What do we hear or say when we read in the news how DNA evidence freed an innocent who was serving life in prison for a crime that he did not commit? We tend to wag an accusing finger at the justice system and remark of how such a tragedy and travesty should never happen if Lady Justice is really blind. We start to speak of fairness.
Jesus was an innocent man who was slain for the sins of this world. Isaiah considered Him as a “man of sorrows,” while John the Baptist called Him the Lamb of God. He suffered and sacrifice for the sake of sinners.
But the question remains: Is it right that the innocent should take such cruel and harsh punishment while the guilty seem to get away with it?
Biblically speaking, it is still justice. Someone has to pay the debt. Someone has to supply the guilt or sin offering. It needs to be unblemished, too, by the way. In other words, it ought to be spotless and stainless. That was Jesus.
Jesus was perfection taking on our transgressions. Jesus was purity standing in the stead of our impurity. He was worthy of so much, but He stepped into humanity headed for Calvary to conquer the grave and death itself as He put sin in its place.
Is it right?
God saw it befitting to do so. John 3:16 is our verse for why He did what He did. He loved the world so much, even in its wretched and wicked state of being, He was willing to part with His “only begotten son.”
He doesn’t call us to understand it all. He does not even ask us to accept all of it at once. He offers us salvation based on belief in the Son as Lord and Savior.
We cannot explain how or why He did it so in a way that would satisfy theologians and humanities professors of sociology and psychology. Yet, if we can come like a babe in Christ, we can sip the sincere milk of our faith. We come to know. that the price that we should have paid was executed already on our behalf by an innocent man on a lonely hill hanging between two criminals as He gave all for a sinful world.
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Haunted houses and ghosts are about to become the seasonal rage once again over the next month or so. Folks really get into Halloween. I guess if getting the hell scared out of you is the point then perhaps more evangelicals should use scare tactics and haunted sanctuaries to grab the world’s attention.
But seriously, let us consider that those things that haunt us are oftentimes from our own past. They are either things that we did or things that were done to us. Both hunt us down in our sleep and haunt us during our waking hours.
Yet, imagine your past hurts helping you. If your abuse-filled childhood helps you help runaway teens and teen moms without prenatal care, let it do so. Past and personal struggles can make making it hard or they can open your eyes to numerous opportunities to advance and broaden the kingdom of God as you work through some of your own pain and struggle.
Pray for freedom from the dominance of your past demons over your life. Fend off the persecution from your past. Let it help you.
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Have you really had struggles or trials with patience?
Think back and see what you really thought during such times.
Were you eagerly awaiting something, only to discover that you needed to exercise patience?
Patience can become a problem when you have taken the ready position without any means of going forward. Some folks can this “the waiting game.” Others shout and pout or rant and rave. Yet, patience is what is required.
God expects us to await and remain aware. Some of God’s work is unfolding things in His own way despite everything being in His hands and under His control. He may just be watching us while we are waiting, seeing if we have the patience to persist. But patience also has its “perfect work.”
You might not like it, but it is part of how God works. You may want to quote some biblical eloquence about how God wants you blessed or why God has all things for all His children. However, let me allow the Scriptures to speak to that as well.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. – James 1:4
But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses,
– 2 Cor. 6:4
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.- James
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; -Col. 1:9-11
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Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32 (NIV)
Truth is the key to unlocking your life. Truth is said in the Bible and by Jesus to possess the power to free us from the enslavement of expectations or the slavery of sadness.
We need to be free and we need the truth in order to be free.
So what is truth?
Better yet, what or who is the Truth?
I am the way and the truth and the life. . . John 14:6 (NIV)
We know Him to be the truth. He does not lie (Numbers 23:19). He offers us His truth through His written Word (the Bible). He provided His truth through His spoken Word through the voices of the prophets. Finally, He gave the Truth to us through the Word who became flesh for us and our redemption(John 1:14).
He gave us the Truth.
He gave us the Truth so that we could be free forever and ever.
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But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. – Galatians 4:4-5 (KJV)
Most of us who believe in Jesus as our personal Savior understand that we all were saved by the Savior’s singular sacrifice. We accept the fact that it took His shed blood and substitution for us to allow us to experience the joy of redemption and salvation into a right relationship with God the Father. Yet, we may not fully embrace how such a sacrifice came about long before He was hung high from a cross for us.
Sent for the Sake of Sinners
He was sent when the fullness of the time was come and by God the Father under the earthly rules of man. He was born of a woman and under the Law. Check the gospel records of Matthew and Luke. Joseph, Mary and Jesus Himself did as was custom and according to the Law. All of this was done to redeem those of us who were under the Law and who would then receive the adoption of sons.
Sacrificed for the Salvation of Sinners
The sacrifice of Jesus was about our redemption. An innocent man hung and bled for the transgressions of the world. As Isaiah so eloquently spoke of the Man of Sorrows, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5,KJV).”
Shared with Sinners who Become Sons
Christ Jesus died and did not simply leave it as that. Paul tries to drive the point home in this letter to the Galatian believers in verses 4 and 5. In verse 4, Paul makes it certain to the brothers and sisters that God sent forth his Son, leaving no doubt about the deity and dichotomy of Jesus Christ. Then, in verse 5, Paul assures the brothers and sisters that God’s plan for us was that we might receive the adoption of sons. You see the resource = Jesus Christ, while reason = the adoption of sons, no longer called sinners.
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