Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Devotional - How and Why Did He Do It?

Good morning everyone. I hope you are waking up to a beautiful day and the realization that you are loved by the Father. It is a wonderful feeling knowing you are loved. We are continuing with Galatians 3.

There is something in this chapter that really amazed me when the Spirit revealed it to me a number of years ago. I always wondered how it was that Jesus took on our sins when he himself could not sin. I knew that the ultimate sacrifice had to be better than a simple lamb without blemish. I realized Jesus was perfect but how was it that he took on our sins and how was it that the Father could actually curse his Son? Then I read this:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." v. 13

When I followed up on this I discovered this was part of God's revelation to his adopted people back in Deuteronomy:

If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse. vs. 22-23

What amazed me is that God laid down the plan for the cross way back at the beginning. The only way he could curse himself is by establishing this spiritual law a long time ago. The only place that we read that it was done was when Joshua hung a couple of kings who resisted him in the war to take the Promised Land. We also know that Judas brought the curse of God upon himself by hanging himself on a tree. Those kings had been guilty of coming against God's will which was punishment for their wickedness in the land. Judas was guilty of betrayal. But Jesus was a lamb without blemish, and although he bore the curse of the Father to the grave, like death it could not stick.

It is the shear beauty of God's plan that amazes me. The crucifixion and death of Jesus is a fact. It is recorded by historians at the time. It cannot be refuted. The fact it was done at the hands of the Romans shows it was nothing that was orchestrated by the disciples or anyone else. It shows why Jesus knew that this would be the method of his death, because there was no other way that he could be killed as the sacrificial lamb for the world. It shows that Jesus' course was planned long before the prophets began to share the vision of the Christ. It shows that the Fathers love is a deep and passionate love for us because he had planned to rescue us all along.

Be encouraged today at the suffering of Jesus. I am convinced that the fists in the face, the lashes of the whips, the nails piercing the flesh, the mocking from below, the desertion of his followers did not cause as much pain as the curse he became to his Father. It is hard for us to imagine the kind of love that caused him to be obedient to this ultimate death. How can you dare to look down on yourself, the child for whom Jesus sacrificed everything? Open your eyes and realize the wonder of a love you do not deserve but yet is freely poured into you.

Rise up today and praise the Holy name of Jesus. Literally, it is the very least we can offer. And after you worship go love someone with this same love of the Lord. If you want to be like Jesus then do what Jesus said to do, as he did for us who were his enemy:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48)

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