Thursday, April 7, 2016

Behold the Lamb

This past Good Friday I was sitting in the service, and God really gripped my heart with something that I want to share:

I was looking at the cross at the center of the auditorium and thought of all that Jesus went through. The pastor was speaking about how He took our place. And that got me thinking, it should have been me up on that cross.

 The beating he received for my sins, I should have received. The nails that pierced his feet, his hands, I should have been nailed because of my sin. The crown of thorns that sliced into his head, making blood humiliate his face, that should have been me. The dirt, the blood, the sweat, the gall, the shame, the mocking, it should have been me paying for my sin up there.

 When he stood before the judge, it should have been me standing before God accused rightly for my sin. Sin is awful in the sight of God. It is wickedly disgusting and worthy of everything that Jesus faced on the cross on my behalf. It should have been me taken down destroyed and dead from the cross.

When I see a crucifix, I think, it should be me up there paying for my own sin. BUT then I realize that even if I went through all of that, I would not be able to pay for my sin, and I would have died brutally and then spent an eternity in shame and even worse suffering.

The brutal death of Jesus is a basic picture of how terrible our sin really is.
So, when I look at the cross I see the gruesomeness of my sin.

HOWEVER, when I look at the cross I also see God's amazing grace. I also see that he has willingly died on my behalf. Jesus, the Messiah, has paid the price for my sin, just as the ancient Scriptures foretold that he would. Because of this sacrifice on my behalf, his blood paid the price for my sin, his blood has washed me clean, his blood has painted the doorposts of my sin so that the judge may pass over, and not destroy me because of my countless sins.
Changing perspective a bit...

Yet, this blood is ACTIVATED to your account only if you trust that it is sufficient to cleanse you, to pardon you, to protect you from your sin's guilt. Are you trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus to be sufficient to save you, as the Scriptures teach? Or are you trusting in yourself, that somehow a holy God, the righteous judge, will look past your gruesome sin without the necessary sacrifice being applied to your account?

Here are a few verses to help you think through it:

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” -1 John 5:12

"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 (written around 740 years before Jesus, the Messiah came)

"The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" -John 1:29, 36

“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” -Hebrews 10:19-23

"He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.” -Hebrews 9:12

And he said to them, "This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.” -Mark 14:24

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,” -John 3:14

This is in reference to the time Moses lifted up a healing serpent, that all who had faith & looked at the serpent may be healed. (Numbers 21:4-9)  see accounting below:

"They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,c to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way;  they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.”

Whoever has the Son has life.