Thursday, April 2, 2015

Atoning Sacrifice


A day when the Hebrew people put sacrificial animal blood on the sides and the tops of their door frames. A day when the blood would be a sign and the LORD would pass over, sparing the firstborn. No destructive plague would touch them. A day to commemorate for generations to come. A lasting ordinance. A celebration.

And so it was.

Jesus celebrated. Year after year after year He observed the holiday, knowing that His blood would be spilled on the cross. The true sacrificial lamb. The atonement for sin.

Knowing He would be betrayed before the night was over, knowing He had only moments left, the humble King washed His disciples feet. Filthy from dust and grime, He took the feet that had walked miles of ministry with Him and He washed them. He handled the sole of the Betrayer, scrubbing dirt from foot, knowing the heart was covered with deceit.

He ate. Did His food taste of betrayal and denial?

He reclined. Was His rest filled with sadness over their dispute for greatness?

He got up and went to the garden to pray. Did He reflect that this was not the celebration of years past?

His disciples slept, unaware of the weight of what was to come. Jesus prayed. In sorrow and agony He asked for the cup to be taken from Him. "Yet not as I will, but as you will." Fully God. Fully man. Submitted to the Father.

The final moments would tumble, one on top of the other. The calm of the meal and the quietness of the garden would stand in stark contrast to the night that followed. Betrayal. Arrest. Denial. The Sanhedrin. Herod. Pilate. Beating. Mocking. Crucifixion.

This is what my God endured for me.

Perfection willingly embraced the torment of the most gruesome death. The sinless bore the weight of my darkness. He shed His blood--the atoning sacrifice. All of eternity past and future hinged on this moment. Perfection died on the cross. Redemptive, sacrificial lamb. Hallelujah.

"...He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." 1 Peter 2:24

"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--" Colossians 1:19-22

"He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Colossians 2:13b-15

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