The great sacrifice

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The sacrifice needed to destroy sin and death would be provided for by God himself as shown throughout the Old Testament.  We see this particularly in the moment Abraham offered his Son Isaac to die (Genesis 22). God promised he alone would provide the sacrifice, this is a statement from God that mankind in and of themselves cannot provide the sacrifice needed to destroy sin. There is nothing, as we saw at the beginning of this series, that humanity can do to undo the disastrous results of rejecting God and his rule over our lives.  As, we thought about a few weeks ago, the payment of sin would come at a great cost, the price would be God’s one and only Son.

The separation of the Trinity caused darkness to come over the earth…..this moment when darkness thought it had won, this moment that the devil thought he had at last destroyed all that God loved especially his own Son, for the devil there could be nothing better. In that moment of darkness the devil thought he had destroyed all God had made and treasured, however it would prove to be the downfall of the devil himself for it was in this moment of darkness that the judgement of the devil was carried out and the sin he instigated would be nullified , forever.

Humanity would be bought back and restored to their original goodness and in that moment when Jesus cried out ‘it is finished’ and died on the cross he declared it had been accomplished.  Confirmed when the curtain in the temple was torn it two.  The curtain symbolised the separation that happened in the garden between God and man and it would take an act of God to tear it down (from top to bottom) Matthew 27:51 niv.

On the day the curtain was torn in two, as Christ willingly took that separation on himself, he announced the final judgement on the devil resulting in the death penalty against the crime of sin which God declared in Genesis 2.  As the curtain was torn in two God confirmed the penalty had been paid and all who put their trust in Jesus would now have direct access to God not only has Creator but now as Father.

What we can not fully grasp or understand is the horror of the separation that Jesus experienced on the cross.  Jesus had never experienced separation from God the Father or God the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was always part of the Trinity, the place of all goodness and glory.  The moment Jesus took the sins of the world onto himself he willingly took our place and took our separation, the separation that Adam and Eve experienced.  This separation is something we haven’t experienced.

We already live a life separated from God it is all we have known, for us the new life offered by Jesus is what seems scary and unknown.  So our thinking becomes skewed and we doubt the words of God because they seem too good to be true. But the problem lies within us rather than in God and his word.

For without Jesus’ humanity to go to the cross, His divinity to overcome death and his relationship with God to return to heaven we will be separated from God forever. 

And if you think eternal separation from God isn’t that bad consider all that is evil in this world and how much worse it will be without God’s goodness because without the light from God all that will be left is darkness.

Eternal Life

Christ’s life, death and resurrection provided a separation from sin whether that be inherited from Adam and Eve, our own sin or even the sin of others that causes us much heartache.  Instead of being ruled by sin, in Christ we’re now ruled by his righteous life, a life to be lived differently to the past.  From a life of darkness into a life filled with light and eternal purpose.  Through Christ we gain an undeserved place of a right relationship with God.

Charles Spurgeon the great theologian called this moment The Great Exchange;

“He wore my crown of  thorns. I wear His crown, the crown of Glory. He wore my … nakedness when He died upon the Cross—I wear His robes, the royal robes of the King of kings! He bore my shame, I bear His honor. He endured my sufferings to this end that my joy may be full and that His joy may be fulfilled in me! He laid in the grave that I might rise from the dead and that I may dwell in Him.” -Spurgeon

This is the gift of new life that the Lord Jesus has provided for us, God’s undeserved grace. There is nothing we can bring, there is nothing we need to bring just a willingness to trust in the truth of the word of God that declares Jesus is Lord of all.

This side of heaven we cannot fathom the wonders in store for us but as we continue on this journey together let us learn at least one thing from Adam and Eve that all along they had a choice. To believe God of all Creation or the devil of all destruction.

The question we need to ask ourselves is ‘are we willing to put our faith and trust in the God of all creation, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So that we become children of God and become part of the Heavenly Family, the Kingdom of God, or do we still think that equality with God is something worth grasping?

Why do we do it to ourselves, why do we consider equality with God something that is even possible?  How often do we think we have authority over God?  How arrogant is mankind?  How full of pride we are when we refuse to consider our true standing in the universe, rather than the one of authority over ourselves and others, we think we have.

What we do have, is a choice to either accept the separation that Jesus took on our behalf or experience the eternal separation from the love and provision of God forever.

We see  through the perfect life of Christ, His sacrificial death on the cross, His confirmed resurrection and His witnessed ascension that Jesus declares that He is who he says he is, did what he said he did and will do what he says he will do.

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