Summary: A look at why Jesus came to earth in His own words
SERIES: “WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT WHY HE CAME”
“I CAME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE WHAT WAS LOST”
Today we start a new series: “What Jesus Said About Why He Came.” During the Christmas season, we celebrate “God with us” – when God came to earth as a man. That God-man’s name is Jesus and during His time here on earth, He made several declarations concerning why He came. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to look at those statements and see how they affect our lives.
Today is also a notable day in the history of our nation. December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day. Franklin Delano
Roosevelt said, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.” It is certainly a day that should be
America’s participation in WWII was minimal up until the horrendous sneak attack that occurred on this
date in history. However, it was inevitable that the US would enter the war at some point. Japanese Admiral
Yamamoto understood that we would have to be put out of commission in a very decisive way. He had lived in
the US for a time and knew our capabilities based on our industrial strength, comparative wealth, and our
temperament of determination. It was Yamamoto who planned this infamous ambush.
In actuality, Yamamoto was against the attack. He was afraid of angering the US. But he was overruled by
his political superiors. As Commander in Chief of the Imperial Combined Fleet, he committed himself to
planning a successful attack. After the attack, Yamamoto is quoted as saying, “We have awakened a sleeping
giant and have instilled in him a terrible resolve.”
The goal was to keep the US effectively out of the war for at least eighteen months so that the Japanese
could overtake the Philippines and Indo-china and obtain the necessary raw materials they needed to maintain
their war efforts.
The person in charge of leading the attack was a pilot named Mitsuo Fuchida. He homed in on an American commercial radio broadcast from Honolulu and led the Japanese planes on an unmerciful bombing run. You might remember the Japanese phrase he radioed to his men and commanding officers: “Tora! Tora! Tora!” The literal translation: “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” The meaning: Like a tiger we have sneaked up on our prey and devoured them.
That Sunday morning, two waves of planes descended on Pearl Harbor and destroyed 8 ships, 200+ planes, and took 2,403 lives. Numerous sailors were trapped in their ships at Pearl Harbor and there was no way to rescue most of them. Rescuers were able to save 32 of the men from the capsized battleship Oklahoma but the others were not reachable.
On the night after the attack, a sailor by the name of Louis Grabinski from Erie, PA was sent to the battleship West Virginia as a sentry. He heard the sound of men beating on the hull from below and reported it to his superiors. The trapped men were abandoned because of the overwhelming difficulties in trying to rescue them. These men were not the only ones trapped alive in the hulls of the severely damaged ships. Many of these men lived for two weeks or longer. Some even survived until Christmas. Eventually they suffocated, died of thirst, or starved to death.
Hickham Field (now Hickham AFB) is located close to Pearl Harbor. It was attacked by 18 Japanese planes. Although there was some sever damage and loss of life, the tragedy at Peal Harbor was clearly more formidable.
Isn’t it horrible to know that someone needs to be saved but you know there isn’t a thing you can do to help? You just have to stand by helplessly and take in their helpless situation.
God knew our need for salvation but He certainly was not helpless or hopeless about what to do. He sent part of Himself to a young virgin woman from Nazareth who conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the only begotten Son of God. Her betrothed husband Joseph was informed by God of what was happening and was obedient to God’s call on his own life and called the Son of God by the name of Jesus – “God saves”.
It’s through Jesus that we find forgiveness and salvation because He gave His life as payment for our debt of sin. Today’s declaration by Jesus about why came: “I Came To Seek and to Save What Was Lost.”
Luke 19:1-10 – Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of
Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short
man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since