Summary: Isaiah tells us more about the coming Messiah.
The Mission of the Savior
December 13, 2009
Can you believe Christmas is only 12 days away. There are some who have already finished their Christmas shopping, in fact, we had one who finished it before the season even began. And I’m here to tell you this morning that I am finished shopping too. I’ve bought myself everything that was on my list. Actually, I really am finished. It’s the earliest I have ever finished shopping. It doesn’t mean I may not buy an extra item or two for the family, but it’s amazing for me to be done this early.
And isn’t it amazing that something that has been occurring for the past 2000 or so years can creep up on us and suddenly it’s here. For so many of us, Christmas surprises us by its suddenness. Funny thing about Christmas is that unlike Easter, Christmas always occurs on December 25th. So really, we shouldn’t be so surprised; and if you’re wondering Easter occurs on April 4th.
With Christmas we’re celebrating something old, yet vibrantly alive. For some, even though they’ve celebrated many Christmases, each one seems special. On the one hand, the arrival of God’s Messiah, the Redeemer, the Son of God, has been proclaimed for thousands of years. Yet, the implications of the arrival of the Son of God, still grabs our attention. Even the coldest non-believer will hear songs about Jesus. I always thought it was strange that me dad, who being a staunch Jew, loved to listen to Christmas music. It never made sense, yet there’s the awe about Christ.
After all, Christ still exerts so much influence on our times because He came with a mission. Both the prophets of the Old and the Apostles of the New Testament emphatically declare that this Messiah, Jesus Christ, came into this world for a reason. Work was assigned to Him, even before the world was formed. And we’re never left in the dark about what He was to accomplish.
Christ came to . . .
1. Do the will of God, as our Substitute.
In Hebrews 10 we read, 5 When Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 7 Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, O God."
Verse 10 tells us, that because Jesus did exactly as He was supposed to, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Did you hear that? He came to do the will of the Father and because He did it perfectly, we have been made holy through His sacrifice. There’s nothing we did or can do, other than to believe in Him.
2. Jesus came to save (redeem) His people from their sins.
In Matthew 1, as the angel of the Lord explained to Joseph how Mary became pregnant, this purpose statement was given: She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He is our redeemer.
3. Jesus came to gather all those God appointed to believe in Him.
Among the many remarkable statements from Jesus was the one in John 10:16, where He boldly declared, I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
It’s an amazing statement that reminds us God’s salvation is 100% accomplished by Him. He knows who His sheep are supposed to be and not one will be lost.
Christ came to do these things. He not only came to do them, He has accomplished them! As Isaiah has already shown us, when it comes to the Son of God, failure is impossible! He who is called the Mighty God cannot be thwarted.
Isaiah 42:4 echoes His fervent determination and power when Isaiah says of Christ, He will not grow weak or be discouraged until He has established justice on earth.
In Luke 4, Luke records Jesus’ first sermon. Now I have to admit, first sermons aren’t all that easy, and when Jesus got up and gave this first sermon in Nazareth, His home town, Luke paints a picture of what happened. Jesus read the words of Isaiah 61. Isaiah described the good news of the coming Messiah, a mission that uses words we feel!
Verses 1-3 put the Messiah’s words into the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. It’s as if Isaiah overhears and records the very words that would be spoken by God’s Messiah. And you know what? They were. The words of Isaiah 61 were read by Jesus in that 1st sermon. In Luke 4, Jesus came to his hometown of Nazareth, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He read from Isaiah 61: