The Bible tells us many things about Jesus.
It tells of his love and care for man. It tells of his mission given to him by the father. This mission shows him as the “sacrifice for mankind.” This was the father’s plan for man’s redemption. “I gave my back to the smiters and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6). Isaiah, by inspiration, was describing the sacrifice and humiliation Jesus would endure.
Animal sacrifices were made for sins under the Law of Moses. However, the blood of bulls and goats could not take away the sins of man (Hebrews 10:4). In order for mankind to be able to have this forgiveness, the blood of Christ had to be shed. Jesus made that sacrifice. “For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28)
Jesus’ sacrifice caused him to suffer humiliation and pain; endure illegal trials, mocking and beatings; be spit upon; and finally be crucified on the cross — a death reserved for the worst of criminals. He was tried by Jewish and Roman courts. Pilate, who could have set Christ free, chose to please the crowds rather than release he who was innocent of charges made against him.
To be the sacrifice for mankind, Jesus endured all these things. What a paradox this sacrifice was — one of cruelty and wickedness, yet one of love and mercy. God’s love for man in allowing all these things to happen to Jesus is seen in this sacrifice (John 3:16). Realizing what a sacrifice was made for mankind should cause us to want to take advantage of the salvation offered by God. If we have faith in God, repent of our sins, confess the name of Jesus as God’s son before men, submit to baptism in water for the remission of our sins, and then live according to God’s word, we can have salvation.
The “steadfastness of Christ” is found in Isaiah 50:7: “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” He set his face like “flint.” His life was not an easy one. He suffered many things that if most suffered they would have deserted their mission. He pressed forward. He was tempted, as all men are tempted, yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).
In the Gospel account, Satan tempted him with things of this life, yet he refused to sin. In each temptation, the Lord quoted Scripture to overcome Satan’s advances. While going about his work, he continually was challenged by the scribes and Pharisees, yet remained steadfast to the will of the father.
The courage and stamina of Christ was seen when he was forsaken by men whom he had chosen to walk with him. He knew that death awaited him at the cross, yet continued his march to Jerusalem. When he was taken prisoner in the garden, one of his disciples tried to defend him with a sword, but the Lord told him to put it away. After this, his disciples fled (Matthew 26:52-56).
At his trial, there was no one to plead his case. He was mocked and beaten, and all the while he stood with “a face like flint.” He stood steadfast in following the father’s word. Surely, it can be seen that man today also must steadfastly follow God’s word.
Man needs to know a lot about Jesus, but especially come to know his will and obey him.
Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series