Sunday, April 1, 2018

Consider the cross

But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed! We—every one of us—have strayed away like sheep! We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us! (Isaiah 53:5-6 TLB)
It wasn't for HIS sins, but OURS. What kind of a man would take upon himself the penalty of so many without consideration of his own pain? It was for us that he died - no sin of his own - for he was the perfect lamb sacrificed to all. In the Old Testament worship practices given down to Moses by God, God taught of the need for an "atonement sacrifice" - a perfect sacrifice whose shed blood would 'cover over' the imperfect sins of the many. Christ was that "atonement sacrifice" - his blood shed for the imperfect condition of each of our souls. Believe it or not - it is your choice. But...if you do choose to place your trust in that finished work, oh how wonderful life is!
Who would ever think a man's beatings would prove to provide the greatest of peace for the hurting and wounded souls of so many? Who would ever believe the innumerable lashes cutting deeply into the flesh time and time again of an innocent man would provide so profound a healing of so many? In reality, we think first about ourselves, and perhaps we may venture into the realm of thinking of others just a little bit more than we think of ourselves. In truth, we don't usually get to the point on our own of moving out of the place of our own need - we need the help of Christ to actually do that! 
Guilt for sin was ours - not his. Sinful deeds were our doing - not his. Separation between us and a holy God was our choice - not his. Yet, all he did was for US. Beaten that we might have peace. Lashed that we might be healed. Have you ever stopped to consider the weight of your sin? If all the sin of your lifetime was placed in a scale and weighed, what would it weigh to carry all that sin upon your back? Now imagine that the sin of all of mankind, from Adam till the tiny baby being born today in some hospital somewhere - ALL that weight of sin he bore on HIS back. It was his back that was lashed, allowing that burden to really sink in and the weight of it to be felt even more as the day wore on. It was that weight he sought to free us from - that guilt and shame. 
As we stop for just a moment to consider the cross today, let us not forget the tremendous love that kept Jesus on the cross that day. He could have been like us and recanted his commitment that day, but he didn't. He could have said the weight is too great and the pain too deep, but he did not. All he did was with one eye on his Father and one eye on us. He never lost sight of what the action of ONE would accomplish for so MANY who were incapable of those actions themselves! Just sayin!