Jul 27, 2022, 12:57 PM
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In the Garden of Eden where God had put His creation - Adam and Eve, He had given them clear instructions not to eat of the fruit from the tree in the middle of the Garden – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – for when they did they would surely die. They disobeyed and died spiritually.
Eventually, they were kicked out of the Garden. But prior to that, God cursed both the serpent and Adam and Eve. To the serpent He said: “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life: And I will put enmity between you [the snake) and the woman [Eve], and between your offspring [the devil] and hers [Jesus]; he [Jesus] will crush your head [devil] and you will strike his heel [wound Him].” (Genesis 3:14-15) Both the serpent and the couple would experience a life of hardship as punishment for the guilt of disobedience.
Since the creation, God in His relationship with humanity has not accommodated sin. The penalty for sin has always been death. Death represents separation: separation from the Creator and the created. This strained relationship was not going to last long though. God had intended to remedy it through reconciliation by sending His Son to pay for the price of sin through His shed blood. God instituted a system of atonement for sin through blood sacrifice. “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” (Hebrews 9:22)
Thus throughout the Old Testament, the patriarchs practised atonement for sin through the sacrifice of bulls and lambs. God’s wrath against sin was appeased through blood sacrifice.
That practice was a temporary arrangement which heralded a better sacrifice of things to come – the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. Jesus was to take the place of that sacrifice. He was to become the seed of the woman who in the Book of Genesis would bruise the head of the serpent through His sacrificial crucifixion on the cross.
The blood of animals could not satisfy the damage done to the relationship with God. It was merely ‘a cover up’ far the wages of sin which was eternal death. God Himself had to find a solution to this estranged relationship with His own creation. No one could pay the price of sin other than God’s Son, His only Begotten Son – Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain to atone for the sins of humanity.
When God sent His son to the cross to die, His blood was shed for humanity as a whole. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) This gesture was borne out of love for His creation – who for long had been harassed by the devil. God offers a permanent solution to separation between Him and His creation – His sons and daughters.
Remember that the one who sins must die, but God in His mercy has put the punishment of our sins on His Son – “…the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” according to John the Baptist’s revelation. (John 1:29) We have all sinned and fallen short of the love of God. Our acts of repentance and blood sacrifices could not cleanse and fully atone for our sins. It would require the blood of a sinless Man to wipe away the sins of sinful man. Willingly, Jesus, the Son, “…made Himself nothing (emptied Himself of His stature vis-à-vis the Father) taking the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8)
This week as we recall the Lamb’s ultimate sacrifice for sin on the cross of Calvary for humanity some two thousand years ago, and even as we replay the humiliation, the pain He had to suffer in the hands of heartless men, the gruesome atrocities He bore; let us not lose sight of the fact that He endured all of this on our behalf. He did it that we may be set free from the shackles and penalties of sin.
Jesus paid the price of sin with His sinless blood so that you and I could be set free from sin. No longer shall we be slaves to sin. To enjoy such benefits – the gift of eternal life -- it is obvious that we must reciprocate that love. All that is required of us is obedience to His Word. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28) said our Lord Jesus.
Jesus went to the cross to do the bidding of the Father for the love of humanity. He did it selflessly. Apostle Paul exhorts us: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
He affirms to every believer in Christ Jesus: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ, because through Jesus Christ the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
Jesus has paid our sin-debt in full once and for all. By this act on the cross He has declared us not guilty. Today, we are reminded that sin must not be our master because He has conquered sin on our behalf. Today we are encouraged by the words our Lord Jesus said to the woman whom the Pharisees had accused of sin and wanted punished by stoning – which was the ancient path. His words should constantly ring in our ears: “Go now and leave your life of sin!” (John 8:11)