Saturday, March 26, 2011

4 Things Christ did on Earth

When Christ was on earth, He did a lot of things for a lot of different reasons – most importantly offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice and becoming the mediator of the New Covenant – but I want to examine this question in more practical terms. Where did He go, who did He talk to, and what actions did He take during His life on earth? All of these questions are great starting points for in-depth study, which I encourage everyone to do. For the present time, though, here is a summary of some of the highlights, given by Christ Himself:
Matthew 11:4
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, walked around Israel preaching the gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God. As He preached, He healed everyone who came to Him with an illness of any kind, and He cast out demons that were afflicting people in all kinds of different ways. He even raised people from the dead. Why did Christ do each of these things? Everything that Christ did was the will of the Father, and I want to consider how each of these actions expresses the will of God.

#1 - Christ preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God because God wants to bring His Kingdom to Earth.
Revelation 21:3
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
Isaiah 2:2
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains… and all nations shall flow to it.
God desires to live with men! Christ preached about what God wants to do for humanity: to come and live with us and reveal Himself to all nations. When it says “all nations shall flow to it,” it literally means that God is going to be on earth and that people are going to come to the temple, which will be rebuilt, and they will seek to learn how to worship God properly. This is about a literal government of God on earth (check out the rest of Isaiah 2 and Isaiah 65.) Christ preached about the Kingdom because God wants to bring His Kingdom to save the world from itself.

#2 - Christ healed the sick because God wants to heal our sicknesses and put an end to disease.
Isaiah 65:20
No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old.
Revelation 22:2
On either side of the river was the tree of life... The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
God doesn’t want people to die prematurely from disease the way that they do today. Instead of allowing men to continue to suffer in His Kingdom, the scriptures say that there will be a river that flows from His throne and that the river will bring healing wherever it flows, all over the earth. Christ was sent to heal people in order to show people that God desires to heal the entire world.

#3 - Christ cast out demons because God wants to put away Satan and his demons forever.
Revelation 20:2-3
He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years... so that he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
Revelation 20:7-10
When the thousand years have expired, Satan will go out from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations… The devil, who deceived [the nations], was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Satan is not sitting around on a throne in hell - he is doing exactly what it says in the book of Job: "going to and fro on the earth." He is actively seeking out anyone that he can accuse or cause to stumble. God is going to put him away during the Millennial reign of Christ, and then he will have one final attempt to turn people aside before being cast out forever in the lake of fire. Again, notice that Satan does not go into the lake of fire until after the 1000 years! Satan rules the world today, but God is going to take it back and establish His own Kingdom. This is why Christ cast out demons while He was on earth: because God desires to cast out demons forever.

#4 - Christ raised people from the dead because God desires to raise up everyone who has ever lived back from the dead and to destroy death forever by giving eternal life to all who will follow Him.
Revelation 20:11-14
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God… The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 21:4
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
God instituted death as a punishment for sin because Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and every one of us has followed suit by sinning, earning death for ourselves. God is not only going to save us from the “second death” – that is, permanent death – but also He is going to remove the cause of death, which is sin, and, thereby, He will have destroyed death.

In light of these things, we should also desire the very things that God desires.

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