In part 1, we asked of Jesus the question, “Who is this man?” The answer? The Messiah. Basically this means Jesus is a big deal. The biggest! He is THE King that God promised would come. But what does it mean for Jesus to be ‘The Messiah’? What’s his MISSION?
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. (Mark chapter 8 verse 31)
‘Son of Man’ is Jesus’ way of referring to himself. Why did he come? To suffer, be killed and then rise again! Have a look at how Peter responds:
He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mark chapter 8 verses 32-33)
Peter is shocked! Jesus wasn’t playing the role of Messiah like he was expecting. Jesus quickly puts him back in his place. Suffering, death and resurrection; that’s why Jesus came. Jesus repeats this intention again in chapter 9 and chapter 10. It is no accident that Jesus suffered in the way that he did.
Why was this necessary? Why did Jesus make death his mission in life?
Sin. Sin is a politically incorrect term. We’d rather speak about mistakes rather than sin. Yet, if you were to be honest, you’d know that there are many ways that you fail to live up to your own standards let alone God’s! Each of us have failed to love God wholeheartedly and care for our neighbour sufficiently.
Jesus’ assessment is that we all have a heart problem because each of us are made unclean by the things that come out of our hearts. The bad news is that the Bible says that all people deserve to be judged by God for their sin. The good news? Jesus’ mission was to deal with sin on our behalf.
Unlike us, Jesus always lived a life without sin. So when he suffered and died on the cross, he suffered and died in our place. Jesus lived the life we failed to live. Jesus died the death that we deserved for our sin. He took upon himself our sin, shame, guilt and judgment. More than that, he rose again 3 days later. This means his death really did work and he guarantees eternal life to all those who trust in him. This is great news!
How should we respond? Firstly, like a swimmer drowning at the beach, we need to recognise that we are in trouble and need to be rescued. Secondly? See part 3 in this series…