WHY DID MY SAVIOR COME TO EARTH? Aaron Beard Trussville Dec 21, 2008 IINTRODUCTIIION:: (Scripture Reading – Hebrews 2:9-18) NTRODUCT ON NTRODUCT ON A. Of all the holidays man has invented, Christmas is my favorite of them all… It’s likely your favorite too… 1. People seem to be little bit more thoughtful of others during this time. People are out shopping, not for themselves but for others. People seem to be happier & many walk around singing! 2. I also appreciate how many, at least in our society, become a little more focused on the Lord: a. Of course we have to insert the disclaimer… We know Christmas is not a special day of religious observance created by God... It’s made up by man. Since God never gave any instructions for it, we don’t have special services for it as a local church b. Having said that, it’s a good opportunity because many are thinking more about the Lord during this time and are more open to the spiritual discussions about God’s word. c. I like seeing the name of Jesus plastered all over our world & the spiritual emphasis we see 3. Maybe I feel a little like Paul when he said, “Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice” (Phil 1:18). B. As many are focusing on the birth of Jesus, we must be sure we don’t miss the purpose behind it. 1. His birth in a manger was an incredible event, but it was not the fulcrum of His mission, it was the avenue by which He arrived on this earth to accomplish His purpose: a. It has been suggested that it is easier to worship the Jesus of the manger than to worship the Jesus of cross because the Jesus of the manger seems innocent and cute while the Jesus of the cross is convicting and calls us to leave behind our sins & follow Him! b. There’s a lot of truth to that; however, there’s not two different Jesus’! The same Jesus of the manger is the same Jesus of the SOTM, the many parables, & even the cross! 2. The mission and purpose of Jesus is what gives the great depth of meaning to His birth! a. There is a song in our books that raises a great question for us: “Why Did My Savior Come To Earth?” Of course the answer it gives for us is simple, “Because He loved me so!” b. Several passages reveal to us the reason why Jesus was born… They reveal not only the reason why He came to earth, but the reason why He had to come the way He did! 3. With this in mind, let’s look at the question, “Why Did My Savior Come To Earth?” – It’s a question whose answer changes our lives here now and ultimately changes them for eternity! SO LET’’S SEE WHAT THE SCRIIPTURES SAY… WHY DIID MY SAVIIOR COME TO EARTH? SO LET S SEE WHAT THE SCR PTURES SAY… WHY D D MY SAV OR COME TO EARTH? A. Why Did My Savior Come To Earth? He Came To Earth To Die For My Sins! 1. From the very beginning Mary, the mother of Jesus, likely had to wrestle with both the excitement and the reality of Jesus’ mission on earth: (Luke 2:29-35) a. The angels who appeared to Joseph and Mary announcing Jesus’ birth spoke of the kingship of Jesus, the way Jesus would be the one to fulfill the words spoken by the prophets, how He’d be God with us, and how Jesus would save men from their sins b. This is exciting news, but Mary & Joseph, being such righteous people, could’ve also been very familiar with the prophecies concerning the suffering the Messiah would face c. Even if they didn’t catch this, Simeon’s words were clear. Jesus would face opposition as He carried out His mission and a sword would pierce through Mary’s soul as a result. d. Mother have great dreams for their child from the time they learn they are pregnant and especially when their child is born (Illust: Tiny Fingers Tiny Toes & Watching Scotty Grow) 1) How many mothers would be excited to learn their new child would be the Savior of the world? The preacher of truth? The redeemer of their nation? 2) Now, what if they are told He will also be rejected by men, despised & forsaken, spat upon, scourged, & crucified at only 33 years of age. That changes things! 3) From the start His mission is clear… He would save man from their sins & usher in a kingdom that would never fall… but this would come via great suffering! 2. John described Jesus as the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8) a. Even before the Lord created us, He knew we would sin. He knew we would need to be saved from our sins & delivered from the grasp of Satan. And He also knew exactly the pain, suffering, and the death it would take to redeem us from our sins b. Even knowing this the Lord still went ahead and created us! This took an incredible love! c. The image of a lamb that is slain reminds us of Isaiah 53. It calls to mind the meekness Jesus displayed, the way He surrendered of His will, the way He gave Himself to die! There was no fight & no lashing back! Why? It was His mission… HE LOVED ME SO! 3. During His ministry Jesus made it clear that He came to this world so He could die! (John 12:32-33) 4. He summarized this part of His mission by saying He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:9-10) a. When being crucified, His enemies shouted mockingly, “He saved others, He cannot save Himself!” How true these words actually were! If Jesus was going to save others, He couldn’t save Himself! Saving others was the joy Jesus saw beyond the cross! b. Paul felt this personally and so should we… “Christ came to save sinners of whom I am chief” (1 Tim 1:15) He came so He could die for you & me saving us from our sins! c. Jesus was born so He could die, to deliver us from our sins. If we truly appreciated & loved Jesus for what He did for us then we’d be driven to get sin out of our lives! 5. When we look and see Jesus as a cute, sweet, & innocent baby in the manger, we should also be seeing Jesus as the rejected, wounded, and bruised Savior of the cross! HE LOVED ME SO! B. He Came To Serve… To Serve, Not To Be Served! 1. According to human logic, if God came to earth in the form of a man, God would not choose the role of a servant; however, that’s exactly what Jesus did! (Esther 1:3-7) a. Our logic would have Jesus being born in the greatest palace of men surrounded by princes and wealth, but Jesus chose a manger in a shed surrounded by animals! Our logic would have Jesus having people wait on Him hand and foot, but Jesus chose to serve others! Our logic would have Jesus being protected from the sick, the maimed, and the worst of society, but these are the people Jesus sought out to heal & to free! b. Jesus doesn’t fit the profile of what expect in a king… That’s ‘cause His kingdom is spiritual! c. This is part of the reason so many Jews rejected Jesus… They expected something greater! 