“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush Him; He has put Him to grief;” Isaiah 53:10 ESV
How we respond to God's love will determine our destiny throughout all eternity.
There is a supernatural love that supersedes human love. There is a love that cuts deeper than our greatest conviction. It surpasses the intellect of the most profound thinkers of our day. It is a love that is freely given and cannot be earned. It is a love that defies reasoning and goes beyond understanding. It is a love that we choose to accept or reject. Our very eternity lies within this Love. Whatever decision is made is where our souls will be for an eternity.
Christ came with one mission in mind: to provide a way of salvation by giving up His life on the Cross as an atoning sacrifice for the lost.
This Love serves as the gap between sin and righteousness, heaven and hell, damnation and jubilation, time and eternity. This Love was met at the Cross when the God-man came on this earth to dwell among mankind. It was Divinity descending from Infinity to come in the form of a mere child. It was the Logos Who dwelled within human flesh and chose to walk amongst His creation. Little did man know Who entered into the world in that humble abode of a manger (Luke 1:26-27). Without coming in full glory as man assumed, He disguised Himself with humility. He did not seek to be glorified when coming to live on this earth the first time. He came for one purpose: to do the will of the Father. ““For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him Who sent Me”” (John 6:38 ESV). He came with one mission in mind: to provide a way of salvation by giving up His life on the Cross as an atoning sacrifice for the lost.
Christ is not only a Substitute for our sins, He is our Representative to enter into righteousness.
Who could bear such a burden? The full blow of the wrath of God coming upon Christ. No man could endure such pain and anguish. Yet, it was the perfect God-man Who was able to endure our punishment. He was not only a Substitute for our sins, He was our Representative to enter into righteousness. It is only by Him that we may have our sins forgiven and have eternal life. It is only through Him that we are found spotless and righteous before the Throne of God Almighty.
We are the reason that the perfect God-man went to the Cross to die. We are sinners who deserve nothing. Yet, we may receive everything if we desire to confess and forsake our sins and repent of what we have done and who we are. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6 ESV).
O how God’s wrath pierced and crushed Him! O the horrific torture Christ had to endure! “Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck Him with their hands” (John 19:1-3 NIV). To be stripped naked and scourged by a Flagrum whip! O how Jesus was tortured for our sake as each leather whip full of small bone pieces and metal balls were slain across His body. Thirty-nine lashes to His back, legs and stomach. O how He was wrongfully accused and abused for the sole purpose of love!
As Christ's shoulder was dislocated, they took five inch nails and drove them through His wrists and heels.
Bleeding and in excruciating pain, they made our precious Savior carry a Cross. As the Cross would fall and shift on His shoulders, it would re-open the wounds from the whips. “As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross” (Matthew 27:32 NIV). When Christ could no longer bear the physical weight of the Cross, He held onto His spiritual strength to continue on towards what was to come. As the Cross was laid on the ground, they stripped Christ of His clothes. As wounds were reopened, blood began to spill. They forced Him down upon the Cross, stretching His arms beyond their limits. As His shoulder was dislocated, they took five inch nails and drove them through His wrists and heels. When the Cross was raised into its hole, Jesus’ entire body jerked. As the pain from his wrists were felt, He raised Himself back up with His feet. The weight of being raised from His feet was merely unbearable.
Each time Jesus moved His body, the lashes from His back scraped against the Cross.
As Christ would put His entire weight on His feet, pain circulated throughout His entire legs. Just to breathe, our precious Lord had to put all the pain on His feet, while still remaining in anguish from His wrist and arms. Each time Jesus moved His body, the lashes from His back scraped against the Cross. Its splinters entered into what little flesh remained. Pains and sores beyond comprehension were felt and experienced, as Jesus’ would move His body. As the end drew nigh, Christ’s chest began to fill with fluids. He was stricken with dehydration and had little left to live. “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)” (Matthew 27:46 NIV). Christ’s grisly torture came to an end when He “had cried out again in a loud voice” and “gave up His spirit” (Matthew 27:50 NIV).
Our Lord and Savior went to the Cross out of a true and pure love. This love is what electrifies the soul to seek God with humility and contrition.
This was the death that we deserved. Our Lord and Savior did this out of a true and pure love. This love transcends any type of worldly love. This love is what electrifies the soul to seek God with humility and contrition. Our sins put Christ through anguish. We must therefore hate our sins. We must know that we deserve Hell and damnation. Thanks be to God, however, that Christ did what no other person could do, in order to save men from their sins! God is Holy and He is Love. He deserves for all men to worship Him. The way of salvation is so simple to understand. How foolish mankind is to reject the only God that does not demand good deeds and self-righteousness to pave the way. It is only the Triune God Who whispers to the soul to look to the Cross for salvation, restoration, and purification.
It is only the Triune God Who whispers to the soul to look to the Cross for salvation, restoration, and purification.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV) says that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One Who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” May we seek the One and Only True, Living God; Jesus Christ. May we humble ourselves to confess and repent of our sin. Christ has done it all and we have all things in Him. May we all remember the love that was displayed through His crucifixion. A perfect man dying for those who mocked, reviled and hated Him. Even when abused and spat on, He still said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 ESV).
The historicity of the Cross is secure and it has convicted men for the last 2,000+ years. Christ is the most controversial figure in history because He demands from us to believe He is Lord and Savior and to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV). Christ laid down His life because not only is He our Lord and Savior, but He is also our friend. His Blood was shed so that we may live. Let us forever remember this glorious act of love and humility that Christ lived to die and provide a way of salvation for mankind. The historicity of the Cross is secure and it has convicted men for the last 2,000+ years. Christ is the most controversial figure in history because He demands from us to believe He is Lord and Savior and to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. “Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”” (Matthew 16:24-26 ESV).
Christ is calling each and every one of us to partake in fellowship with Him. The only question we must ask ourselves is: will we listen to the call?
We have multitudes who laugh and mock Jesus. They despise us who are truly born again and they flaunt their sin in the face of God. God has shown mercy, even to those who are proud and boastful of the sins they do and get away with. God is long-suffering, but eventually His justice will be done in each of our lives. Let us therefore know that Christ is calling each and every one of us to partake in fellowship with Him. The only question we must ask ourselves is: will we listen to the call? Let us ““choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”” (Joshua 24:14-15 ESV).
Heavenly Father, I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I am not what I should be. I have gone astray and gone my own way. I am a person of wicked intentions, thoughts, deeds and words apart from You. I am guilty before You, O God. Lord, I believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for my sins. Lord, I want to know You and become truly born again. May I not be deceived into living a hypocritical life where I believe in what Jesus did, but lack any desire to obey. Lord, if You are real, I want the whole thing. Make it known to me, O God. Forgive me of my sins. I ask that the Holy Spirit would come to live inside me. May He have His way in me. I believe that You are the Trinitarian God. I believe that You have heard my prayer. Lord, help me where there may be unbelief. I deny my rights of being selfish and sinful. Give me meaning, purpose, and hope to live for You. Thank You for Your long-suffering patience with a sinner such as I. By Your grace and mercy, I now enter into new life. Keep me from the deception of the enemy, O Lord. Give me the heart of Christ for Your work and towards others. I love You, Lord. Thank You for loving me first. In Jesus’ name, Amen.