Summary: This sermon looks at the 5 places in Matthew where Jesus specifically said, "I came. . ." and explores those reasons for His mission.
WHAT WAS JESUS’ MISSION ON EARTH?
A: “Jesus repeatedly made it clear that He understood that His mission on earth led to a cross.”
- In Matthew, see 16:21; Jesus repeats in 17:22-23; Jesus repeats again in 20:17-19.
WHAT DID JESUS HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IN COMPLETING HIS MISSION?
- The cross means so much for each of us who are Christians, and each of us who believe in Him could share this morning what happened in our lives when we came to the cross.
- ***Wouldn’t it be insightful, though, to be able to know what Jesus expected to have happen at the cross?
- In a way, we do.
- Five times in the book of Matthew, Jesus specifically says why He came - that is, what He hoped to accomplish in completing His mission (the cross). Five times in Matthew Jesus says, “I came. . .” and each of these gives us insight into what happened at the cross.
- Let’s take a look at these five passages and an image that helps us to understand each verse.
1. A gavel in a courtroom.
- Matthew 5:17 - “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but fulfill.”
- The importance of this was that for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to meaningful for our salvation, He had to be perfect. All of us have violated the Law, but Jesus was sinless. At the cross, Jesus
took our sin upon Himself and opened up the door for us to take His perfection upon ourselves.
- The image of a gavel in a courtroom brings out the reality of each of us standing before the Judge and being declared guilty. It’s only by His perfection that the cross opens up the door to us being declared clean by His blood.
2. The gates of a country club.
- Matthew 9:13 - “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
- If you’ve ever driven by an expensive country club, looked at the gates, and known that you had no way (i.e. not enough money) to get in, you know what it’s like to be on the outside looking in.
- Spiritually, for all of us who feel that way because we know we’ve done things that keep us from being right with God, Jesus has good news: the cross is not for the insiders, it’s for those of us on the outside looking in.
3. A line in the sand.
- Matthew 10:34 - “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (See also vv. 35-36.)
- Some think of Jesus as a Mr. Rogers kind of figure - offending no one - but that’s not what the
Bible says. Jesus stood tall for the truth and exposed hypocrisy.
- In going to the cross, Jesus drew a line in the sand and said, “Those who are with God, on this side; those who are against, on that side.” The cross is the definitive moment in divine history. The cross is offensive and divisive because it demands that you make a decision.
4. A raft in the ocean.
- Matthew 18:11 - “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”
- If you’re stuck on a raft in the middle of the ocean, drifting with no food and no water, you’re
dead without outside help. You have no hope of paddling to shore. You have no hope of saving
yourself by your own effort. You’re lost and you need outside help.
- We are lost and Jesus is the one who come to save us when we couldn’t save ourselves.
5. A slave on the auction block.
- Matthew 20:27-28 - “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave - just as
the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
- (Note: you could use the serving as a sixth reason, but I chose to focus on just five.)
- Sin imprisons people and there is a price to be paid to release us from our slavery to sin. We’re like a slave on the auction block who cannot pay to purchase himself. But Jesus has come and purchased our freedom.