For this Purpose
The first gospel message ever revealed promised the manifestation (appearance) of a Saviour (Genesis 3:15). There would be One “manifested to take away our sins” (1 John 3:5) and to Him all the prophets gave witness (Acts10:43). Moses prophesies of Him as the great Prophet that God would raise up like to himself (Deuteronomy 18:15,18). Isaiah names Him “Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14), Daniel calls Him “the Messiah” (Daniel 9:26). All these prophetic manifestations were fulfilled personally “when the fulness of time was come” and “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Galatians 4:4).
In the incarnation of Deity, the Godhead was united to manhood, and Christ in His glorious person is God and man. It was a true humanity which He took in intimate and indissoluble union with His Deity. As merely God, He could not endure suffering or die; and as only man, He could not have sustained the weight of our sin and our sorrows. The one is of no avail in the great work of redemption apart from the other, and the two in mysterious union constitute the great “mystery of godliness” (1 Timothy 3:16). The first Adam was only man, but Christ as the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45) is the God-man.
In the manifestation of the Son of God as the only Saviour, the love and mercy of God was so wonderfully revealed. Adam’s breach of the first covenant, which declared death against the soul that sinned, meant that he, and we in him, came under the curse of the law and power of the devil. The devil has “the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14) because he tempts men to commit sin that meritoriously renders them liable to death. Satan believed that by causing man to rebel against his Creator he would rob God of the love and allegiance of those He made in His own image.
While the tempter knew that God in His holiness must punish His rebel creatures, he had not considered the infinite love and wisdom of God for them. Even his cherubic intellect never envisioned the matchless plan of God’s salvation by way of substitution and sacrifice. The apostle John reminds us that “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). It was particularly by shedding His blood that He did so when He died “the just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18). He removed man’s obligation to death due to his sin and so broke the devil’s power to ruin lost souls. How it galls him to the heart when he sees himself defeated, even in a soul that through his means was put far off from God being brought nigh unto Him in Christ! (Ephesians 2:13) Every new manifestation of Christ through His word to the believing soul wounds Satan’s interest in us, weakens unbelief, and warms the heart as we “go unto God [our]exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:4).
Rev Leslie Curran.