Why Jesus Came to Earth
Jesus came to earth for many purposes. The overarching purpose was to establish his own sovereignty:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
- Philippians 2:5-11
Up until his bestowal on earth, Jesus was a vicegerent of his universe, meaning he was anappointed sovereign. He was existing in God’s form, meaning he had all the accouterments of God, but he lacked the experiential knowledge which the Father possesses existentially. In other words, what the Father inherently knew, the Son would have to learn. So, with the Father’s blessing, Jesus humbled himself and came to be in the likeness of his own creation in order to know them by experiencing their lives and their trials and their joys.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
– Hebrews 4:14-16
And after he completed his mission and returned to heaven, he had earned his sovereignty and was given ‘the name that is above every other name so that all of his creations, in heaven and on earth, would openly confess him as Lord.’ (Philippians 2:9-10) These scriptures lead us to conclude that his intelligent heavenly creations knew of the Son’s relation to the Father. And while they unreservedly worshiped the Father and honored the Son, they knew the Son had only been an appointed Creator God. But after his earthly sojourn, it was as Jesus truly said: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” (Matthew 28:18) Thus, every knee would bend to his established universe sovereignty.
As the baby Jesus grew into manhood, he dealt with life as a normal human being, though it appears he had a limited awareness of his special relationship to the Father. At the age of 12, when he went missing and was finally found, he said:
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:41-50)
When Jesus reached the full stature of manhood, he presented himself for baptism by his cousin, John the Baptizer, along with other pious Jews as a national sign of repentance. It was at this time that Jesus became fully conscious of his pre-human existence as the Christ, Son of God. His Christ awareness descended upon him in the likeness of a dove.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
– Matthew 3:16-17
By the Father’s approval, he had earned his right of sovereignty. Now began the second phase of his earthly bestowal.
Immediately after his baptism, Christ Jesus went away alone into the Perean Hills to formulate his plans and determine upon the technique to uplift the spiritual state of his misled, abused and dejected creation, a ministry of enlightenment that would spread over the entire planet and prepare the way for global peace. It was during that 40-day period of isolation that it is recorded that the Devil tried to tempt Jesus from doing that work. (Matthew 4:1-11) But Christ Jesus emerged from the mountain with the glory of spiritual victory, moral achievement, and a plan.
Jesus brought a message of good news, not only peace on earth, but something far greater. He began preaching about a new era for mankind, entry into the kingdom of the heavens:
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
– Matthew 4:17
“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”
– Matthew 4:23
In his first major sermon, called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus informed us of the invitation to enter into the kingdom of heavens:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
– Matthew 5:3-11
This was an unusual message. Never before had mankind been openly taught that they would see God, that the heavens would belong to them, that they would be, not mere slaves or servants of God, but sons of God, and that they would be able to enter into the kingdom of the heavens! As the Apostle John wrote:
“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
– John 1:11-13
For the next few years, Jesus continued to elevate man’s dignity. Specifically, he taught them to refer to God, not by name, but by relationship – as Father – as would any loving child.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
– Matthew 6:9-15
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”
– Matthew 23:8-9
But there was a specific work Jesus had to perform, unique to his people, the Jews:
“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
– Luke 4:16-19
Jesus purposed to free the Jews from their captivity to the burdensome Law Covenant and its associated rituals. As he said:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
– Matthew 5:17-18
Yes, Jesus fulfilled the Law. By fulfilling it, he finished it. He released the Jews from it and he brought it to an end.
“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”
– Romans 7:6
“Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”
– Romans 10:4
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”
– Colossians 2:13-14
“Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.”
– Galatians 3:23-25
The Law Covenant served an important purpose as a tutor leading the Jews to the Christ, who would bring to mankind the next revelation of God. Once the Christ arrived, the Law Covenant with its associated rituals was not longer necessary. The prophet Daniel prophesied that the Law Covenant would end with Messiah’s arrived:
“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. ”
– Daniel 9:27
But how would Jesus go about bringing an end to the Law Covenant? The Law Covenant and the added rabbinical commands were so deeply ingrained in the Jewish mind that death could result for failure to honor and keep them. Obviously, Jesus would have to engage in a more serious and somber undertaking. He would be presented with a “cup” that he would at one time pray be taken away, but one he loving accepted as the will of God in order to free his people. (Luke 22:42)
“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Matthew 20:26-28