Summary: Part 1 in this series, focusing on what we can learn not just from the words and events surrounding Jesus’ life, but what He modeled for us.
The Life of Christ
Part 1: He Lived...
March 6, 2005
In its "Man of the Millenium" issue in December of 1999, TIME magazine had this to say:
MAN OF THE MILLENIUM
"The memory of any stretch of years eventually resolves to a list of names, and one of the useful ways of recalling the past two millenniums is by listing the people who acquired great power. Muhammad, Catherine the Great, Marx, Gandhi, Hitler, Roosevelt, Stalin and Mao come quickly to mind. There’s no question that each of those figures changed the lives of millions and evoked responses from worship through hatred. It would require much exotic calculation, however; to deny that the single most powerful figure-not merely in these two millenniums but in all human history-has been Jesus of Nazareth. Not only is the prevalent system of denoting the years based on an erroneous 6th century calculation of the date of his birth, but a serious argument can be made that no one else’s life has proved remotely as powerful and enduring as that of Jesus." Source: "Man of the Millenium." Time Magazine, Dec. 6, 1999. (SermonCentral.com)
Why is this? Was it just the words that he spoke? Was it just the times that he lived in? I don’t think so. I think it’s much more than that.
Today we’re beginning a five-part series on the life of Christ.
On your note-taking guide, you can see the progression we’re working toward. The timing is such that we will be discussing Jesus’ death on Palm Sunday, and his resurrection on Easter.
This won’t be an exhaustive study, but my hope is to give you some highlights of Jesus’ life that we can make a part of our own lives as we seek to be more like him in everything we say and do.
You see, Jesus’ life wasn’t just that of a nice religious teacher who said nice things about loving your neighbor, forgiving, not judging, or whatever.
Jesus’ life was a life of purpose. It’s hard for me to imagine Jesus wasting even one minute of his life, because he knew he had only a few short years to impact the world for all eternity.
Have you ever read through the gospels asking, "Is there anything about the way Jesus lived that I can put into my life?
So often we look only at Jesus words, or the events in his life. Today and over the next few weeks I want us to look at what he modeled for us, especially in the way he lived and taught.
My intention today is focus not so much on the events of Jesus’ life, like on a timeline, but rather to focus on some principles that I believe we can put into our own lives.
We’re not going to focus so much on what Jesus did, as much as on the stuff below the surface - why He did things, and the other stuff that isn’t always apparent from a simple overview of the events in Jesus’ life.
I think that if we can get a grasp on some of these things we can learn from the life of Jesus, we would go a long way to reaching our area for Christ, and to becoming a very healthy body of believers who can offer hope and healing to others as well.
So let’s begin our look at the life of Jesus by investigating four ways Jesus lived his life - four ways that our own lives can be lived for purposes outside of ourselves.
Ready? Okay. First...
He lived in view of eternity.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It’s incredibly important to understand that Jesus didn’t live for the moment. He took advantage of every moment, but he always had the future in mind.
He knew why he came to earth, he knew what his mission was, and he knew what would happen after he finished his mission on earth.
This passage from Hebrews 12 gives us a little perspective of this.
He went to the cross willingly because he knew that once he had accomplished everything he needed to do on earth, especially paying for our sins, he would once again be in the glory of heaven, and not only that, he could anticipate that others would share in that glory as well.
Jesus knew beforehand what kind of treatment he would get on earth, but he did it because he knew that NOT going would not fulfill the purposes of God.
And the purposes of God are eternal. Jesus lived with a view of eternity.