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Christ - Doing His Father's Will

John the Baptist told his followers that Jesus was the Lamb of God. God announced at His baptism that Jesus was his Son and He was well pleased with Him. Christ began telling the Jews about the Kingdom of God, proving His words by very powerful miracles that no one could deny, not even His enemies. On two occasions they were performed before thousands of people when He fed them from only a few pieces of fish and bread. He even stopped a funeral procession to bring back to life an only child of a widow. He healed people who had been blind or crippled all their lives, which everyone in the town knew. Lastly, he went to a cemetery, opened the grave and brought back to life a body that was already decaying. All these statements and miracles proved to the honest and sincere people that Jesus was the Son of God. They believed. But the religious leaders did not believe. They wanted "proof".

Jesus often used parables during His short ministry. The twelve He had selected to be His witnesses asked many questions desiring to understand their meaning. On many occasions, He took them aside and explained the parables. All the while, He continued to tell everyone His Kingdom was not of this world, but they had difficulty understanding. He constantly mentioned familiar prophecies and how they were being fulfilled right before their eyes. More and more believed - but not the religious leaders. They began looking for ways to entrap and discredit Him even discussing ways to kill Him.

Very late in His ministry Jesus began to explain to His disciples, especially the twelve, that He was going to be betrayed and be crucified. From the beginning of time on earth, everything had been planned for this upcoming event.  The head of that serpent of old, the Devil, would be crushed by the descendant of Eve by:
    •His complete obedience
    •His death, the perfect sacrifice to atone for sin
    •His burial, from which He would burst forth
    •His resurrection, the triumph over death and the grave, opening the way for reconciliation to God.

God demands our obedience whether we understand His entire purpose behind the command or not. For instance, why was Abel's animal sacrifice more pleasing than Cain's offering from the fruit of the ground? Or, how could a large boat taking years to build be so important? Or, how could putting blood over a door prevent the death of a first-born son? Or, how could looking upon a brass snake raised upon a pole cure the bite of a poisonous snake? We may or may not fully understand God's purpose but we understand we must obey God's commands. We must respond with complete trust in God and obedience to His commands regardless of how illogical it may seem to man's finite mind.

So we see Jesus in complete obedience setting out to Jerusalem to die, offering his life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

We see the leaders of the Jews filled with envy, hate, jealousy and pride, hiring someone to betray Jesus into their hands so they could kill Him. We see a Roman judge finding Him innocent and undeserving of death but willing to kill Him to please the Jews. Jesus willingly gave his life as the perfect sacrifice to atone for man's sin so man could be reconciled to God through obedient faith in Him.

This is the Message of Reconciliation!

Questions

1. Obedience to God is doing what He desires because we have faith in His faithfulness even when we do not fully understand how or why.
         

2. Knowing He would die when He returned to Jerusalem, Jesus still went there for that very purpose.That was why He came to Earth.
         

3. What proof was given that Jesus was the Christ, Son of God?
      Miracles
      Acknowledgment by John the Baptist
      Statement by God Himself
      All the above

4. Jesus went to Jerusalem near the end of His ministry because
      His disciples wanted to go there for the Passover
      The Roman government required everyone to go there to be counted and pay their taxes
      He wanted to offer proof to the Pharisees and Scribes that He was the Son of God.
      It was time to complete His mission for coming to Earth by freely giving His life as the atoning sacrifice of mankind's sins.

5. Pilate, a Roman official, found Jesus innocent
         

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