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Savior First


The Jews of Jesus’ day expected a Messiah who would deliver them from oppression and set up his Messianic kingdom. In that, they were not wrong. One day, all their expectations will be fulfilled. What they did not realize is that they were under a much heavier oppressor than the Roman Empire.

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Jesus is the true Messiah, and he will one day return to reign as King over all the earth. But he could not establish his kingdom (with all its promised blessings for Jews and Gentiles alike) until he had provided salvation. People cannot be delivered from their suffering until they are delivered from their sin. The countless millions of sacrificed animals offered under the sacrificial system did not atone for sin. “Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered?” (Heb. 10:2). The constant offering of those sacrifices was designed to remind people of their sin and the need for an adequate atonement. “In these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year” (v. 3). The sacrifices pointed to Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Only the death of a perfect substitute would truly satisfy the demands of God’s justice and pay the penalty for sin. Isaiah 53 is God’s promise that he himself would provide a suitable Lamb (cf. Gen. 22:8).

—John MacArthur, The Gospel According to God (Crossway, 2018), 76.



Posted 2019·03·13 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Christology · John MacArthur · The Gospel According to God

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