If the cross and resurrection was the main plan of God and the reason Jesus came to earth then why did he spend three years preaching to a people with mostly deaf ears? Why the miracles, the sermon on the mount, the healing of the sick and the raising of the dead? Why come as a baby? Why not come as an adult and go to the cross and be resurrected from the grave and go back to heaven, his work done?
Jesus came as Emanuel, God with us. He came to dwell with us for a while. There were at least two reasons for doing that. One was to identify with our lives, to see what it was like to be human, frail in body and weak in resistance to evil. The other was to let us know who God really was. Not the distant God in heaven. Not the God of the flood, nor the God of wrath that we saw in the Old Testament but the God of love. The true nature of God needed to be seen in person.
Jesus wanted us to know the loving and gracious God who was his father. To see him up close and in action. To see him heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, control the elements and most importantly, raise the dead. The cross is the ultimate view of God. For God so loved the world is the true message of Jesus. God sent him to seek and save the lost. Sometimes we forget the seeking in concentrating on the lost part. Man was not seeking God but lost in his sin. Jesus came looking for the sinner to save him from his sin. Jesus travelled across the Jewish and Samaritan world in search of sinners who would accept his good news and believe on him and his father.
It was important that Jesus spend those three years among men that they might get to know God in a way they never had. It was important for them and it is just as important to us. We read the New Testament not just to learn about the cross and resurrection but to learn about Jesus and the God he came to reveal.
If you are a sinner lost, Jesus is seeking you. His life, his death on the cross, and his rising from the tomb were all done for you. Believe in the cross and the resurrection but also believe in the one who brought God to earth so that we could know him and trust him.