THE OFFERING FOR OUR SIN - PART 1
FRIDAY 07 APRIL 2023
When I think of the mockery, anger and indignation that surrounded Him, of the storms that dashed against Him, and how He was swept off by streams of emotion at the garden of Gethsemane, as He coordinated Himself to pray without anyone's support, nothing in me can soar more highly than a full persuasion that the love of Christ is the greatest of all; it has no comparison. He was pierced for our transgressions, not His transgressions; He was crushed by our iniquities, not His iniquity; He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.
Although He took with Him, Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He still got sorrowful and troubled. The disciples slept off and left Him in His aggrieved onrush, such that He lacked every human support and encouragement. He couldn't defend Himself in the face of a world that pressed on Him with the force of negative voices and rejection. I have so much to say about His state of agony, especially when I contemplate them, but I will stop here for now.
Reference: 2 Corinthians 5:21 New Living Translation (NLT) "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."
The process of making us right with God required God to make Christ a sin offering. But it wasn't easy for Jesus in any way. Indeed He underwent a serious agony and great mental anguish, in the process. He was emotionally overwhelmed to the point of saying to His disciples with Him, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour?" (Matthew 26:38-40 ESV).
Yes, His own disciples couldn't watch with Him for even an hour. He had nobody to support Him. In fact, after He was betrayed by Judas and was arrested, Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, He has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish Him and then release Him" (see Luke 23:13-16 NIV).
You would think that the multitude would support Him for being innocent, but instead, with one voice, the whole crowd shouted, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!" (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, "Crucify him! Crucify Him!" (Luke 23:18-21 NIV). No single mercy. What a great displeasure and indignation against an innocent man! But it was God's infinite wisdom, working out the process of the salvation of mankind. According to Pauline epistle in Romans 3:25, "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished" (NIV). Beloved, those sins committed beforehand had to be punished, including every other sin, and the whole force of the punishment was exerted on an innocent person, namely Jesus Christ.
In Acts 3:14, saddened by His suffering and death, Peter addressed His fellow Israelites, saying, "You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer" (NLT). They acted on ignorance and instigated the unfair judgement on Jesus, and thus, He was smitten by the shocks of suffering and sorrow that crushed His sinless soul, in order to fulfil God's ultimate plan for the salvation of souls. If you're reading this, and you have not given your life to Christ, stop and make time to observe an earnest cogitation concerning this article, and refuse to continue to participate in the prevailing ungodly practices in today's world, by making Jesus your personal Saviour and Lord. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Isaiah 53:5; Romans 4:25; Hebrews 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28.
Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, it's so touching that my Lord Jesus experienced horrifying, wicked responses and atrocious cruelties in the process of making atoning sacrifice for my sin. You made Him who never sinned, to be the offering for my sin, so that I could be made right with you forever. With evocative impact of Christ's death floating and ringing within my mind's corridor, I acknowledge that I'm so grateful for your unconditional love which has no comparison, in Jesus' Name, Amen!