Archives for posts with tag: atonement

the passion of the ChristSimply put, we don’t deserve to receive the benefits of Jesus’ passion. The actual events point to this and our experience now reveals it again. As the disciples squabbled among themselves about who would be the greatest, Jesus humbled himself and washed their feet. As the disciples fell asleep, Jesus was agonizing in prayer, sweating drops of blood on their behalf.

As Jesus was facing a mock trial, beaten, and scourged; his disciples at best denied him and at worst hid themselves in fear. As Jesus bore their sins on the cross, they remained silent or hidden. Jesus – alone – faced the judgment of the world and sin.

Romans 5: 6 says, sin had made us all sick and weak. When Christ died, he died for those unable to worship, unable to give honor or devotion to the Lord. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

“But, God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5: 8) When we were without passion, God shows His passion for us. Don’t ever think God (Jesus) dies for your potential good. A passion-less person has no potential to offer, little less be realized.  Neither did Jesus die for the unrecognized good you already possess.

Don’t kid yourself. You’re not all that.  But, Jesus is and more.

Even while the friends closest to him were betraying and denying him, Jesus still moves forward to the cross. Even while the system is rigged against him, Jesus is still resolutely and obediently moving towards Golgotha. Even while, nobody gets it, Jesus makes a new covenant in his own blood and sacrifice.

The promise that drives his passion? “…he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge (of the Father), my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53: 10 – 11)

passover-lambTo enter the Holy Place, to come into God’s presence, each of us must come without fault or blemish. Nothing about us can be broken or flawed. In other words, it is impossible for us walk the holy pathway without intervention and transformation.

Thankfully, God has intervened on our behalf to take all of our brokenness and faults and have Jesus bear them in his body on the cross. It is no wonder the prophet says of him, “his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.” (Isaiah 52: 14) “Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53: 4 – 5)

A new and living way has been consecrated for us through the bodily sacrifice of Jesus – a way into the Holy Place. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.” (Hebrews 10: 19 – 20)

Allow yourself no detour or delays from walking the holy pathway. Entrust yourself completely to the gift of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. If you follow Him now, draw nearer to Him. If you have yet to follow Him, begin now!

slatewipedcleanThe new and living way that Jesus provides through his bodily and atoning sacrifice is a gift beyond compare. I am grieved that so many spurn this gift, take this gift for granted, or still look for better alternatives when the best and singular choice for life has already been offered. One of the reasons Jesus stands above all other ways, truths, and choices for life is Jesus’ sacrifice is based on heavenly promises.

“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: ‘This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds’.  Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more’.  And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” (Hebrews 10: 15 – 18)

God is not playing, “Let’s Make a Deal” with us. There is nothing behind the curtain. The curtain has been pulled aside and the offer of Jesus’ bodily and atoning sacrifice is set before us. The question is, do you want the laws of God written on your heart and in your mind? Do you want your sins to be forgiven? If you say, “Yes”, then let God’s heavenly promise be fulfilled in your life.

Say “Yes, I believe God’s heavenly promise has been activated through the bodily and atoning sacrifice of Jesus. I believe his bodily resurrection validates his claim of being the Promised One who will take away my sins. I will turn to Jesus and follow Him.”

nailsandcrownIf you desire to worship the Lord you must know this basic fact: a new and living way has been consecrated and opened for us by the bodily sacrifice of Jesus.

“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins.  It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased’.”

“Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God’. First he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’—though they were offered in accordance with the law.  Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10: 1 – 14)

The old way of sacrifice has been replaced. Striving and struggling for the acceptance of God is not necessary. The acceptance of God has been purchased for us through the precious blood of Jesus Christ and is ours by grace through faith.

This week, I’ll lay out the reasons why we can all take part in this new and living way. Read through Hebrews 10 and get ready to share the confidence and excitement of this new and living way for yourself!

 

crownofthornsWe describe the passion of Jesus as the short, final period in the life of Jesus covering his entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the time up until his crucifixion on the cross. Washing his disciples’ feet, sharing his last prayers and last supper with them are all a part of his passion. Agonizing over “the cup” he had to drink and sweating drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane were all a part of his passion.

Enduring the mocking trial, the beatings, the pulling out of his beard, the scourging, the taunts and derision were all a part of his passion. The weight of the cross, the abandonment of his disciples, the ignominious place of his death were all a part of his passion. The nails driven through his hands and his feet, the crown of thorns upon his head, the piercing of his side, and bearing the curse of sin were all a part of his passion.

But, his passion was not for the sake of an idea; it was for an individual multiplied a billion times. It was for you and for me. It was for whosoever would call on the name of the Lord. It was to draw as many as would to come from being far away and draw them near.

You see, we were meant to share in his passion. This is a call to share in his sufferings but even more to share in the salvation his suffering bought for us.  I pray you will allow his passion to capture your heart and enliven your mind. I pray you will allow his passion to restore your soul and raise you to newness of life.

After all, passion makes life possible!