Coming of Jesus

REVELATION OF GOD Meditations No.9 of 10

John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 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.

Remember, all we are trying to do in these studies is provide a broad brush strokes overview. Now, at the end of the Old Testament, we have a nation, Israel, who have a history of revealing God. By the beginning of the New Testament, history has moved on some four hundred years and they are now under the rule of Rome. It is into this environment that Jesus Christ comes. Although he is born as a little baby, his arrival is surrounded by supernatural events.

At the age of about thirty Jesus starts preaching, teaching, healing people and performing miracles. He clearly has a power beyond anything known to mankind. He reveals himself as the Son of God who has come from heaven. After three years he is arrested, falsely tried and put to death by crucifixion. It was clear that he knew this was going to happen. More than this he had predicted that he would come back from the dead after three days. This happened, and in such manner he convinced his followers that he was who he said he was.

To all who believed in him he gave life transforming power and in the Acts of the Apostles, following the four Gospels, we see the power of God flowing through these followers of Jesus, who has now returned to heaven. It is so staggering that it would be almost impossible to believe if the same life transforming process were not observed in every new follower of Jesus down to the present day.

The New Testament teaches us that Jesus came to more fully reveal God, his Father. Thus when we look at the life and character of Jesus we see this same love that the Old Testament spoke about, a love which accepts us exactly as we are, and yet which loves us so much that wants to help us change so that we can more fully enjoy being who God has designed us to be. The work of Jesus on the Cross, for that was what it was, a purposeful ‘work of God’, was to deal with our guilt in the same way that the sacrificial system in the Old Testament had helped the people of Israel. That Old Testament sacrificial system, the New Testament teaches, was simply a picture of what the Son of God would come and do.

The end product is a people who can call themselves ‘children of God’ who are not ‘religious’ but who have been made whole or complete and able to live at peace and harmony with God. There is nothing servile about this, in the same way that a poor child adopted into a rich family does not have to be servile, only to enter into the fullness of a child of that family.

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