Jesus was to come into the world, and He did. But what if He hadn't? A Christian writer at the Desiring God ministry raises this "impossible" question, and also offers an answer, sharing four things we wouldn't have known had it not been for His coming.
It's an impossible question, admits Tyler Kenney, a content strategist at Desiring God. The whole universe is in Jesus, through Him, and for Him, he writes on the ministry's blog, referring to Colossians 1:16.
Yet the question can help us appreciate His coming as we consider some of the numerous individual blessings owing directly to it, adds Kenney, who lives with his wife in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.
After all, Jesus was not just another prophet like those who had come before Him. Nor was He merely a great moralist and motivator. He was, and is, qualitatively different, the Son of God, the exact likeness of God. "So Jesus surpasses every other messenger God has sent, or ever could send, because by his very nature, he far exceeds all other contenders… The message he brings is also the greatest."
If Jesus did not come, we wouldn't know at least four of the most important truths in all the world and throughout all time, Kenney shares.
One, we would not know God's complete faithfulness, Kenney writes, referring to the very first promise God made in Genesis 3:15, that an offspring of Eve would crush the head of our great adversary, Satan.
Two, we would not know the fullness of God's love, the writer says, quoting two verses. "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). "God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Three, we would not know the depths of God's humility and compassion toward us, as Hebrews 2:17 says that Jesus "had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."
Jesus was made like us in every respect. He took on all of our weaknesses and temptations and sufferings, Kenney points out. And He did it that He might be a more merciful advocate for us.
Four, if Jesus did not come, we would not know His atoning death and life-giving resurrection, and thus we would not know our own salvation. There would be no salvation for sinners, Kenney states, quoting Romans 5:10, "If while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life."
Kenny concludes by saying the most urgent item on the agenda today and every day is to see and enjoy Jesus as the incomparable Son of God.