Ponder to what lengths God in Christ went to for the purpose of paying the debt for our sin. The one who existed in the form of God who did not consider equality with God as something that should use for His own advantage. Instead He emptied His outer form of Glory and took the form of a bondservant... as a baby in manger. From the Highest place as being adored and worshiped as very God for eternity past (Jn 12:41); Now the one who created all things and sustains all things puts on flesh and lay in a feeding trough totally ignored; and perceived as insignificant; thought of as a bastard child - .... aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a devil.... (they thought Mary had an affair with a Samaritan while she was betrothed to Joseph). Oh the mystery of the incarnation!!!!!!
From the manger the God man is despised and rejected, cast off, stricken as a madman. But Jesus had his face set like flint to go to the cross. His work was to lay down His life; to offer himself as the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. Christ was then mangled more than any man; He wasn't even recognizable as human, OH to see His sufferings! Do you see Christ crucified!?!? Do you see the perfect man hanging in your place? Do you see Him taking the wrath that you deserve? Now the Father crushes His perfect Son with divine wrath to appease His holy just heart.
Beloved, when we see the heights that Christ once dwelt in and how low He came we are obviously struck with the grand question of WHY? WHY would he do it? This question will be central to our worship forever and will never be exhausted, however tonight I am stuck with the reality that this was the only way that sin could be atoned for. What does that say about sin? How severe is sin that it cost so much to pay its penalty? the only payment (ransom) costly enough to pay the debt was the very life of God! I am shocked at how trivial we treat sin in our culture? I am shocked at a hyper grace message that waters down the severity of sin and steals urgency and necessity to walk holy as He is holy.
Imagine if every time you sinned you had to go down to the temple (like in the old covenant) pay a significant amount of money to buy and then kill an animal..... what if everytime you sinned you saw the blood shed that was required for your cleansing. Can you see it, placing your hands on the head of the bull or ram to "transfer guilt" to them and then you take a sword and thrust it violently into the neck into the animal and watch all the blood pour out onto the ground?!? What then of the priest taking some of that blood and sprinkling you so that you could stay in right standing with YHWH? When I say this I usually get a response of ... wow that is so intense...
But beloved we have something far more intense in the new covenant. Now instead of laying our hands on a bull we must go back to the day Christ was crucified (by faith) and lay our hands on Christ and allow all our guilt to go upon Him and then we must watch the soldier thrust Him through with the spear causing all His blood to be poured out! We must now sprinkled with the Godman's blood. Oh how trivial we utter the words "the blood of Jesus" in prayer.
Beloved, in the days of temple sacrifice sin would immediately touch the pocket book of the sinner... but now in Christ we see a billion times over just how costly sin really is.... at least we should! For how much is Christ worth? We still must come with an exchange of the heavenly currency of repentance .... a transaction of coming with no money but offering our blindness for His blood; giving our defiled selves and receiving His nail pierced hands.
OH that we would have the fear of the Lord again in our land; Oh that we would tremble at the thought of dishonoring our precious Jesus' blood!?!?! Father, have mercy on us and help us to live in a worthy response to the blood of Jesus.... don't forget what it took to give you that "free gift of righteousness"; for it wasn't free for Him, He labored far more that we can possibly imagine to secure our justification.