He performed many miracles (turned water into wine, fed a multitude twice, healed the sick, raised the dead…).
As key as those are, there are events even more crucial in the life of Jesus Christ.
1. Conception and Birth
It’s paramount that Jesus is fully God and fully man. This meant his conception must be of a virgin (as prophesied) and he needed to be born into a human body.
When Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me” (Hebrews 10:5).
The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) (Isaiah 7:14, NLT).
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God (1 John 4:2).
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham (Hebrews 2:14-16).
Jesus’ baptism is key because he said so.
John’s baptism was for repentance. Jesus didn’t need repentance. Yet Jesus constrained him saying it was “proper…to fulfill all righteousness.” With his baptism, we see three things:
1. The foreshadowing of his death and resurrection.
2. The confirmation of him as Messiah by the words of the Father.
3. The first time the Trinity is clearly seen in Scripture.
But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:14-17).
3. Temptation in the Wilderness
Jesus was fully God yet fully man. He came to take away the sins of the world but also become the mediator between God and man. To fulfill these two roles required him to be tempted.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted (Hebrews 2:17).
4. Establish the New Covenant
Jesus came to fulfill the law and establish a new covenant. In the old covenant, the sins of man were imperfectly covered by the blood of bulls and goats. But in the new, by the blood of Jesus Christ, they are remitted, which means removed.
The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant. The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Jeremiah 31:31-33).
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20).
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:28).
But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).
5. Laid Down His Life
It was a choice that plunged humanity into sin. Jesus became our savior by his own choice providing us with a new choice to make.
In his suffering in the garden, he submitted to the will of God, bore our suffering, and became obedient unto death.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father (John 10:18)
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed (Isaiah 53:4-5, NLT).
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8).
Without the resurrection God is dead and Christianity has no veracity.
God is not dead! Jesus rose from death with the keys to hell and death.
“He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again’” (Luke 24:6-7).
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades (Revelation 1:18).
And Yet There’s More
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25).
For further reading:
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Danielle Bernock is an international, award-winning author, coach, and speaker who helps people embrace their value and heal their souls through the power of the love of God. She’s written Emerging With Wings, A Bird Named Payn, Love’s Manifesto, Because You Matter, and hosts the Victorious Souls Podcast. A long-time follower of Christ, Danielle lives with her husband in Michigan near her adult children and grandchildren. For more information or to connect with Danielle https://www.daniellebernock.com/