Strange and important events fill the pages of history and our individual life. Sometimes, we think about great events and wonder, “Did that have to happen?” Could the crime have been stopped? Could the accident been prevented? Could the good thing that came to us worked out a different way?
The Christian has peaceful confidence in God’s hand on history. When we think about the events in God’s plan, we know they had to happen. It is especially true when we think about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
In the season of Easter and Resurrection, it’s good for us to think deeply about how Jesus had to live, had to die, and had to rise again.
Here are a few thoughts on why Jesus had to live, and live among us. It’s a short and incomplete list - feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments section below.
- Jesus Had to Live Among Us Because God Promised to Send the Messiah.
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, we read God’s promise to send a deliverer, a conqueror, and a savior. Starting in the Garden of Eden and going all through the Old Testament, this promise remained. At some point in time, it had to be fulfilled, and it was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Can you describe some of the highlights of God’s great plan?
- Jesus Had to Live Among Us So Man Could Meet God.
Jesus perfectly revealed to us the nature of God. Through history, there have been thousands - probably millions - ideas of what God is like. Jesus settled every question about the nature of God. We don’t have to wonder what God is like; we see Him perfectly displayed in Jesus of Nazareth. Have you met God in the Person of Jesus Christ?
- Jesus Had to Live Among Us to Fulfill God’s Law
Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. One of the ways Jesus fulfilled God’s Law was in His perfect obedience. Every man and woman before Jesus and every one after Him has disobeyed God in some way or another. Yet Jesus was and is the One who did what Adam and the whole human race was not able to do: perfectly obey God. Do you look to Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law?
- Jesus Had to Live Among Us to Bear Witness to the Truth
Jesus told Pontius Pilate that this was why He came (John 18:37). Jesus came to both tell us the truth and to be the living Truth among us - the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). This truth was so important that God brought it in Person. He used messengers before and after Jesus, but Jesus was more than a messenger - He was and is truth itself. Do you believe and receive the truth of Jesus?
- Jesus Had to Live Among Us to Seek and Save the Lost
Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). In our separation from God, Jesus did not just wait for us to seek Him. He came to earth and lived among us as living proof of God’s heart to seek after the lost and troubled. Have you let Jesus find you and rescue you?
- Jesus Had to Live Among Us So the Price Could be Paid
Regarding the cross, Jesus said for this purpose I came to this hour (John 12:27). In Going to the cross and paying the price for guilty humanity, Jesus fulfilled His purpose. Do you look to Jesus as the payment of the price you owe?
- Jesus Had to Live Among Us to Divide Humanity
Jesus said that He came to divide humanity (Matthew 10:34-35), between those who accept Him and those who reject Him. Are you on the right side of that divide - on the side of those who accept and trust in Jesus? The life of Jesus is God’s great gift to the human race and all creation. Yet the value and goodness of that gift depends on our receiving it. Let the life of Jesus - the life He had to live - have full effect in your life.