The Mission of Jesus
God will not rest from his redemptive work until every aspect of his creation has been made new again.
It was written in 1719 by the great hymn writer Isaac Watts. He wrote it as a part of his Psalm of David Imitated and never intended it to be a Christmas carol. But “Joy to the World” has become one of the most beloved carols ever written. With all of its powerful lyrics, the third verse of this hymn is particularly profound and encouraging:
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.
What was the mission of Jesus? What is the promise of the bloody cross and the empty tomb? What is the ultimate goal of the reigning King Christ? What is the scope of the work of redemption? What in the world is God working on? What does the final chapter of the grand redemptive story look like? The words of this great old hymn capture it with accuracy and power. Jesus really did come “to make his blessings flow.” That is true to say, but not enough to say. You must add, “far as the curse is found.” You see, Jesus didn’t simply come to rescue disembodied souls. Yes, he saves our souls from eternal damnation, and for that we should be eternally grateful. But he also came to unleash his powerful restoring grace as far as the furthest effect of sin. He came to restore every single thing that sin has broken. He came to fix it all! His redemptive mission is as complete as sin’s destruction is comprehensive.
Your Redeemer knows. Your Redeemer understands. Your Redeemer cares.
I love the words of Revelation 21:5, and so should you: “Behold, I am making all things new.” Are you tired of the futility and frustration of this broken world? Are you exhausted by sin, suffering, and death? Are you burdened with the pain that lives inside you and outside you? At times, do you wonder if anyone knows, if anyone understands, and if anyone cares? Then the words of this great hymn and this encouraging passage from the final book of the Bible are for you. Your Redeemer knows. Your Redeemer understands. Your Redeemer cares. His grace has been unleashed and its work will not be done until every last sin-broken thing has been fully and completely made new again. Be encouraged, your Redeemer is at work!
This article is adapted from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp.
If Christ came to die so that when you do sin, there is a propitiation, a removal of God’s wrath, then what does this imply for living your life? Three things.
What does Jesus want this Christmas? We can see the answer in his prayers.
Why did Jesus send his disciples into that storm? He did it for the same reason he sometimes sends you into storms—because he knows that sometimes you need the storm in order to be able to see the glory.
Christmas marked the beginning of God’s most successful setback.