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Salvation and Jesus

7th November 2007, mgh

 

2) Jesus and Salvation

The opening chapter of the New Testament explains that there is a hope of salvation from sin and a hope of life beyond death for humans. A man named Joseph was told that:

“She (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins.”(Matthew 1:21)

The Bible says the power of God overshadowed Mary who conceived a son. This child was both son of man and son of God. From his mother he derived the nature which is common to all mankind, but from his Father, Yahweh, he developed the spiritual qualities that enabled him to develop the mind and strength to overcome all temptation. God directed that his name should be called Jesus, in Hebrew Yeshua (seeThe name Jesus), which has the meaning 'Yah shall save'.

There are many references in the Bible to a 'Saviour'. The 'Saviour' is always Yahweh, who in the past has used humans 'saviours' in various situations in the history of Israel to save them from annihilation by their enemies, such as Moses and Joshua. Jesus Christ, was sent to open the way for Jew and Gentile to obtain salvation and life eternal. When Simeon saw the infant in the temple, he recognised that this child was the means by which the faithful would be redeemed from death and given glory.

“Lord now let thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for my eyes have seen thy salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 1: 29-32)

A human who did not sin

Jesus born in Bethlehem about 2000 years ago, bearing our human nature with all its propensities to sin, was was obedient to all God's Laws and did not sin. The Apostle Peter said,

because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:(1Peter 2:21-22)

Unlike Adam, who disobeyed God's law, Jesus was obedient even to death, that is to give his life to be crucified.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross. (Phillipians 2:8)

The perfect sacrifice

The last book of the New Testament explains that the animal slain in the garden of Eden as a sacrifice to cover sins pointed forward to the Lord Jesus Christ who is figuratively represented as the “Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.”(Revelation 13:8)

As the sinless representative of man, Jesus became the single sacrifice that would cover the sins of the faithful. The writer to the Hebrews put it like this,

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. ... . who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:22-27)

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