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Risking Everything

Key References: Matthew 1; The Desire of Ages, chap. 4, pp. 43-49; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 7, pp. 23-26; Our Beliefs, nos. 9, 10, 4

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“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

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Jesus revealed God’s grace by risking everything to save the world.

A piano recital, public speaking, jumping off the high dive at a pool. Do these things make you think of sweaty palms and butterfly stomachs? We all have to take risks sometimes. But Jesus took the greatest risk of all.

What am I going to do now? Joseph wondered as he tossed and turned in his bed. All he could think about was Mary, the beautiful young woman who was to become his wife. Worried thoughts kept Joseph awake as he thought of Mary, who was expecting a child. He loved Mary so much and did not want her to be hurt by the ridicule that was sure to come her way. But an idea flashed into Joseph’s mind, and he considered breaking off the engagement privately.

Finally Joseph drifted off to sleep, his thoughts still focused on the one he loved. Then suddenly an angel appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20, 21).

When Joseph woke up, he remembered the words of the angel. Still amazed by it all, he realized that God had given him a great responsibility. Now it was all beginning to make sense. He remembered the prophecy of Isaiah, who wrote about the young virgin that would give birth to a child. How awed Joseph must have felt to know that the Scriptures that he had studied for so long would be fulfilled right before his very eyes! For long ago the prophet Isaiah had said: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Joseph didn’t waste any time carrying out the angel’s instructions. He took Mary as his wife. When Mary gave birth to the baby, they named Him Jesus, just as Joseph had been told by the angel.

Just imagine the thoughts that crossed the minds of Joseph and Mary as they considered the awesome responsibility they faced. They felt unworthy of the great honor of raising the Son of God, who came into our world as a human baby. Feelings of awe and humility filled their hearts to overflowing as they realized the awesome privilege of being entrusted by the King of the universe with the assignment of being the human parents of His Son!

Yet their faith was strong. They knew that God had chosen them for this special task. They believed that He would help them to accomplish this important parenting assignment as they dedicated themselves to raising Jesus. After all, God was risking everything, sending His Son to this earth to live as a baby.

Jesus Himself risked everything to save us. He agreed to come into our world in order to live and die for us, that we might be saved from punishment and live as children of God. Jesus faced the pain and suffering that Isaiah had predicted (see Isaiah 53:5). Moreover, He risked everything knowing that if any trace of sin was found in His character He would fail to be our perfect sacrifice and would be separated from His Father forever. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus took this awful risk for us anyway? That’s how much God the Father and God the Son love each of us!