Feb 1, 2016, 10:38 AM
“… by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:11-12)
“For he bore the sins of many...” (Isaiah 53:12b)
“For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3: 18)
Sin is a deadly disease. The Bible teaches that “the wages of sin is death...” (Romans 6:23) We die as a consequence and are separated from God’s presence. Before Adam and Eve sinned, human beings were supposed to live eternally; that is, forever. ‘Death’ and ‘dying’ were foreign words in our ancestor’s vocabulary until sin upset the balance when it sneaked in through the back door and surprised Adam and Eve. God had warned them of the consequences though; that if they disobeyed his word they would die. Since they did not know what death meant, it was for them no big deal.
When they bowed to their new master, Satan, the tables turned and God who is light and therefore does not mix with darkness had to leave the scene even though it was a heart-rending experience. “I am grieved (sorry) that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7b)
His will had been to replicate his heavenly kingdom here on earth so that we could have a foretaste of the beauty and bliss in heaven. When our Lord Jesus taught his disciples ‘Our Lord’s prayer’ he expressed just that. “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9-10)
Adam and Eve blew it all when they bowed to the devil by disobeying God’s command. Not long afterwards, God drove them from the Garden and they lost the privilege of being in his presence – something he used to enjoy every evening. (Genesis 3:8) Henceforth they were on their own.
Human beings started drifting away from God and it hurt God all the more. “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal…” (Genesis 6:3) But they did not relent in their wickedness. They disregarded God to the extent that he flooded the earth; and all those who were not in Noah’s ark perished. God did not feel too good about it, he declared: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21) From that point onwards, God would intervene systematically to save humanity each time death (the result of sin) raised its ugly head.
Actually there is no detergent to cleanse sin. It is spiritual in content and can only be dealt with spiritually. To dispense of sin – which has become an obstacle in the relationship with humans – God had to look for a remedy. He found that remedy in his Son; his beloved Son. Spiritual matters are dealt with spiritually, fleshy things in the natural. “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:6)
Sin is a foreign element in our spiritual bodies that requires to be addressed spiritually, if it has to be gotten rid of. It is important for us to know that we are spirit beings living in an earthly body. At the creation, God made every living thing according to its kind, except for man whom he made in his own image. “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth….” (Genesis 1:26)
Sin has its consequences and the penalty is death. Did man die? Physically, no. Spiritually, yes. Death means separation and man’s relationship with God was severed. It had to be restored. Who was capable of doing so? God would not leave his heavenly throne to settle this problem so he sent his Son. He came in the form of a human being (incarnation), lived as a human being and died as one.
Sin cannot be forgiven if blood is not shed. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22) Therefore the blood of bulls and rams served as substitution for the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus himself. One day, John the Baptist was preaching and baptising people in the River Jordan when he saw Jesus coming towards him. He exclaimed: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
Jesus himself summarised God’s purpose for sending him into the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Dying to save humanity is a fitting expression of God’s love. He loved us before we could love him. “Whilst we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) He did not wait for us to become believers to love us. In our state of sinfulness, he died for us. “… at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)
Prophet Isaiah, in his writings 760 years before the birth of Christ, revealed a number of things that would happen to him. It throws ample light on his death and crucifixion.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we consider him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:9)
“He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9)
Christ died for the sins of humanity ONCE AND FOR ALL, so that we might be saved. Remember we cannot save ourselves. Don’t ever try. You believe this, your salvation is sure. If you still doubt God’s ability to save you, pray for grace that your spirit man will open the eyes of your heart to understand who you are. It is not enough to be a child of Abraham, you must graduate to a child of God and it is only through Christ Jesus, his Son – his intermediary.