Jesus Came to Die

Week 5 Day 1

Mark 10:45
45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
In our path through this devotional, we come today to the birth and incarnation of Jesus.  It’s hard to believe that it was less than 90 days ago that we gathered in our Worship Center on Christmas Eve and read these beautiful words from Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 together…“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)”. Take just a moment today to reflect again on what a miracle it is that God stepped out of heaven and came to be with us. The eternal Word, the true Light of the world, became flesh and dwelt among us in all His glory – and that glory was full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

But as we know, that is not nearly the end of the story. Today’s Scripture passage from Mark 10 is a clear reminder to us that Jesus — our Immanuel — came to be with us, but also to fulfill a very specific and sacrificial purpose. He came to serve. He came to give his life as a ransom for us. He was quite literally born to die.

There are many prophecies and pictures surrounding the Christmas story that point us to how Jesus’ ultimate purpose would one day be fulfilled. A compelling example is the significance of the gifts the Magi brought to Jesus sometime after His birth.

The gift of gold represented kingship in that day, and though Jesus is the true King of Kings, He would one day be hung on the cross under a mocking sign reading “King of the Jews”. The frankincense brought to Jesus represented deity and worship, and years later it would be Jesus’ clear (and rightful) claim to be Deity that led to His arrest, trial and crucifixion. The final gift of myrrh was a particularly surprising and poignant one. Myrrh is a blend of spices that was commonly used to prepare bodies for burial and would be used in that very way by Joseph of Arimathea to prepare Jesus’ body for the tomb after His death.

In his book Knowing God, J.I. Packer writes “The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity — hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory — because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor, and was born in a stable, so that 30 years later he might hang on a cross.”

Even at His birth, the One who would bring the death of death had already begun to fulfill His ultimate sacrificial purpose here on earth.  Oh, the fullness of His glory, grace and truth!

Reflection and Prayer

How does the connection of Christ’s birth (Christmas) to His death and ultimately His resurrection (Easter) magnify His glory?

Take some time to reflect on the hope that comes through Christ’s birth and death – “hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory”.

Lord Jesus, I am so thankful for the hope, peace and ultimate glory I can know because You willingly gave Your life as a ransom for me. Help me today to hold to the joy of Your birth, the gracious sufficiency of Your death, and the coming victorious celebration of Your resurrection.

Faith Bible Staff