The mission of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth
If we go by the assertion that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the All-Highest, did not come to this earth on a propitiatory sacrifice mission in order that the sins of mankind could be washed away, the logical question to agitate our minds will be to then ask what the Mission of His earthly sojourn was. A careful study and deep reflection on the Biblical account of the life and times of the Lord on earth would leave one with no other conclusion that mankind killed the Saviour out of envy, hatred, antiques, complicated priestly rivalry between the Pharisees and the Scribes on the one hand , and the Sadducees on the other. The Lord Jesus was also a victim of the political establishment to stop Him from His beneficent Work of Love, Salvation and Redemption. They were opposed to His Teaching of the way to freedom, salvation and redemption, the assignment He had from His Father.
The Scribes were drawn from the ranks of the Pharisees while the Sadducees belonged to the conservative class. They were made up of the elders, high-ranking men and priests. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were in fierce competition for power as the Scribes drawn from among the Pharisees were the sole interpreters of the texts of the Torah which was regarded as Divine Revelation to the chosen people of Israel. Initially, the Great Sanhedrin, the highest court in the land drew its membership from the ranks of the Sadducees only. It had 70 members, chaired by the High Priest. In consequence of pressure, the Pharisees and Scribes were admitted. The Torah was the compulsory guide book and it was unassailable. It formed the foundation of every aspect of the Jewish life, their religious, social, political and cultural life.
The responsibility was packed with a lot of power. Violation of the stipulations of the Torah was taken as a serious offence, which could even fetch a person a death sentence. The High Priest was the overall Head in the Temple in Jerusalem. His primary duty was to officiate as mediator on the Day of Atonement between Jahveh and the Jewish people who were the elect of God. Joseph Caiaphas the then High Priest became uneasy to hear that there was someone else in town Who was claiming to have direct access to God and that He was in fact the Son of God. Meanwhile, sensing that the people were losing grip of the law a group of Pharisees got together under the leadership of a man called Simon ben Schetah to live as shining examples, and go round the country and demonstrate to people how they should live. But all of these were leading downwards, taking people off the road to salvation. The Lord Jesus dismissed it as false piety and religious hypocrisy. “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
They were all a distortion of The Ten Commandments of God received by Moses. For example, no beneficent work was to be carried out on the Sabbath day. As far as the priests were concerned, healing on the Sabbath day was sacrilegious. On one occasion as the Gospels report, as Christ was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day, a woman who had been disabled by an evil spirit for over 18 years—she was bent and could not straighten up at all—was healed. But the leader of the synagogue was indignant. He was reported to have said that there were six working days, whoever was seeking healing should come on any of these days but not on the Sabbath day. The Lord Christ replied, asking “is there any of you who does not untie his ox to lead it to water on the Sabbath day?” There was the healing of a man whose body had been swollen with fluid in the house of a leading Pharisee. As I mentioned last week there was the healing of a sick man of 38 years and also of a blind young beggar near the temple whose eyes were restored. There were a lot of agitations among the Scribes. They questioned him and his parents.
They later turned to the Lord Jesus and asked Him by whose authority He was doing all these. The last straw was the raising of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, who was raised up from the dead. His was the most contentious, not only because it happened on the Sabbath day, but because it was widely discussed and it aroused great political expectations. Acts of raising people from the dead were supposed to foreshadow the Kingdom of the Promised Messiah, signaling the imminent triumph of Israel and its liberation from the bondage of the Roman occupation. So, coinciding as it did with the Passover Festival, if the crowd thronging Jerusalem for it decided to crown the Lord Jesus King, in fulfillment of the prophesy of when the Messiah would appear, that was it; the claim of the priestly caste was finished. To pre-empt that they believed it was imperative they act fast to get rid of the Lord. The commission of enquiry set up then asked Him: “Tell us by what authority does thou these things?” They wanted to hear the claim of Divinity from Him so that on the strength of it they could sentence the Lord to death.
Article 1 of the Jewish Law reads: “He who knowingly and deliberately transgresses the Sabbath commandment or any other precept of the Torah is an impious person.” If the person does not heed warning “and continues to offend against the Torah, he must be sentenced to death and stoned.” It should be remembered that only the High Priest in the person of Caiaphas could claim a mediatory role between Jahveh. They saw the Lord contemptuously as no more than the son of Mary and Joseph a carpenter. According to the Law he who openly utters the name of Jahveh is a blasphemer. The convicted blasphemer was to be stoned. “A pseudo-prophet is a renegade preacher who seeks by means of vision, illusions, false oracles, magic, exorcism, hallucinations or genuine miracles to seduce Israel to apostasy. A pseudo-prophet must be judged by the Great Sanhedrin, and be executed in Jerusalem.” That was the penal code. That was not all. Article 76 said: “The President of the Great Sanhedrin has the right in exceptional cases to pass over any obstructive regulations in order to put a swift and radical end to apostasy. Such an action is called the Horaath, an action according to the need of the moment.” The worst aspect of the code read: “Even the execution of an innocent person can serve in the maintenance of law and order, and the salvation of God’s people.” It was Article 82 of the penal code. It was this code that Caiaphas invoked to secure the death sentence on the Lord because Pontius Pilate the governor and the representative of Rome whose consent the Great Sanhedrin must obtain was not persuaded that the Lord Jesus had committed any offence. He said he had found no fault in this man. The innocence of the Lord was reinforced by the dream of Pilate’s wife: “Have thou nothing to do with the death of that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him.”
