during the time that Jesus came to earth, all of the plans from the invention of man started to take shape. Jesus fulfilled prophecies, adhered to the Law, and showed obedience to his earthly parents. Jesus walked as Adam should have walked, doing the Will of the Father. for those that paid attention, the ceremonies, sacrifices, and lessons of the Law and the prophets became more evident as to the intention of God. for most everyone else, it would take the infilling of the Holy Ghost to properly decipher the holy passages, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). Jesus had not only prepared a people unto Himself, but He was going to use those people to reach all nations. God made this promise to Abraham from the beginning (Genesis 22:18). repentance was there from the time of the Law. baptism and ritual cleansings were a regular occurrence, so much so that when John the Baptist came from the wilderness and began to baptize people, no one complained or had a problem with what he was doing; they didn’t like the names he called them. David and the prophets spoke about the Spirit of God being upon them. this congregation was fully prepared for the next step in God’s redemption story.
Jesus came to restore, reconcile, and redeem! at Calvary, a sinless Savior became sin “that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). i have read various medical accounts of the effects of the crucifixion on a human body. the agony and torment that a person undergoes are beyond description, and we struggle with what we can imagine. to add to this physical pain, Jesus had the burden of sin and sickness placed upon Him. the ability to focus on the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2), to do anything at this point, is awe-inspiring and springs up feelings of inadequacy in my heart. this cup could not pass from Jesus, for it was the Will of God. the sacrifice was complete; He became the ultimate Passover lamb. Jesus’ lifeless body was lowered from the cross and quickly prepared for burial. what satan celebrated as a victory, God had been keeping a mystery from the beginning of time. tabernacles and temples were no longer necessary, for the perfect, sinless human sacrifice would atone for sin for all time. the wages of sin is death, and through His death, the blood of Jesus provides remission of sins forever.
three days later, the tomb is empty, and many are confused and saddened. the resurrected Savior appeared to many and confirmed His fulfilled promise. when Jesus completed the sacrifice, He exclaimed, “It is finished!” the glorified Lord proclaimed, “This is just the beginning!” it was now time to get busy. the Word of what had happened must be spread, but first, Jesus had a gift for them. the Spirit was poured out, and understanding was unlocked. all of the lessons and actions of Jesus suddenly made sense. the apparent ramblings of these Spirit-filled believers confused others who were visited from various regions. God had just given the answer to relieve them of their bewilderment. Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). Peter proclaimed it, the people responded, and the church began to multiply to the glory of God. these believers would return to their homeland with this new gospel and full of the Holy Ghost!
we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, but this is not the end; it is merely the earnest of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). we live our life per the doctrine and principles that we have received and reach indiscriminately for souls to join in this present joy. however, the prize is to whoever will endure until the end and finish this race. Christ became “the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20), and we will be in His likeness if we “are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23). being Christ’s at His coming refers to the faithful life of the believer or one who has died after living a faithful life, for “the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). with the understanding of the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ mission in mind, i can declare that being faithful includes loving people and preparing those souls to excel in the kingdom of God. we can “see” the kingdom (John 3:3) when we are born again and embrace the compassion that Christ had toward humanity; it’s in us, it’s all around us (Luke 17:21).
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). we can do nothing without Christ. in this study, i have noticed that the “Son” is not referenced in the above passage until verse 28. if we were to reference Psalm 8:4, David asks, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” in verse 6, he continues, “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” applying these scriptures to 1 Corinthians and having just been talking about they who are Christ’s at His coming in verse 23, we could substitute “the Church” wherever there is a “he.” this observation gives new light to the passage as we work toward becoming more Christ-like every day, overcome the enemies of this world, and (thanks to the resurrection power of Jesus) live forever. either way, you look at it, the importance is placed on “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. people still die every day, but Jesus has conquered the grave, and death is not the end!
when Adam deliberately disobeyed God, he had no idea the problems it would cause. God knew and already had a plan to redeem humanity. how often do we struggle with things throughout the day or let anxiety wreak havoc on our mental and physical health? we should turn to Jesus, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). God has made way for humanity to escape from death to life on an eternal stage; your day-to-day concerns are not a problem for Him. no problem is too small. humble yourselves and cast “all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He cared so much that He laid His life down to secure your future.
in ancient times, the meat offering followed the blood sacrifice (Leviticus 2). it was a recognition of the sovereignty of God and of his bounty in giving all earthly blessings. the priest would prepare it and remove a memorial to burn unto the Lord every day. the priest could then enjoy the remainder of the offering. while we’re enjoying our family and our freedoms, let us not forget to set aside a little time for the Lord each day. Jesus’ blood paid our debt. as a memorial, we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). it is our reasonable service!