In John's Gospel, the phrase Jesus used for this journey was to "come down." He said, "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man .... For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me .... I am the bread which came down from heaven .... I have come down from heaven ...." (John 3:13; 6:38, 41, 42).
This is the greatest mystery of all time, that God is a Trinity, and that the Second Person of the Trinity should "beam" himself to earth on a sacrificial journey from heaven to earth. He was transported through the womb of a virgin as the sinless Redeemer, completely God and a complete man, for the redemption of the world.
Why did He do it? In recent years, I've had to travel a lot, much of it in the air. Travel is exhausting, and the thrill and novelty of it wears off quickly. If I'm going to leave my wife and family and my regular routines of work and home life, there has to be a compelling reason. I'll go anywhere the Lord leads, but there's no place like home.
Jesus had a compelling reason for His incredible journey. In John 6:38, He said, "I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me." One of our favorite texts is John 10:10: "I have come that may have life, and that may have it more abundantly."
He said that He came, not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. It wasn't a vacation or a pleasure trip. It was a divine mission of self-sacrifice.
When God's mercy finds us out, leading us to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become fellow travelers with Him, for His blood purchases both our passage and our passport to everlasting life.
Our inner, innate sinfulness separates us from holiness and heaven. When Jesus died and rose on the third day, He provided forgiveness for all who would accept Him by faith. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). God sent His Son into the world "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
This is a message to share with our friends and to pass down to our children. Remember how excited you felt as a child as your family prepared for summer vacation? The packing? The swimsuits and rubber rafts? The snacks and games for the car? Our homes should be filled with the gladness of Jesus, rejoicing in His journey to be with us and preparing for our journey to be with Him. Even a child can participate.
Calvin Miller tells of his own conversion to Christ in his book, "Jesus Loves Me." A chum of his went to a tent revival. This boy was a brat, but something happened that changed him. He invited Calvin, so Calvin went. The preacher's words flew at Calvin and penetrated his heart.
That night, the grace of Jesus Christ reached across the mighty gulf between heaven and earth, and the journey of Jesus became real in a child's heart -- and Calvin Miller has been talking and writing about it ever since.
A Chinese philosopher once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." What a privilege to take a step of faith, trusting Christ and saying: "'Tis mercy all, immense and free; for O my God, it found out me."
And it's all because of the journey of Jesus, prompted by His heart of undying love for us.
David Jeremiah is the founder and host of "Turning Point for God" and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.
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