- 1. Introduction
- 2. Introduction Expanded
- 3. The Announcement of Christ
- 4. The Birth and Childhood of Christ
- 5. The Miracles of Christ
- 6. The Death of Christ
- 7. The Resurrection of Christ
- 8. In Debt to God: 100% Pass Mark
- 9. Conclusion
- 10. The Thread - traced in the Coming of Christ
The Announcement of Christ
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
Matthew 3 v 1-12
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
As we have pointed out; the silence of the 500 years - following the Exile to Babylon - had been broken. There was a sense of anticipation in the air. The Roman Empire was ruling the Mediterranean region and beyond.
Christ had come in fulfilment of Old Testament prophesy - Isaiah in particular. But what would people expect him to be like? A surprise was is store for many as God unfolded His plan of salvation for the world. In John 11 v 1-19, even John the Baptist - the forerunner of Messiah - had to ask if He really was the one who was to come! There was clearly something different about this Messiah.
Matthew 11 v 2
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?"
The Lord Jesus Christ is unique
He was unique in his conception, being conceived of the Holy Spirit.
He was unique in his birth, being born of a virgin.
He was unique in his life, He was the only man who ever lived without ever sinning in thought or deed. He lived a sinless, perfect life before God the father.
He was unique in his death, He laid down his life as a ransom for many and died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is the only man to fulfill the Old Testament scripture of Isaiah chapter 53; He is the only man who claimed to be the Passover Lamb of God.
He was unique in his resurrection, He is the first man ever to be raised from the dead, never to die again.
He was unique in his ascension, He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God.
He was unique in his exaltation and glorification; He has the name which is above all names.
He was unique in his promise to return, Christ will return to the air in the future and take his followers to heaven to be with him forever. This is called The Rapture. The church is currently waiting for this imminent event.