Promises Of Jesus
When pondering the promises of Jesus, one must take a look at both the Old and New Testaments to understand that the promised redemption of a fallen creation has been a mission on God's heart since sin entered the world. When looking into a few of the prophetic passages that speak of a Savior, we discover that Jesus promises were echoes of God's heart and God's will from the beginning of time. This is true for the Scriptures that speak of a Promised Land which is a foreshadow of heaven. The Bible consistently teaches the same message throughout the different periods of time in which it was written. Whether we call it vow, covenant, or promise, the big picture of God's plan began in a garden close to six-thousand years ago. The story ends with the person we know as Jesus Christ.
In the very first few chapters of Genesis, we find that created human beings were quick in disobeying their Creator. As a result, sin and death entered into the world. Because it has never been God's will that man should perish, a plan for redeeming mankind was in play. The promises of Jesus are really the assurances of the Father to a world in sin. It starts with the promise of a nation: Israel. Abraham was told that he would be the father of a nation and that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through his seed. With the birth of the nation of Israel, God promised these people abundant blessings in the Promised Land if these once slaves would be faithful to Him. These vows are the beginning of what we now call Jesus promises because it is actually this Son of God, a Jew, that offers the greatest blessing of all time: the gift of eternal life.
In the Bible, there are more than ninety Old Testament prophecies about Jesus which are quoted in the New Testament. The writers of the New Testament recognized that Christ was the Messiah whom God promised would come. The coming Prince would be from the line of David; a wonderful counselor and a prince of peace. And though many did not recognize Jesus as the Savior God had spoken of, He performed miracles and taught of hope and healing, bringing the promises of Jesus to a world in need. Some theologians believe that because Christ did not come in the kind of power expected of the Messiah, he was treated as a fraud or one who blasphemed. The Jews believed a Savior would rescue them from the oppression of the ruling Roman government. But Christ arrived teaching instead love, humility, and forgiveness. Jesus promises were somewhat unexpected and the treasures buried in these characteristics were overlooked.
When looking at the direct assurances Christ spoke of, we find an amazing passage in the book of John. "In my Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2) One of the promises of Jesus is that he is preparing a place of great glory for those who love him. In the next verse, our Savior tells the disciples that not only will He go away, but He will return to accompany His followers to this prepared place. The Son of God declares that there will be a second coming. We will see Him again! In this same discourse at the Last Supper, Christ also tells the disciples that a Comforter will be sent to abide with them forever. The Lord has promised that we are not left as orphans, but indeed left with a tremendous guide and teacher while we wait for the grand return of our Messiah.
Of course we cannot write or speak of promises without exploring eternal salvation, the promise planned from the beginning. Christ said that God loved the world and that those who would believe that He was the Son of God would have eternal life. This means that Jesus promises offer sinners a way to reconcile with God. Because the punishment for sin is death, it is just that all men should die because we are told in the book of Romans that all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Though the Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners, this is also an innate understanding in humans. Somehow, we understand that we are not good. But by mercy through the death of the Son of God, we are extended grace and invited into eternal life. Christ died so that we might live. This is the greatest gift and promise known to mankind.
The resurrection of Jesus is also a demonstrated promise of great importance. In rising from the grave, this prophesied Messiah conquered death once and for all. Because of the resurrection of Christ's physical body, we have the assurance that eternal life means a physical life in a place where there is no sin or sorrow. We will be living in physical bodies prepared for living eternally. Through prophecy, God has proven that the promises of the Bible will come to pass. We can and should expect the same from the words spoken by the Son of God. The promises of Jesus are the promises of God the Father.