Someone summed it up well when they said, “The whole stream and drift of the Old Testament moves straight to the cross of Christ.”
When we come to the New Testament, here we see what Christianity is all about, the manger, the cross and the empty tomb. The four Gospel writers devote nearly one quarter of their accounts of the cross and the closing scenes in the life of Christ. The book of Acts is filled with the basics of New Testament doctrine of the cross. The epistles advance that doctrine as they reveal how the whole message of Christian truth rises out of heart of the cross. Even the Revelation is filled with visions of the crucified Lamb. The cross is inescapable!
One writer said, “God has stitched His Word together with a scarlet seam,” From the birth of Christ forward the shadow of the cross was upon His life. The compelling force in His life was to do the will of His Father, even to death on the cross. The events that took place on “Good Friday” were the plan of the Father …” the Son of Man came … to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
Jesus, on the cross took the hand of sinful humanity and placed it in the loving hand of God the Father. Jesus reconciled us to God; he broke down the barrier. He restored the broken fellowship caused by sin. Jesus died to bring God and man together.” Jesus, God’s Son, experienced the tortures of death so that we might have abundant life.
Thought for today:
May we never forget it. May we never grow tired of being reminded of Jesus’ suffering and death. May we never grow weary of praising and thanking God for giving his Son to suffer and die. As the old hymn goes: “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left its crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.”
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your Son Jesus and his obedience. Thank you that because of him, I can have eternal life. Thank you for your grace and the forgiveness of my sins. Help me to be obedient to you and your ways. Amen.
Isaiah 53 serves as the hinge in the book of Isaiah and is the most quoted section of scripture in the New Testament. Genesis 52:13 through 53:12 contains some of the most comprehensive prophecies concerning the Messiah. The most encouraging verses in our passage for today are: Isaiah 53:4-5 which says, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
The question is asked, why was He pierced? – For our transgressions! Why was He crushed? – For our iniquities! We realize that the only way we can have peace with God is for someone to pay the sin debt we owed. Someone had to be punished for our sin against God and all His goodness. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities” – this is the very heart of the Gospel.
Jesus went to the cross for us. His sufferings on the cross were for our transgression and iniquities. We have peace with God, because Jesus took the punishment for us.
Thought for today:
Do I take the sacrifice of Jesus seriously enough? Do I take God’s mercy and grace for granted? What am I willing to change about my life to become a more serious follower of Jesus?
Prayer: Our God thank you for the good news. Thank you for forgiving us our sins. Please give us the will and the ability to spread this, the good news, to our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow workers.
If we want to be able to understand “Passion Week” we must turn our attention first to the book of Genesis. The first eleven chapters of this book tell us that God created everything. He crowned His creation by creating mankind. Then we see man, in relationship to his Creator, has fallen from a place of dignity, humility and dependence to a state of corruption. It is then God began the process of redemption and the Old Testament reveals His redemptive acts.
Genesis 3:15 is the first indication God had a plan for man’s fallen condition: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
As we consider God’s perfect plan of redemption, let us be reminded that He has a plan for our life as well. In Jeremiah 29:11 it states, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Even though today you may feel separated from God – either by illness, discouragement, grief or rejection; I trust you will remember His plans for you started a long time ago and they involved hope and a future!
Thought for today:
Jesus not only reverses the story of Adam, but he reverses our story as well. He has a plan to transform your life. Trust Him to reverse and change your life today.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this great promise! Remind us today that the plans you have for your children are always good. God reverse our story. Thank you for sending your Son to give us a hope and an eternal future. Thank you for listening when we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.