The Evangelical Herald
JESUS' MISSION - INCOMPLETE?
As we remember and celebrate the birth of Christ, we would like to talk about Christ's mission to the earth. Everyone that is sent has a mission. So if God sent His only begotten son to the world, what was His mission? Surely He had a mission to accomplish. Did He accomplish His mission? Is His mission complete? (Isa 9:6,7) In studying the life of Christ we can see four aspects of His mission. (Jn 4:34)
Number One (Mt 4:17): He came to announce the coming eternal kingdom. He began His ministry and repeatedly He would say, "the kingdom of God is at hand". This was the first part of His mission - to arouse an interest and hope in an eternal kingdom. The religious people of that day lived without an understanding of God's eternal purposes for mankind - their only hope in a Messiah was for Him to deliver them from the temporal oppression of the Roman yoke. Jesus' teachings clearly pointed and revealed the establishment of an eternal kingdom. Without a sense of the reality of the eternal aspects of life, it would be impossible for His mission to be successful. A sense of the eternal gives us a purpose of our existence during this short time we call a lifetime. We, like the Jewish nation at that time, must not be confined to the temporal world. We must have an eternal perspective, an eternal hope, and an eternal sense that affects our practical everyday life.
Number Two (Mt 5:1-11): He came to show what kind of citizens would make up that kingdom. The government of this kingdom would be based on love, justice and righteousness. As such, the citizens of this kingdom would be foreigners in the present world that is based on power, greed and selfishness. The citizens of this kingdom would in this temporal world as ambassadors of His kingdom. He went about teaching the values of the kingdom. Love manifested in compassion and service to others. Righteousness based on the inner character of a transformed mind and not on the written codes. He healed the sick. He forgave the sinner. He raised the dead. He manifested His power over all that oppressed humanity - death, sickness, greed, selfishness - all results of the yoke of sin. This was only a demonstration of the blessings of the coming eternal kingdom.
Number Three (Heb 9:15, 10:20): He opened the door to the kingdom. Having announced the kingdom, having shown its values and blessings, He opened the entrance to all who hungered for it, to all who believed in it, to all who saw its wonderful blessings. In obedience to His mission from the father, he voluntarily gave His life in sacrifice so that mankind would be free from the power of sin and death, which reigned since the fall in the Garden of Eden. With His shed blood, He paid the ticket to the kingdom - the doors were opened to any who believed. Wisely He said, "I am the door". Without that door, there is no entrance to the kingdom, there is no access to the riches of the kingdom, and its values can not be experienced. Only those who accept the gift of His sacrifice will enter into His eternal kingdom.
Number Four (Mt 16:18): He came to establish His church. Beginning with the apostles, His people were to be the instruments of reconciliation by living and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom - namely, that Christ had died for our sins so that we may live eternally in a restored paradise. Christ being the head of the church, the body members are His hands, His feet, His heart, -- in all He works through His Church. His church is the firstfruits of His kingdom - all members are to live under the values of the kingdom. In living together under these values, the church is a reflection and testimony of the kingdom of God. We are a family living under different principles that the world lives under so that we may glorify our king. All those who accepted His first three aspects of His mission, are given the privilege to be called "sons of God" and be part of His body.
Did Jesus fulfill His mission? Yes! He did not fail. All four aspects of His mission were completely fulfilled. Yet, His mission is not complete. How can we say that? Did we not just say that He fulfilled all aspects of His mission? Yes, but there remains the second phrase of His mission. He will come again. He comes the second time to complete His mission. At that time He will establish His kingdom. At that time, Satan will be forever destroyed. At that time death will be destroyed. At that time sin will be cleansed from the universe. All His children will be resurrected to an everlasting kingdom of love, peace, and joy.
Yet there is a more important question for you as an individual. Since God loves and wants all mankind to be saved from sin and death, the question is, did Jesus fail in His mission to you? For many millions, Jesus' mission was ignored - His mission for them failed. How about you? Is the hope of the eternal kingdom so real that it surpasses all earthly hopes and interests? Do you hunger for the establishment of the kingdom? Are you waiting with anticipation the coming of the Lord? If you are, then Jesus was successful in His mission for you. If you are not, then Jesus failed in His mission for you. But the good news is that there is still time - time for you to let Jesus have His way in your life and fulfill His mission. We pray that Jesus' mission be completed in my life - in your life.