The coming of Jesus of Nazareth was like the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. A dangerous mission, a great invasion, a daring raid into enemy territory, to save the free world, but also to save one man.
Jesus told a story like that in order to shed light on his own coming: "If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one?" (Matt. 18:12). In the midst of the great invasion, like the storming of the beaches at Normandy, God yet sets his eye on one lost soul. On you.
Historically speaking, Jesus of Nazareth was betrayed by one of his followers, handed over to the Romans by the Jewish religious leaders, and crucified. But there was a Larger Story unfolding in that death. He gave his life willingly to ransom us from the Evil One, to pay the price for our betrayal, and to prove for all time and beyond any shadow of a doubt that the heart of God is good. And that your heart matters to him, matters more than tongue can tell.
He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13-14)
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