All Posts Tagged: Cross
For years I have shopped at a national tool store that promises a 90 day unrestricted warranty on every product. They’ve always delivered on their promise!
The Bible contains a warranty that includes over 3000 promises (check out the Mechanics of Life). I want to examine the first and most important promise in the Manual (cf. Genesis 3).
You’ve probably seen a TV commercial that ends with the line: “But wait! There’s MORE!” That’s the hook “the ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan” used on Eve. The fruit of the forbidden tree held the MORE! “When the Woman realized what she would get out of it, she ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband. At that moment they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.” Immediately Life was damaged causing dis-ease and death. What would the Manufacturer do?
With compassion Father entered the Garden with a warranty. He promised to free His kids from the shackles of Satan. “God spoke to Satan. ‘I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound His heel.’” The Old Testament is a prelude to the Big Battle: “But when the right time came, God sent His Son, who was born of a woman so that He could buy freedom for the slaves of Satan.” “At the Cross Jesus was wounded for our rebellious acts …” At the Cross the Serpent’s head was crushed: “The battle was won over Satan and his minions through Christ.”
So, “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? That’s an UNCONDITIONAL WARRANTY!
“You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that ‘as you reap, so you will sow’ stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross....” —Bono
Only at the cross of Christ does man see fully what it is that separates him from God; yet it is here alone that he perceives that he is no longer separated from God. Nowhere else does the inviolable holiness of God, the impossibility of overlooking the guilt of man stand out more plainly; but nowhere else does the limitless mercy of God, which utterly transcends all human standards, stand out more clearly and plainly.
God said to Moses, “This month is to be the first month of the year for you. Each man is to take a one year old lamb without defect. On the fourteenth day slaughter it at dusk. Take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which you will eat it. You are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire, along with bread, made without yeast. Here is how you are to eat it: Be fully dressed with your sandals on and your stick in your hand. I will go through the land of Egypt on this night and strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt. The blood will serve as a sign on the houses where you live. When I see the blood I will pass over you.” (Exodus 12:1-14)
JUNE 6, 1944—Like a megaphone one event, the Normandy Invasion, echoed across every enslaved country: “Freedom is Coming! The bondage of Hitler ended in less than a year. Israel had been in brutal bondage for 430 years. Their “Exodus to Freedom” began on Passover when Pharaoh was forced to release his choke hold on the Jews.
The focus of the Passover was a lamb without defect. On the 14th day it was to be slaughtered; its blood drained and its body prepared for roasting over fire. The blood was to be applied to the door frame. The roasted lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread. Finally, the Jews were to be outfitted for traveling.
“At midnight on the 15th day God struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt including the firstborn of Pharaoh. There wasn’t a house in which someone wasn’t dead” (Exodus 12:29-32). However, every household displaying the blood of the lamb was passed over. “Pharaoh called in Moses that very night and said, ‘Get out of here—you and your Israelites!’” (Exodus 12:31)
“Scripture teaches Jesus died at the 9th hour (3 P.M.) on the Preparation Day which was the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar. It was in the afternoon of the 14th of the first month that the lambs were slaughtered and prepared for the eating of the Passover. It is apparent Jesus died at the very time the lambs were being killed for eating of the Passover. Jesus fulfilled the typology of the Passover lambs in becoming the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world.” (Theological Perspectives)
“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb” (1 Peter 1:18-21). At the Cross of Jesus, the Passover Lamb, God began His Normandy Invasion of enemy occupied territory, thus making possible an “Exodus to Freedom” for anyone. That’s right, ANYONE!
So, here’s the question: have you applied the blood of Jesus to the doorway of your heart? By faith have you connected with Jesus?
The Father did not hesitate to spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all. Can we not trust such a God to give us, with Him, everything else that we can need? (Romans 8:32)
To understand this episode one must know one historical fact: “The request to sacrifice Isaac was 100% in keeping with all Abraham knew and believed about the gods of his culture. However, its conclusion turned those beliefs upside down and revealed a loving God.” Don’t move on until and unless you understand this cultural fact!
“God did for Sarah exactly what He had promised. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his 100th year” (Genesis 21:1-2). Think of the excruciating anguish of a young couple today that desperately wants children but all efforts have failed. Well, Abraham and Sarah went through an entire marriage of barrenness (viewed as a curse in ancient cultures). So, it’s impossible to exaggerate the ecstatic delight that the birth of Isaac brought to the old couple!
Sometime later (Isaac carried the wood so he was a young lad) God said, “Take your only son, Isaac, whom you love deeply, and offer him to Me as a burnt offering on one of the mountains.” Astonishingly, Abraham obeyed immediately! “When they arrived Abraham built an altar and laid out the wood. He tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. He reached out and took the knife to kill his son.”
Suddenly the austere silence was broken. “Abraham! Don’t lay a hand on that boy! You didn’t hesitate to place your only son, your dear son, on the altar for Me.” Abraham looked up in the direction of the Voice and spotted an entangled ram. After retrieving the ram, he “sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.”
FATHER ABRAHAM SPARED THE LIFE OF HIS DEEPLY LOVED, ONLY SON!
It’s centuries later—
“The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters a Voice declared: “This is My Son, marked by My love, the delight of My life.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
“Jesus knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, remove this cup from Me. But please, not what I want.’” (Matthew 26:39)
“Carrying His cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill, where they crucified Him.” (John 19:17)
“Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned, crying loudly ‘My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?’” (Matthew 27:46)
“Jesus said, ‘It’s done . . . complete.’” (John 19:30)
GOD THE FATHER DID NOT SPARE THE LIFE OF HIS DEEPLY LOVED, ONLY SON!