Jesus lived his life on a mission from God. The Father sent him to us because of his Father's love. The most famous verse in the New Testament makes clear why the Lord came to earth as a mortal:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him(John 3:16-17).
Jesus' life, Jesus' mission, and Jesus' purpose were wrapped in and propelled by love. James Nored visits with us in today's video and invites us to join Jesus in his mission of love.
As Jesus met with his closest friends after his resurrection, he gave them a small taste of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and Pentecost (Acts 1:1-11, 2:1-47). John described this emotional and intimate conversation when Jesus called them to join him in God's mission:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven" (John 20:19-23).
While most of us don't think about the implications of this moment and our invitation to join this conversation every time we take the Lord's Supper, we should. Jesus meets us in The Eucharist. He joins us in communion as we remember what he did to serve and ransom us from sin, death, and destruction (Mark 10:45; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The Lord gently blows his Holy Spirit through us as we share in this simple meal of remembrance and mission. The apostle Paul reminds us that as we share the one bread, something divine forms us into the bodily presence of Jesus in the world (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).
As the old apostle later emphasized in his letters to the Colossians and Ephesians, we are the body of Christ, and Jesus is our head (cf. Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23). We are put here to continue and extend his work, even doing greater things, the Lord said, than he did (John 14:11-14). We are sent into the world to love and redeem it just as he did. We are called to love, serve, and give our lives to ransom those trapped by the frailties of their bodies and imprisoned by an unjust and unfair world (Luke 4:16-18; Mark 10:45).
Like our Lord, we are called to tear down the barriers that separate races, ethnicities, languages, genders, age so that all people can know that their Father wants them to turn their hearts and their lives around to come home to him (Acts 2:16-18; Revelation 7:9-12; Galatians 3:26-29).
Can you think of a more noble vision or a more compelling mission for us, the Lord's people, than to be Jesus' bodily presence to our fractured and fragmented world? So, let's draw close to our Lord, feel his breath anoint us with his Spirit, and let him remind us: "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
Let's conclude with this heartfelt prayer: