HEAVEN DESCENDS
Friday, October 13, 2017
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“Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.” Mark 1:10

Jesus Christ distinguishes Himself from other religious leaders, not only by His resurrection, but by the fact He reached out to human beings by descending to earth, becoming a man and living among people. It is an unprecedented, mind-blowing thought that an almighty God, Creator of the universe, comes down to earth in the flesh to relate to us. John records, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father…” (John 1:14).

Jesus Christ is both perfectly God and was perfectly human, yet was without sin. This leads us to wonder why was Jesus among those lined up at the Jordan River to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus was not born into a pristine, sterilized world, but into a broken, sinful world; not to stand apart from it, but to become part of it. Isaiah 53:12 says of Jesus, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” This came to fulfillment on the cross, but it began at the outset of His ministry. Jesus lined up with everyone else to be baptized, identifying Himself with our sin and need to be forgiven. He is taking the place of the sinner, looking forward to what He later called “a baptism that I am to be baptized with”, which was His death, burial and resurrection.

When John baptized Jesus, Scripture tells us, “Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” (Mark 1:10). The Greek word for torn is “schizó”, which means to divide by rending, to split into factions. The next verse says, “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’” (1:11). Heaven descends on earth with all three persons of the trinity present; the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove resting on Jesus, Jesus standing in the midst of sinners and God, the Father, praising His Son.

In the Gospel of Mark the word “schizó” appears only one other time when Jesus died on the cross. Simultaneously, “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38). This was a divine act of God, demonstrating He had broken out of the Most Holy Place within the temple. From that point on, God dispensed with the need for animal sacrifices, temple rituals and mediators from the priesthood, and had made Himself accessible to every man, woman and child who come in humble repentance to the cross of Christ.

PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making Yourself available to every one of us through the cross of Christ. And thank You so much for Jesus who came to earth and gave His life for me.


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