God created. His creations chose to sin (disobey God). The world was no longer good. But God STILL wanted a relationship with us, so He chose the smallest and weakest of the people groups (the Jews) and gave them extraordinary favor that they may demonstrate His glory to the nations. God always wanted the nations, but He chose the Jews to be the evangelical messengers.
To the Jews, God made four covenants (with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David). In the covenant with Moses, God gave 613 commands for His people to follow, and the idea was that by acting out righteousness, their hearts would begin to manifest a burning desire for God. Unfortunately (and quite fortunately for us gentiles!), there were very few Jewish people who really developed that love. And sacrifice without love is meaningless. That’s where Jesus comes in.
Jesus is God. He’s the physical representation of the invisible God (Col 1:15). He’s the outward manifestation–the exact representation–of God (Heb 1:3). And He’s God’s Son (Matt 3:17, Matt 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35).
When God saw that the Jewish people struggled to keep His commandments and develop true love for Him, He spoke to His prophets about a new covenant that He would bring. The new covenant would allow the people to really connect with Him because His commandments would be written on their hearts (internally) instead of on stone (externally). And though Christians are still to follow the commands of the Lord, Jesus promises that we would find rest for our souls, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt 11:29-30).
Jesus came to earth for several reasons (He tells us many in the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). But these I want to highlight:
- He came to fulfill the law (Matt 5:17),
- to declare Himself the Messiah (Mark 14:62),
- and to overcome the world by setting the standard of Truth (John 16:33, John 18:37).
Without Jesus, it would be impossible for us to overcome; but when He died, was buried, and was resurrected for our sins, He also sent power through the Holy Spirit that we may intimately connect with Him and the Father (John 16:7). It is such a powerful promise that we would be able to intimately communicate with the God of the universe!