Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Why did Jesus come?

For whom did He come? He came for each of us, for our salvation! Think about all He did only for our benefit. We must remember He was born of a Virgin, took human flesh becoming fully human. He was a child and was raised on His mother’s milk. Even though He was from before time, He came in total humility, wrapped in swaddling clothes, born in a smelly stable. As John says, “And the Word was made flesh (Jn 1:14).” Then, when still a small child, He fled from the terror of Herod who wanted to kill Him. Remember when he began teaching how He went from place to place, helping others to awaken to their salvation, without giving concern about His own worldly desires. He was blasphemed, cursed and mocked. He was tortured, suffered, and even betrayed by one of His disciples. Finally, He was led to his death to be hung on a Cross between two lawless evil doers. Why did He do all this? He did it only for our benefit, our salvation. Remember these things.

Many of us have ignored Him and have lived a life for our pleasure. Remember his Blood he shed, all His suffering, all He did without regard for Himself. Think about His extreme humility. All He asks is that we be uplifted by His example and accept His love. All we need to do is to humble ourselves and repent.

Saint Tikhon writes,
Christ the son of God shows us His coming into the world for his sake in the Gospel. He presents in him His willing self-emptying, His willing poverty, His willing and deep humility, His labors, pains, tribulations, sorrows, sufferings and death, and even a death on the Cross. And He says to us, “I took all this on myself and endured it for your sake and for your salvation. But you neglect your salvation, and take no thought that you should repent and cease from your sins, to make use of My Blood and live.” 
Why do we languish in our sinful way of life and make no effort to change when God Himself has come out of love for us to show us the path to be saved? Why do we not understand that He came to help us, not punish us? If we do not heed his word there will be a judgement and we will not find eternal joy, but will be eternally separated from the source of love. We need to awaken to the Truth.

Saint Tikhon says,
Set your salvation on nothing else but on Christ Jesus alone, the Savior of the world. If you truly believe that He suffered and died for you and is your Savior, then love Him as your Savior, and lay and confirm all your hope in Him alone.
His Church was created when He sent the Holy Spirit to empower His disciples. He gave them instruction and guidance on how to nurture our fallen souls so all of us could be united with Him. They created what can be thought of as a spiritual hospital, with Sacraments, beautiful liturgies that lift us to heaven, with guidelines for ascesis like fasting and rules for daily prayer. When we awake we will rush to the Church ahead of time seeking to be renewed and nourished by His Body and Blood in the sacrament. We will make time for daily prayer and read daily Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers,

Remember how He came, how He selflessly gave Himself for our benefit. Make a renewed effort to follow Him and prepare yourself to be worthy of His grace.

Reference: Journey to Heaven, by Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, pp 41-44

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