Happy New Year!
I am back after the Christmas/New Year holiday. I hope you had some time off to reflect on the amazing gift of Jesus Christ.
If you have been following my blog you will remember that we have been talking about DISCOVER JESUS CHRIST. So far we have looked at Six Absolutes of Jesus, Jesus the Teacher, and Jesus the Healer. Today let’s talk about Jesus the Conqueror.
What is your view of life? For some it is a pointless existence. God’s people in the Old Testament, when they were enslaved in Egypt, may have felt this way. Their journey to Egypt started with good intentions. There was a famine in the region and Israel’s family was invited to take refuge in Egypt. But, as time passed, sentiment turned against them and they were used as slave labor. They cried to God and God freed them (the mighty exodus). Moses led them out and began journeying to a long promised land. However, their success would be dependent on their obedience to God. Unfortunately, their disobedience delayed their entry into the promises land by 40 years! At the end of those 40 years the mantel of leadership was passed from Moses to his trusted assistant Joshua, who would lead the people into the long awaited land.
We are not unlike them. We have been enslaved in world filled with difficulty leaving us to wonder the reason we are here. The struggling economy has us refocusing supporting our choses lifestyle. The threat of terrorism keeps us a bit nervous. Immigration has us looking for ways to be benevolent without compromising our boarder. Is it these issues or others that we are on this earth to resolve? Is there something more or are we reduced to a pointless existence?
Just as Israel needed a conqueror (and found one in Joshua), we too need a conqueror. We are much like Israel and Jesus is much like Joshua. In fact, their names mean the same thing, Jehovah Saves. Israel needed leadership to gain freedom and Joshua provided it. We need leadership to gain eternal freedom and Jesus provides it.
Joshua and Jesus conquered the troublers of God’s people. The original inhabitant of the promised land were immoral and ungodly. Joshua was commanded to drive them out. Israel did not inhabit the land without a struggle. But, God was with them. Their obedience to Him resulted in success. Disobedience resulted in failure. Humanity needed help getting out of spiritual darkness. There was no hope and they were without God (Ephesians 2:12). The enemy of God waged war against us. How? Hebrews 2:14-15, 14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, thatthrough death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Fear is the evil one’s greatest weapon. It renders us powerless. But the oldest prophecy in the Bible tells us that death received a death blow when Jesus rose from the death (Genesis 3:15).
Joshua and Jesus both dealt with sin. In Joshua 7:10-26 we read about Achan who was disobedient to the clear command of God and the whole nation suffered for it. Joshua followed God full and took care of the problem and the nation had success. Israel would later struggle with sin. Jesus, however, conquered sin once and for all. Pleasure and gratification reign in the world. The love for power has replaced the power of love. Families are disintegrating. If you find yourself in the grip of sin or feel you are in “pointless existence” there is more. I Corinthians 15:54-57, 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? Odeath, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Even death is no big deal with Jesus. Jesus has conquered sin and death and is capable of saving you (Hebrews 5:9).
Joshua gave a temporary inheritance, Jesus give and eternal one. Israel’s territory grew until it reached its peak under the reign on King Solomon (third king of Israel). As with all nations their kingdom was temporary. The inheritance Christ offers, on the other hand, is eternal. Hebrews 9:13-15, 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. That inheritance includes land, rest, and company with God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. Unlike Israel who still had conflict in the promised land, we will have NO CONFLICT in our promised land with the Lord.
What Jesus did on the cross and rising from the dead gives us the possibility of eternal salvation. If you will give your life to the Savior Jesus in obedience to His gospel you will be saved. You will then find the point of your existence.
Next time we will close this series of lessons on Discover Jesus Christ with a lesson titled “Is Jesus God?”.
Until then Discover Jesus Christ.