It was God’s investment on our behalf that allows us to embrace the role of investing in him, and yet God wasn’t done—the ultimate restoration wouldn’t be experienced just by coming to earth and living as man, but only through the…
Son’s Sacrifice (Isaiah 53:4-9) 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions (Crucifixion was invented by the Persians in 300-400BC and developed, during Roman times, into a punishment for the most serious of criminals.), he was crushed for our iniquities (“The weight of the body pulling down on the arms makes breathing extremely difficult,” says Jeremy Ward, a physiologist at King’s College London.); the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth (silent before Pontius Pilate); he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b] 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked (he gets the worst punishment the Romans had—and as the custom you didn’t get a proper burial, until Joseph of Arimathea stepped in and asked for the body giving up his tomb), and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.Don’t miss the sacrifice—that the fullness of God in bodily form—the fullness of truth, love, and grace undeservedly takes on the fullness of judgment in place of his people. In place of you and me. That is would be one thing to sacrifice a lamb to symbolize the judgment deserved and passed to the lamb, but it is another to think of Jesus becoming that sacrifice, what John described as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” Henry Blackaby wrote on the impact, “When you come to know God by experience, you will be convinced of His love. When you are convinced of His love, you can believe Him and trust Him. When you trust Him, you can obey Him. When you love Him, you have no problem obeying Him.”
On May 2, 1962, Gladys Kidd placed a dramatic advertisement in the San Francisco Examiner, “I don’t want my husband to die in the gas chamber for a crime he did not commit. I will therefore offer my services for 10 years as a cook, maid, or housekeeper to any leading attorney who will defend him and bring about his vindication.”
Vincent Hallinan, one of San Francisco’s best lawyers saw the advertisement, felt pity, and contacted the woman. He took on the case and ended up getting the innocent man released from all charges. Afterward, the attorney refused the lady’s offer of ten years of service, noting that he was satisfied to have saved an innocent man from death. Yet as Christians, we know a stronger kind of love, a love that gives the ultimate sacrifice. A sacrifice worth celebrating. Source: The Universal Journalist, David Randall
There are lots of definitions of love. People talk about loving pizza, true love with a bf or gf, loving nail polish, or loving a vacation—but how do you respond to a love that stands apart. It is in God’s love that we can live lives celebrating our Creator and sustainer. We can live lives defined by his sacrifice and our strength. Anyone can love something that feels good, meets their needs, jumps when they say jump, but Jesus loves us when we refuse to jump, when we refuse to listen—Romans 5:8 tell us that “God demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” As motivating as heaven is to us, realizing how moving a sacrifice that Jesus would give it up for us.