The Massive Importance of His Sacrifice

lightstock_2343_xsmall_user_1188538

The bottom line is that what today traditionally represents, the sacrifice of Jesus, is massively important.

Everything hinges on who Jesus is and what he came to do.  There is much confusion – some say Jesus was a good teacher, a kind man, even a “perfect man” – and the usual answer to the question of what he came to do was “die on the cross for our sins.”  Why did he have to do that?

I’m thinking of (at least) our reasons why this day is massively important:

 

  1. Jesus’ sacrifice saved me from God.  Ephesians 2 tells us that we were all at one time, objects of God’s wrath because of sin.  God is justifiably angry with us because of our willful rejection of Him.  The amazing thing is that God makes the first move to reconcile us to Him by Jesus. We were saved from God by God.  As Propaganda says, “let that one bake your noodle.”
  2. Jesus’ sacrifice satisfies all of God’s wrath for my sin.  Jesus’ sinless life and sacrifice in my place, satisfies ALL of the wrath of God against me – IF I have understood this by faith and live a life of worship and submission to God.  That’s a big IF…because until you turn from your sin and to Jesus, your sins are not forgiven.  As John 3:36 says, “His wrath is still on you…”
  3. Jesus sacrifice took my sin AND my shame.  With sin comes shame, sometimes huge shame, guilt, grief, pain. Isaiah 53 says that the Messiah will bear it all.  Jesus is both fully man and fully God, therefore he understands all of the hurt and he bore it on the cross, and has the power to atone for it.
  4. Jesus sacrifice paves the way for life.  Without His sacrifice, there is no payment for sin, if there is no payment for sin, then there is no way to be forgiven.  But God just doesn’t merely forgive our sin – he takes our sin and in exchange gives us new life.  As Christ rose from the dead, we too – by faith – obtain a new life.  This is tremendous HOPE that goes beyond any seemingly hopeless situation – nothing can take that new life away.

Maybe this is the season when you make the most important decision you can ever make, one with eternal significance.  Turn from your sin and embrace what God has already done in Jesus by His sacrifice.  If you have already done so then dwell.  Consider.  Soak in the depth of this amazing, loving plan of God.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:1–4 ESV)

Advertisements

Sacrifices that God Actually Wants

This semester in seminary is Old Testament 1, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the first few books of the Old Testament and reading thru them for my personal Bible reading plan as well.  (Also, we are going thru Genesis as a family, so us Ruel’s are all about OT lately)

Fresh from reading thru Leviticus with all the exacting specifics on sacrifices,  I was struck by what I read in Psalm 50 this morning —

I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
(Psalm 50:9-15 ESV)

In Leviticus, God spends chapter after chapter giving exact details for the sacrifices that he requires, but then in Psalms he says basically “keep them.  I don’t want them.” Why?  The Bible is clear that Jesus fulfilled perfectly the Old Covenant, thus animal sacrifices are no longer required because of the perfect one time sacrifice of Jesus for sin.  (Check out Hebrews 10)

But let’s look at 2 other things from this passage, as we can still get trapped into empty religious activities as if what we do for God makes us who we are in his eyes — not true!- (1) don’t let yourself think for a second that God actually needs them – v10-12 above make this clear – he doesn’t need anything.  (2) what is more important than outward actions is the state of our hearts – v14 says “offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving…” v15 “call upon me in the day of trouble.”  In other words, be thankful in your soul to God and show that with your daily actions that you value, cherish, honor him above all else in your life.  How do we practically do that?  Well, who or what do you run to in the day of trouble?  Do you freak out? Worry? Get depressed? Turn inward? Lash out at others in anger?  Or do you show in whom you really trust by calling upon Him in trouble and knowing in faith he is in control over everything and is working his plan for your good and his glory? He promises that he will delivery you and it will be for his glory.  These are the sacrifices that God actually wants – not empty outward religious activities.