Humanly speaking, Jesus had to have been an extraordinary individual. There are no two ways about it. While his betrayal was in progress, and he knew what was going on, he instituted the rite of communion. 1 Corinthians 11:23 AMPC. He just carried on with the program. Communion was the dramatized pre-announcement of the program of atonement. This is in consonance with God’s time-honored tradition of announcing stuff before it happens. Isaiah 42:9.
On a sentimental level, the rite of communion was designed to be an In Memoriam – like the placement of a memorial advert for a loved one in the dailies on the anniversary of death. Jesus said we should do it in affectionate remembrance of him. 1 Corinthians 11:24 AMPC. Only that communion is not anniversary based. It’s perennial. But it goes beyond the sentimental. It’s rather very spiritual. In it, Jesus packaged his macabre experience as a gift to humanity. The gory brutalization of his body gave us forgiveness and healing; his blood became the spiritual liquidity used as consideration for the new social compact between God and humanity. Communion is the constituent elemental summary of what has now come to be known as the New Testament. Communion is the constituent elemental summary of what has now come to be known as the New Testament. #Illuminare Click To Tweet
The initiation of communion despite the ongoing act of his betrayal showed Jesus was on a timetable. We have corroboration for this timetable theory in his rebuke of the disciples when they couldn’t heal a demonized boy with intense and violent epileptic seizures. Time was running out on him and they were still battling with the mechanics of faith. He said some pretty hard stuff to his disciples. “Where is your faith?” he asked in exasperation. Before this situation he had sent them out on field training. That’s ancient evangelistic industrial attachment. THEY testified “even the demons are subject to us through your name.” Luke 10:17. So what happened? “How much longer do I stay with you and put up with your doubts,” Jesus asked. Matthew 17:17. He obviously had time pressure. Shortly after this incident, he again prophesied his death and resurrection. If as is obvious the man was on a tight schedule, the question naturally arises, what exactly was his mission? Why was Jesus born? Why did he manifest in human form?
As you study scriptures a 4-point agenda emerges.
The first agenda is the Jewish program – the Mashiach project. In Jewish eschatology, the Messiah is a future Jewish king from the Davidic line. He’s a political figure. In Jewish eschatology, the Messiah is a future Jewish king from the Davidic line. He’s a political figure. #Illuminare Click To TweetEschatology is a branch of theology that deals with end times. The word “mashiach” does not mean “savior.” The idea of a divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from sin is Christian. Mashiach literally means “the anointed one” and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings at coronation. Savior is “Moshiah.” It’s a different word. The Mashiach will be well-versed in Jewish law, will be a charismatic leader and a great military commander. He will be a human being, not a god, demigod or supernatural being. He will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people, rebuild the Temple and re-establish worship.
It’s because Messiah is supposed to liberate the Jews from oppression that the disciples persistently asked Jesus, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” Acts 1:16. They didn’t realize the messianic program is a two-part program. What Jesus did was split the role of the Messiah in two. In his incarnation he played the spiritual role. The military/political role will come later. Revelations 19:11-21.
It is to establish Jesus as the Messiah that the gospel of Matthew traced his lineage to David. It began with this opening statement – “The book of the ancestry of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the descendant of David, the son of Abraham.” Matthew 1:1, Psalm 132:11.
Jesus split the meaning of anointing into spiritual and political – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me TO PREACH the good news to the poor…” he had announced. Luke 4:18. That was the spiritual program. The kickstart of the messiah program was thus the first reason Jesus came. It’s the first item on the agenda.
The second item on the agenda was the facilitation of a new agreement between God and humanity. God had given up on the human race pretty much at the very beginning. He was fed up, so much so he wiped off 99.999% of the human race. He established a genetic bank with Noah’s family and a sizeable number of animals. God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart. God said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep…” Genesis 6:6-7. These people were bad. But “Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community. Noah walked with God.” Genesis 1:5-10 MSG.
Jesus created rapprochement between God and humanity with his sacrifice. That rapprochement had been pre-announced by angelic troops to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.” Luke 2:14. Jesus created rapprochement between God and humanity with his sacrifice. That rapprochement had been pre-announced by angelic troops to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill… Click To Tweet
We see the second agenda in the statement made by Jesus at that first communion: “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people – an agreement confirmed with my blood.” 1 Corinthians 11:25 NLT. That phrase, “God and his people” is rather interesting. The new contract was not a Jewish program, it’s a global agenda. “God and his people” is not referring to the Jewish race but to the world in general. It’s a reference to that rapprochement with the world. “For God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV. Listen to the prophecy of Moses against Jewish rebellion: “They have roused my jealousy by worshipping things that are not God; they have provoked my anger with their useless idols. Now I will rouse their jealousy through people who are not even people; I will provoke their anger through foolish gentiles.” Deuteronomy 32:21 NLT. God was going to collapse the proverbial middle wall of partition separating Jews from Gentiles. Ephesians 2:14. Gentiles (non-Jews) were going to become God’s people. Indeed, Peter wrote, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people.” 1 Peter 2:10 AMP. The qualification to be God’s people was no longer genetic. You don’t need to belong to the genetic stock of Abraham. Becoming a people of God was now faith-based.
The idea of the New Covenant was radical. Turns out it was a pretty generous contract – too generous in fact. It’s a blessings bazaar, a total giveaway. God pretty much gave us everything. As Paul wrote, “Everything is already yours as a gift – Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future all is yours, and you’re privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.” 1 Corinthians 3:21 MSG.
Why did Paul state death is a gift? Seems rather odd. It’s because death now serves our interest, just as the apostles do. The Christian can now utilize death, choose when to die. Yes. Paul wrote, “Everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose. As long as I’m alive in this body, there’s good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I’d hardly know which to choose. Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Because of what you’re going through, I am sure that it’s better for me to stick it out here.” Philippians 1:23-26 MSG. Paul’s day of departure was his choice. Like deciding when to go on summer vacation.
But this is only possible because Jesus conquered death. In the Bible, death is treated as both phenomenon and a personage. Scriptures tell us death is God’s enemy. In 1 Corinthians 15:26 we’re told Satan had political control of death. What Jesus did was to destroy the devil’s hold on death. In the Bible, death is treated as both phenomenon and a personage. Scriptures tell us death is God’s enemy. In 1 Corinthians 15:26 we're told Satan had political control of death. What Jesus did was to destroy the devil’s hold on death.… Click To Tweet“Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15. That scripture is the third item on Jesus’ agenda – the decoupling of Satan’s control over death. But that’s only half the story as concerns the devil.
The fourth item on the agenda was going after the devil’s work. “The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo, destroy, loosen and dissolve the works the devil has done.” 1 John 3:8 AMPC. You can stand on that scripture to fight off deadly diseases like cancer, fight satanic influences, witchcraft affliction, etc. That scripture is the Undo button on your life keypad, your Control Z.
These are the four reasons Jesus came – to initiate the messianic program, to operationalize the new contract between God and humanity, to loosen Satan’s political control over death, and to destroy the works of the devil.
Merry Christmas in advance!
I want you to give your life to Jesus. Please pray this prayer: “Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead. I am saved. Amen.” I want you to give your life to Jesus. Please pray this prayer: “Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead. I am saved. Amen.”… Click To Tweet
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.