In the preceding weeks, we have talked about pleasing God. Last week, we saw that if we really want to please God, we must understand that Christ is a part of God’s plan and must be followed. As we think more about that, there are a few more things we need to know about Christ.
Christ came from heaven in order to be the Savior of mankind.
That in itself is hard to comprehend, but the Bible tells us: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8).
Imagine a part of the Godhead willing to come to this world to die for sinners. Really and truly, how awesome is God’s love?
While God down through time has spoken to man in various ways, he now commands us to listen to Christ.
In the Hebrew letter we read, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:1-3).
This idea had to be shown to those who were with Jesus here on the earth. On the mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17), Peter wanted to build three tabernacles: “…one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matt. 17:4, 5).
When Christ came to this world, he knew why he was coming. His life was not taken because that was man’s desire. This was in the plan of God.
When Peter preached the first gospel sermon on the day of Pentecost, he explained this: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” (Acts 2:22-24).
Notice he said by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, this was the plan, not a response to man’s rejecting Jesus as the Messiah.
Jesus himself said, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:17, 18).
Perhaps it helps us to understand why we should be so thankful and why we should desire to please God when we see how much he has done so that we might have eternal life.