Friday, December 11, 2015

Why did God have to come to Earth.? He could have just sent a prophet

Recently, a Muslim reader made this remark regarding one of my posts:
"also God does not have to come down on earth to solve the creation He has sent down one lakh twenty four thousand Prophets And Messengers on earth...and given some miracles to them people can recognize them as someone special not an ordinary person....Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is one of that miracle..."
For those like me who didn't know it before, a lakh is one hundred thousand! This is a very good question and one that gets at the heart of why Jesus came to Earth and why He chose to die in our place. For millennia, God has been sending apostles and prophets to Earth to teach and to warn men. However, most of these were mistreated, scorned, and disregarded. Jesus even told this parable to the Jews that not only shows the treatment that the previous prophets suffered, but also revealed something of who He really was.
"At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'" (Mark 12:2-6)
However, at the end of the story, we know they too took and killed the son as well.

So why did God have to come to Earth and why not just send another prophet? The reason was because God was wanting to do something no mere prophet could do. God was coming not just to teach and warn mankind but to heal them and to free them from the bonds of sin. John says that Jesus came to, "destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8) Such a mission would take more than a prophetic message. Jesus Himself said that He "did not come to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47) and to "seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) However, our lostness was more than a matter of not being properly guided, it was an issue that lay deep inside us, it was an issue of our heart that was dead and lost to God. Paul says that we were "dead in your trespasses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1) A spiritual death to be sure, but one that would also manifest itself as physical death and eternal separation from God; a life doubly dead.

It was for this death, for this lossness, that Jesus came to Earth; not only to live but also to die for us, to die in our place, that we might live towards God. "even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:5-7) This death that He was to die for us was prophesied at His birth. When He was eight days old, Simeon, a righteous man, saw Him in the temple and identified Him as the Salvation of mankind and said to Mary, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed —  and a sword will pierce even your own soul — to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:34-35) Speaking of His manor of death that the death that was necessary for the one whom would be the Salvation of the world.

Bringing forgiveness to the world, destroying the power of sin, giving new life to those who trust in God, and giving the assurance of everlasting life are things that no mere prophet could do. They are things only God can do and to do this meant that God had to come to Earth that we might enjoy His salvation. This is why Jesus had to come and this is why He had to Die. Thanks be to God!

David Robison

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