5 APRIL 2020 HE IS THE ONE THAT SETS US FREE Recommended Companion Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52 and 53 It is readily seen by reviewing the gospels that many who looked for the promised Messiah had a misconception of what Jesus came to do. The Jews had studied the old writings long and hard only to be disillusioned. Jesus told the Pharisees, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” John 5:39. Yet they missed the prophecy that Jesus was to be the sacrificial lamb, and they misunderstood the nature of the kingdom that He came to establish. Jesus must have felt that they should understand the concept of the new birth because he told Nicodemus, “Art thou a master of Israel, and know not these things?” John 3:10. It is important to note that Jesus said that all things written about him in the Law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the psalms would be fulfilled, Luke 24:44. We who read God’s Word today look at Jesus’ life from a historical standpoint. We have heard about His death and resurrection all our lives. We do not struggle with believing the record, but maybe we should imagine ourselves in Jesus’ day for a moment. Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and resurrection all contained elements that were difficult for the human mind to comprehend. To understand them, one needed a revelation from God. Jesus told Peter that flesh and blood had not revealed the truth of Christ’s identity to him but that God had. The apostle Paul received a revelation of who Christ was on the Damascus road. Each of us has received this revelation through the new birth, for without it we are not truly born again. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus revealed the nature of His kingdom. He taught us to love and forgive in a measure beyond the capability of unregenerate man. He dealt with the very inner essence of man, the core of his heart. Many professing Christians have also missed the truth that Jesus’ kingdom is now and is in our hearts. Many people are looking to some future time in which the Old Testament prophecies will be fulfilled. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation . . . for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” Luke 17: 20-21. We also read that “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” Romans 14:17. There is no greater power to affect man’s life than the power of the resurrection. Paul speaks of “the exceeding greatness of his power to us—ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” Ephesians 1:19-20. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21. This power is made available to us as we experience the fellowship of His sufferings and are made conformable to His death, Philippians 3:10. May it be our blessing to walk and live in the fullness and joy that God has for us. Courtesy of Gospel Publishers, Moundridge Kansas
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