Every journey has an end – a goal, a purpose, a reason.
For centuries the Jews had expected the Messiah, the Christ, to come, and that when he came his goal would be to deliver Israel from all of her enemies and, restoring the dynasty of David, establish a kingdom in Israel that would never again be interrupted or defeated.
But Jesus summed up the purpose of his journey with the words ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ – Mark 10:45. His journey that began in eternity and ended at Calvary had an immense purpose that far transcended the political destiny of one of the world’s smallest nations:
He came as the seed of the woman who would defeat the evil one – Genesis 3:15.
He came as the descendant of Abraham, through whom all nations of the earth would be blessed – Genesis 22:18.
He came as the Lion of Judah, whose robes are dipped in blood – Genesis 49:11.
He came as the Son of David, who cried out in the words of his ancestor “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Psalm 22:1.
He came as God’s servant, commissioned by God to bring salvation to the ends of the earth – Isaiah 49:6.
He came to be pierced for our transgressions, to be crushed for our iniquities; to himself bear the punishment that brought us peace; to have the LORD lay on him the iniquity of us all; and by his death to justify many – Isaiah 53:5,6,11.
Jesus the Son of God, was sent by God the Father to die a death that would secure the spiritual release, the spiritual liberation, the spiritual redemption, of many. His journey would end in shame and rejection, not in glory - on a cross, not a throne.
John explained the purpose of Christ’s journey this way:
‘God ... sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’
‘the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world’ – 1John 4:10, 14.
Paul explained this redemptive purpose:
‘God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement’ – Romans 3:25.
‘But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law ...’ – Galatians 4:4,5.
So Jesus came with this set purpose, this goal, ever before him:
‘I have come to do your will, O God’ – Hebrews 10:7.
‘I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!’ – Luke 12: 50.
‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’ –Matthew 26:39.
‘Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’ – Matthew 26:53, 54.
‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?’ – John 18:11.
And so Jesus completed the journey, all the way to the cross.
There, at the journey’s end, there on the cross, the goal, the purpose, the reason for his coming was accomplished. There on the cross he cried out in a loud voice ‘Tetelestai!’ – It is finished (John 19:30). Not in the sense of something coming to a stop, but in the sense of the goal, the purpose, the reason being completely achieved, permanently established.
The work of salvation, that grand and gracious purpose of God, decided before the beginning of time, was here brought to completion, accomplished in physical space and time, in the death of the Son.
© Rosemary Bardsley 2022