Hebrews: Why Did Jesus Come?

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Over the past several weeks in Hebrews, we’ve focused on eight theological reasons why God sent His Son from glory to this sinful earth. Let’s put them all together for a recap.

  1. God sent Jesus to “bring many sons to glory” (v. 10). To bring lost human beings – now redeemed – into His eternal family.
  2. He sent Jesus to earth to “Make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering” (v. 10b). Remember that “perfect” means complete and doesn’t imply that Jesus was every imperfect. His role as “the author of [our] salvation” was completed by his suffering on the cross.
  3. Jesus came so that He could present us to God as “the children God has given me” (v. 13). Children who were set apart for Him and transformed into His own image.
  4. God sent Jesus to “destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil” v. 14). Jesus came to fulfill God’s first promise “to crush the head” of the devil (Genesis 3:15).
  5. In destroying the devil, Jesus came to “free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (v. 15). As children of God, we do not fear the end of this life because we know that we have eternal life with Him in heaven forever.
  6. God sent Jesus to be for us “a merciful and faithful high priest” (v. 17). He is the only high priest who does not need to make atonement for His own sins before He can atone for ours.
  7. As our high priest, Jesus came to “make atonement for the sins of the people” (v. 17b). By His death, He made us “at one” with God as we were “me[a]nt” to be.
  8. God sent Jesus “to help those who are being tempted” (v. 18).  He suffered from the same demonic temptation you and I face. He understands and He is able and more than willing to help us.

All of this comes back to one core reason God sent Jesus to earth: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God loves His creation. He wants to redeem sinful humans and restore the relationship for which we were created. He did that through His Son. He did that for you and me. Beloved, God gave the most precious thing in heaven to save you forever. Because He loves you.

The Fruit of Peace

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…” Galatians 5:22

We have looked at peace in several different ways this Advent week, like turning a precious jewel to see its different facets.  Today, we are going to turn this gem one more time, and see another beautiful perspective of peace.  In this devotional, we will be looking at the fruit of peace, as we celebrate this season of the birth of the Prince of Peace.

First, as our key verse says, peace is a fruit in itself.  It is one of the fruits produced by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Peace is not something we manufacture on our own.  It is a natural by-product of being filled with the Spirit through the vine that is Jesus Christ (see John 15:1-8).  But we are told to “seek peace” as Psalm 34:14 says: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”  We can’t make peace, but we can follow Jesus Christ, who is the Peace-giver.

Peace produces “fruit” of its own, according to the Bible.  Proverbs 14:30 tells us that peace is a path to good health – “A heart at peace gives life to the body.”  A heart at peace beats in a body that is generally free from the stress and anxiety and bitterness that medical science warns will destroy our health.  Daniel 10:19 also tells us that peace brings strength – “”Do not be afraid, o man highly esteemed.  Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”  The peace that we find in our God strengthens us to persevere in difficulties and to “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). God’s peace assures us that our Heavenly Father is in control of all things that concern us.  Peace combined with trust equals hope – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).   James 3:18 says “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”  Now we have a vine that is becoming heavy with the fruit of peace.

And now we take the fruit of peace and reach out beyond ourselves, as Ephesians 4:3 says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  Peace brings God’s people together in unity.  If you are following the Prince of Peace and I am following the Prince of Peace, we are of one heart and mind – the perfect picture of unity in Christ.

Jesus promises us peace in times of trouble – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).  This is the peace that Paul talked about in Philippians 4:7 – “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  This peace of mind and heart is the peace that only comes when we trust in the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, God’s perfect Son.

Perhaps the most precious fruit of peace is found in Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5.  Jesus declared “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (v. 9).   When we bear the fruit of the peace of Christ in our lives; when we pursue peace by following Jesus the Peace-giver, we have His promise that we will be called sons (and daughters) of God!

The promise of peace is indeed a precious gift, a gift that continues to give, producing fruit that benefits us and others, and ultimately unites us with our Heavenly Father as His children.  “For He Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14).

 Father in Heaven, I receive this gift of peace through Your Son, Jesus.  I will seek peace by following my Savior all the days of my life; and will be your child for all eternity.  Amen