2. From the start of His ministry to His ascension, everything about Jesus’ life was done for others - His life was not filled with selfish centered pursuits… He truly put others ahead of Himself! 3. On one occasion, when the disciples were filled with pride, Jesus taught them a lesson about humility through becoming their servant! (Matthew 20:28) 4. Paul described Jesus’ arrival on earth & His life as humble, obedient, & serving (Phil 2:3-8) a. Just by coming to this world, Jesus demonstrated these qualities. They are amplified in the birth He chose. They are seen even more clearly in the purpose with which He lived! b. Why did my Savior come to earth? He came to serve others, even me! As we grow in our knowledge of Christ our desire to serve others should also increase! c. This means putting other people’s needs and interests ahead of our own… It may mean setting aside our own desires, pursuits, and even making sacrifices. But if Jesus loved us enough to come to earth, certainly we should love Him enough to serve others! d. Charles Swindoll writes, “We feel noble when serving God; we feel humble when serving people. Serving God receives a favorable response; serving people, especially those who cannot repay, has no visible benfit or glory from anyone except from God!” 5. When we see Jesus as a baby in the manger, we also need to see Jesus with dirty knees, scarred hands, and a compassion filled heart from setting aside His own interests to serve others! C. He Came To Live Our Life… To Qualify As Our Compassionate & Faithful High Priest! 1. There are many ways in which the Lord could have chosen to come to this earth, but the choice of the physical birth of a man, is a choice of identity with us (Matthew 1:21-23) a. Before His birth an angel announces that He will be called Immanuel – “God With Us” b. Here Jesus was God with flesh & blood… He was simultaneously equally human & divine c. While His conception was miraculous, Jesus was born just like all of us. God could have chosen to send Jesus many ways, but only this way gave Him total identity with man! d. All things that characterize a normal baby would have been true of Jesus… He then grew up through the toddler year, adolescence, teens, and on into adulthood like we do. 2. Because Jesus lived the life we do, He experienced everything daily life presents to us (Heb 2:14) a. As we mentioned, He experienced growing up through childhood like we do (Luke 2:51-52) b. He faced relationship issues we do He had parents, siblings, friends, & enemies… He felt the loneliness of being forsaken by His friends, the pressure of being pursued relentlessly by His enemies, and even the pain of being rejected by His family. c. He felt hunger, He got tired, He faced discouragement, He was popular & unpopular, He experienced pain, He worked in carpentry, He slept, He cried, & ultimately He died! d. He stood outside the tomb of a man He knew and loved named Lazarus and wept over the fact that he had died. Jesus experienced pain and sorrow like we do! 3. Spiritually speaking, Jesus had to battle temptation like we do, but was perfectly sinless (Heb 4:15) a. We’re familiar with temptations presented to Jesus by the devil in the desert. Three times Satan tried his best to get Jesus sin and three times Jesus resisted. These weren’t casual temptations but were intense as they attacked difficult parts of Jesus’ life. b. Jesus was tempted here in every way we’re tempted - Lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Every temptation we face is like what Jesus faced here in some way. c. Satan didn’t leave Jesus alone for good at the point, since Jesus lived our life, we can know the devil continued to attack Jesus’ trust & character through temptations (Lk 4:13) 4. Why did my Savior come to earth? He came to earth to live and experience my life so He could serve as my compassionate high priest (Hebrews 2:17-18) a. What Jesus endured on earth, having been made like us in “all things,” qualified Him to be merciful high priest. As He stands as our mediator between us & the Father He knows what we’re facing and is compassionate toward us because He has lived it! b. On earth He faced the daily struggles of life, the struggles against temptation, and the struggles against suffering. He passed every test & is thus our faithful High Priest! c. So in our lives He has left us a perfect example to follow. He is our standard, not the world or one another! He’s shown us how to live & that it’s possible to live a righteous life! d. We can also pray with confidence knowing Jesus is there & knows exactly what we need! 5. When we look at the manger scene and see Jesus as an infant, totally dependent on others, we should also see what Jesus became... A man who lived our life leaving a perfect example to follow & confidence knowing He, who understands our needs, is in Heaven interceding for us D. Our allotted time won’t allow for us to look in depth at every reason why Jesus came to this earth, but let’s consider briefly a few more scriptures that reveal the purpose and mission of His coming: 1. John 12:46 – Jesus came to be the Light of the world! 2000 years ago He illuminated a world of darkness through His teaching, His example, & His death. His light is still shining today! 2. John 18:37 – Jesus came to testify to the truth. He came bringing teaching that was infallibly perfect, He explained God’s laws with perfection, & taught true life changing lessons. 3. Heb 10:7-9 & Matt 5:17 – He came to fulfill the Old Law, bringing to completion its purpose, and then He nailed it to the cross. At this point He established a new law, the New Covenant. 4. John 10:10 – Jesus came to give life to man and to give that life abundantly. Through His death, burial, & resurrection Jesus conquered sin thus taking the sting out of death. 5. Luke 12:49 – He came not to bring peace but a sword. Seems almost contradictory, but it’s not… Jesus knew His teaching would drive a wedge between individuals, not because there was a problem with His teaching, but because not everyone would accept it. He doesn’t hide this.