Jesus, Promised Saviour of the World

Posted by Elaine May 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM AEST

What is Proph·e·cy?
Noun – A prediction of what will happen in the future.

Here in Isaiah 53 the prophets foretold Jesus’ arrival – (this was written long before His birth):

“Who would have believed what we now report? Who could have seen the Lord’s hand in this?
It was the will of the Lord that his servant grow like a plant taking root in dry ground. He had no dignity or beauty to make us take notice of him. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing that would draw us to him.

We despised him and rejected him; he endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at him – we ignored him as if he were nothing. "But he endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that his suffering was punishment sent by God.

But because of OUR sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil WE did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.

All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved.

“He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; he never said a word. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, he never said a word.

He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die and no one cared about his fate. He was put to death for the sins of OUR people. He was placed in a grave with those who are evil, he was buried with the rich, even though he had never committed a crime or ever told a lie."

The Lord says, "It was my will that he should suffer; His death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so He will see his descendants; He will live a long life and through Him my purpose will succeed.

After a life of suffering, He will again have joy; he will know that he did not suffer in vain. My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many AND FOR HIS SAKE I will forgive them.

And so I will give him a place of honor, a place among the great and powerful. He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven."

Prophecy fulfilled:
Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Joseph, her fiance, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. As he considered this, he fell asleep and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.

“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son and you are to name him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

All of this happened to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded.

He brought Mary home to be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-25 New Living Translation

Wow God, its so easy to put ourselves in your place and wonder why you do things that don’t make sense with our limited understanding.

If I were you I would have made sure Jesus made a spectacular entrance with only the best of everything at his disposal so everyone could clearly see how great He was – but even as I write this I understand how trivial this sounds. Allowing Jesus to do things the ‘easy way’ would have achieved nothing to bring about God’s plan of salvation for me ……

And Jesus, your experience here on earth was far from easy and I know how sad I would have been to walk in your shoes, even for a minute:

You were born of a girl shamefully pregnant before marriage. Although you could have had anything, You were born in a dirty stable with the animals because no-one had room for you.

Your birth was announced to freaked out shepherds on the hillside by magnificent Angels, people who were thought to be unreligious and unclean.

These lowly men became the first ones to worship and bow down before you.

Wealthy kings from afar saw your impending arrival in the stars and understanding how great you were travelled long distances with expensive gifts to lay at your feet, guided by a huge star.

Although religious leaders had your birth prophesied in their scriptures they didn’t accept that you were the promised Messiah.

During your time here on earth:
You lived a lowly life as a carpenter’s son not a fitting life for the Son of God.

You astounded religious leaders with your knowledge of the scriptures before the age of 10 but they still didn’t realize who you were. (which was all part of your plan because if they’d understood who you were they wouldn’t have crucified you and I wouldn’t be forgiven right now!)

You waited until you were 30 before beginning to fulfil your destiny as the Saviour of the world.

In three short years, You:

Hung around with ‘sinners’, your favourite kind of people, preaching that God was a loving Father in heaven who wanted only the best for us.

Your many miracles during this time included walking on water – witnessed by your disciples,
Turning water into wine – not just wine but the best wine at a wedding feast with many witnesses.
Raising the dead – even after they’d been dead for days –
Healing eyes blind from birth, healing lepers, outcasts and living on the edge of town and causing cripples begging at the city gate to walk.

… And if these miracles weren’t amazing enough:

You fed 5000 people who were following you and hanging on every word you said. People who hadn’t brought any provisions with them and from just a boy’s lunch of 5 small loaves and 2 fishes – you didn’t just feed them, you generously provided enough so that there were 12 baskets of food left over.

Thousands more witnesses to your miracles and greatness!

You expelled demons from outcasts making them whole which astounded the people in town who treated these people as insane because they were possessed.

Even though you performed these miracles before so many witnesses, still your sovereignty was not taken seriously in your home town and people began to see you as a threat.

Fishermen who hadn’t caught anything all night caught many more fish than they needed in obedience to your command.

Blog Image Photograph by Gordon Gahan, National Geographic

You were constantly accused of things you didn’t do – that would have caused much pain for your heart, even let down by those closest to you, and You were convicted before suffering the humility of being publically crucified, complete with more insult accusation, brutality and humiliation.

And all this just because you had a mission to fulfil, so that we could receive forgiveness, purpose and destiny and everlasting life free from all the hard times this world offers……

…. all so we would one day understand you loved us and wanted us for your own – now that’s love.

Even coming back to life after you were dead for three days and being seen by hundreds of witnesses hasn’t changed things for you – you’re still not accepted today.

If I can help one person understand that you are all that you say you are, and life is totally meaningful in relationship with you, that will make my time here on earth worthwhile.

You thought of everything! You gave us all we need to do life well.

Please share this hope through Jesus with those you love!
2015 – From Elaine Costin – Capturing Sunrise