New Believers Bible - Flipbook - Page 87
HOW YOU CAN KNOW GOD
w h y J e s u s c a n b r i d g e t h e g a p There has never been anyone
like Jesus. For starters, Jesus was not conceived in the womb of his mother
through natural means. Rather, he was supernaturally conceived in the womb of
a young virgin named Mary. Because of his supernatural conception, Jesus, who
is wholly God, also became wholly human.
Though Jesus is God, he chose to lay aside the privileges of his deity to live on
earth as a man. The Bible, describing the sacrifice Christ made in becoming a
man, says that Jesus “gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position
of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form
he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross”
(Philippians 2:7-8). It is extremely important to note that Jesus did not cease to
be God when he came to earth. He simply laid aside his divine privileges and
walked the earth as a man. In doing so, he was personally able to experience the
gamut of human emotions, ranging from happiness to deep sorrow. He felt what
it was like to be tired, cold, and hungry.
Moreover, he came to this earth with a clear objective in mind: to bridge that
gap between us and God.
When the Israelites of the Old Testament sinned, they would have the high
priest go into the Temple and offer an animal sacrifice to God to atone for their
sins. In a symbolic sense, this was a way of putting one’s sins on the animal,
which stood in the place of the guilty person. The Bible teaches, “Without the
shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).
The sacrificial rituals carried out by the Israelites in the Old Testament
foreshadowed what Jesus would do when he came to this earth. He took the
sin of the world upon himself when he hung on the cross so many years ago.
Numerous Old Testament prophecies pointed not only to his birth and life
but also to his death, including the way in which he would die.
Jesus knew from the beginning that he had come expressly to die for the sins
of humanity. He also knew that this sacrifice would be made on a Roman cross.
He began his final journey to the cross of Calvary at a place called Caesarea
Philippi, and he often spoke of his impending death with his disciples. Scripture
records, “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was
necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible
things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of
religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from
the dead” (Matthew 16:21).
He was eventually arrested on false charges after Judas Iscariot, one of his
own disciples, betrayed him. But it was no accident. If humanity was going to
be put in touch with God and have the barrier that separated them removed,
something drastic had to be done. In essence, with one hand Jesus took hold