Following the howling of the mob, Pilate who had thought with his pronouncement it was all over, passed the Lord to Herod Antipas who incidentally was in Jerusalem at the time. Herod wanted the Lord to perform a miracle or utter some words of prophesy. But the Lord would not lend Himself to such a ridiculous scene and He kept silent, following which He was returned to Pilate to handle His matter. Although he had the power to release the Lord Jesus using the opportunity of the Passover, Pilate demurred, his courage failed him and he tremulously returned Jesus to the crowd to choose between Him and Barabbas, believing that the crowd would have a rethink, be compassionate and let go an innocent Man especially after he would have handed Him to soldiers for beating. He handed Him over quite all right but the crowd was not impressed when he presented the Lord Jesus to them, saying , “Behold I bring Him forth to you that ye may know that I find no fault in Him.” That was when the crowd yelled, “Crucify Him.”
Although Pilate was convinced that the Lord was innocent, he caved in following the threat by Caiaphas that he would report to Rome: “if thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.” (John 19, 12).Because he felt that Caiaphas was aware of some of his shortcomings in the discharge of his duty as representative Caesar in Rome, he feared for his loss of standing before Rome as a friend of Caesar and the possibility of his removal, in the end Pilate caved in. Even after handing over the Lord Jesus for crucifixion, he still wanted the world to believe he did not find the Lord guilty of any offence, and he said: “I am innocent of the blood of this just person.” (Matthew 27, 24). The crowd cursed themselves, “His blood be on us and on our children.” And the Lord was killed on the charges of breaking the Sabbath day by healing the sick, and of blasphemy by revealing His Identity as the Son Of God and standing by it.
What greater proof that the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ was a dastardly murder can we get than the Lord’s most powerful prayer of intercession for His traducers, murderers and lukewarm mankind in general while on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Do we forgive what is right? I did state last year on this subject that on the day of the execution, there was disgust and revolt in the firmament. The elements could not understand how puny human beings could dare lay hands on their Lord Who because of His Perfection as the Love Part (Son) of God the Father was incapable of any sins. They caused Darkness to descend at high noon when the weather should have been characteristically bright. The curtain shielding the Holy of Holies was rent in twain. When the scale fell off Judas eyes, and on realising how grievous his betrayal was, went back to Caiaphas and returned the 30 pieces of silver he was paid as bribe He said to Caiaphas: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” And Caiaphas said to him: “See thou to that.” (Matthew 27, 4) Thereupon Judas headed to commit suicide. His remains were buried in the forest far outside the city where vagabonds and murderers were usually buried. To some women weeping for Israel, the Lord said: “Weep not for me, but for yourselves and your children’s children.”
Last year I wrote as follows: “Divine Love was temporarily defeated and His beneficent Work of Love was halted by the hatred of those whom He wished to save. The Son of God was sentenced as blasphemer because He neither could nor would deny His Origin, even at the cost of His earthly life, a tragic irony, and the gravest crime that was ever committed against One Who brought Holy Peace! In the Roman Empire at the time, crucifixion was not only inhuman, but the most agonizing and dishonourable punishment. Consider it, neither hands nor legs could be moved and the person was made to choke to death! The hanging of the body prolonged the death struggle. Let’s face it , is that the way to salvation? In the words of one who stands in very high knowledge “it was a drama of cosmic dimensions!”
What then was the purpose of the Lord’s mission prematurely terminated by us mankind? The approach should be to separate the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ from we human beings. This can be done by recognizing that His Core was Divine and that of human beings is spirit. Did He not say to us that His Kingdom is not of this world and that where He goes we cannot come? Did He not say that in His Father’s House there are many mansions? The House refers to Creation, and the mansions are the various Realms and planes of existence therein, Realms and planes in Creation so vast they are beyond comprehension. Has science not revealed to us for example that our earth is a planet of the sun? The sun is only one of billion of stars in our galaxy known as Milky Way and there are billions of galaxies in one universe and there are seven universes referred to in the Revelation of John as Churches in Asia.
The universes are in the material world. We are not yet talking about the Spiritual Realms, among which is the Paradise of human spirits who have washed their linen clean, for the Place does not admit of wrinkles. The Lord said we shall not leave thence until we have paid the last farthing! The coming of Jesus the Lord was to show us the way to Paradise for eternal life, wend our ways through different planes until we get to our home in Paradise for joy and everlasting peace. His coming became necessary after mankind fell and our world became the filthy Babylon City of sins. Teachers of mankind and prophets sent as well as several categories of helpers were sent to bring enlightenment to free us from self-imposed enchainment through the misuse of our free will which gave rise to Babylon cities every where. Because we human beings soon distorted their teachings no sooner than they left and went back to our old ways, out of Love, God the Father decided to send His Son, A Part of Him in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Not only did mankind return to their old ways they in a majority of cases even killed them who were to be our Helpers. Religions were formed around their Teachings and soon the luster of the truth they brought was defaced. Dissension ensued; there was invariably struggle for power, position and influence. Because of the failure of we human beings erring in the valley of matter, Jesus the Lord had to come in the belief that after human beings had done whatever they wanted with the Teachers of mankind and the Prophets they would respect the Son and hearken to His Teachings, the Truth about life and existence which is governed by the Will of God, expressed in the divine Laws or the Laws of Creation. But what did mankind do to the Son as well Whom it was believed would be “reverenced’? They killed Him, too. The Parable of the vineyard and unfaithful husbandmen (Mark 12: 1-9) says it all.
On reflection I have decided that the mission should be more appropriately discussed during Christmas in December.