come as a little baby and have to die on a cross? After all, Jesus could have come descending from a spaceship or been born into a palace. He could have come with flashing, heavenly lights or crowned with remarkable royalty. But instead, He was born to poor parents in a dirty stable. He had poopy diapers and needed to be nursed, changed, and bathed. He humbled Himself and came as a little baby, born in the darkness of night.
Over the next two posts, we will be discussing the question, "Why did Jesus come?" As you read the following Scriptures, find hope in the reminder that God has not abandoned you. Though the world may feel dark and though He may feel far, God has come near. He is in control. God loves us, protects us, and cares for us. In fact, He loves us so much that He came near to us in our brokenness and entered into the human experience so that He could empathize with our weaknesses and reconcile us to our Holy Father. God is unspeakably, unimaginably close. His love is extravagant.
- To Seek and Save the Lost
Why did Jesus come? The first answer is: to save the lost. He didn't come to judge and condemn, but rather to rescue and save.
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost. – Luke 19:10
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:17
Bringing it home:I don't know about you, but I'm horrible with directions. Without GoogleMaps, I can barely make it to the grocery store, let alone the other side of town. When the dreadful days of directional lostness come, as I am circling around in my car disoriented and frantic, my blood pressure rises and I get stressed out. If I'm on my way to some urgent meeting and the Wi-Fi goes out, I feel hopeless. In those moments, I don't need the judgment of one of my passengers telling me that I should know better or do better. I just need help.
The racing, frantic heart of a lost driver is just a silly picture of a much bigger truth: we are all born lost. Some of us feel our lostness down to our bones. We feel the inward despair of dissatisfaction, guilt, and shame. We've tried to find and fix ourselves. We've tried to capture elusive happiness and eternal peace on our own, but we just can't.
We all have a sin problem before a holy God. We were lost, condemned, and guilty. We were deserving of death because we violated the laws of the King of this universe, committing royal treason. And yet, God saw our helplessness, and He had mercy on us. God sent Jesus as His divine messenger to seek us out and to save us.
- To Call Sinners to Repentance
Secondly, Jesus came to call sinners to repent and find hope in Him.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. – Luke 5:32
Bringing it home: Have you ever been caught lying? Maybe you were caught telling a white lie to your spouse or fudging numbers at work. Your spending was actually a little more than you told your boss and eventually, he found out. As he brought the discrepancy to you, you felt your cheeks darken and you looked down ashamed, embarrassed, and exposed.
The feeling of shame is a common one. In fact, there is one thing we have in common with every other follower of Jesus: we're all sinners. Though some of us try to hide it and some of us ignore it, before God, we're all exposed by our dirty sins. But here's the thing: God already knows. He's not shocked by our angry words or hateful attitudes. Our sins are no surprise to Him. And surprisingly, instead of responding to our rebellion with condemnation, He offers us mercy through Jesus.
Jesus is not content to leave us to our broken, sinful ways. He saves us, and He changes us. He calls us to repentance: from shriveling from fruitless, futile thoughts to dwelling on live-giving truths. He exposes the empty promises of sin and calls us to find our greatest joy in Him.
The Gospel Call
Being a sinner is precisely what qualifies us for grace. We don't deserve God's love or favor. We're not righteous or super-holy on our own. God sees our sinfulness and knows we keep blowing it over and over again. So, He sent His Son Jesus to live perfectly on our behalf and to pay our penalty for our sins on the cross.
Have you ever responded to the call of Luke 5:32 above? The call of the gospel is this: though we're all sinners, God has made a way for us to be forgiven and made right with Him. He sent His only Son to live a perfect life and die on the cross for our sins. When we believe in Him, we become the forgiven and the free, adopted children of the King of the Universe. We are made right with our Maker. Have you ever repented of your sins and believed in Jesus's perfect life, death, and resurrection? As we continue this Advent season, I can promise you this: Jesus is merciful and He is the only One who can bring the rest your soul craves.
Tomorrow we will continue answering with the question, "Why did Jesus come?" What do you think the reasons are? Post your answers in the response tab and brainstorm how you could share these truths with friends and loved ones this Christmas season.