Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Lamb of God

Jesus is eternal, yet He clothed Himself with human nature for a while and walked among us.  In so doing, He experienced the frailties and limitations of mankind.  He thirsted, was hungry, grew tired, experienced pain, and was limited by time and space.  It is amazing that, though Jesus was involved in the creation of the universe (John 1:1-4) and enjoyed a glorious relationship with the other two members of the Godhead, He left heaven and came to earth and lived as a human being for 33 years.  His story remains the most intriguing and compelling story in history.

We are introduced to Him at a very critical moment in history. Adam and Eve had sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that was in the midst of the Garden of Eden. At that moment the blight of sin was introduced to the human race and God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden. Their sin carried the penalty of death, both physically and spiritually. However, in His mercy and compassion for man, God promised a Deliverer who would inflict a fatal blow to Satan, man's adversary (Genesis 3:15). This Deliverer was Jesus Christ.

Every event recorded in the Old Testament proved that man needed a deliverer. He found it impossible to live above sin. At one point, man's wickedness became so great that God was grieved that He had made him (Genesis 6:5-6). He sent a flood upon the earth and destroyed all human life except that of righteous Noah and his family. The animal sacrifices that man was instructed to offer as atonement for his sins were totally inadequate. It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin (Hebrews 10:4). Not even the Law God gave Israel on Mt. Sinai could deliver man from sin (Acts 13:39), for that law demanded perfect obedience and man is incapable of living such a life.

This situation produced a real dilemma. The cry of man’s soul became, "How can I, a sinful creature, escape suffering the consequences of my sins?" The blood of animals offered upon a thousand altars could not accomplish that need. Neither could he escape the condemnation of sin by observing the Law of Moses because he could not keep it perfectly. If we listen carefully, we can hear that same cry of the human soul today.

The answer to the cry is found in Jesus Christ alone. "In none other is there salvation; for neither is there any other name under heaven given among men wherein we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Jesus willingly left the place of glory and honor in heaven with His Father and came to this earth as a bond-servant and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7). He was born to poor parents in a stable. Yet, He has made many spiritually rich. He never owned a piece of real estate where He might lay His head. Yet, He has comforted many and provided them rest for their soul. He was not a world traveler. Yet, He has affected the world as no other person has ever done. He allowed Himself to be ill-treated by man and become the object of scorn. He was shamefully treated and ultimately crucified on a cross. Why? Because, being a sinner, man could not save himself. Jesus died in our place. What a Savior!

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