Tuesday, I had a group of 8-12 year old preacher boy students in my office. We talked about a subject that is heavy on my mind, that of Sin. In talking of it, we spoke about the consequences of sin. There was only one consequence: Death. This is what Jesus did for us: He lived a perfect life, perfectly obedient to the Father’s will (613 points of the law, and He didn’t break one). He died a sinner’s death, taking our place. He was beaten, tortured, and crucified. He took the full wrath of God upon Himself. He did this for my sin and for your sin and for the sin of the whole world. The boys and I watched part of a few scenes from the passion of the Christ (we couldn’t bear to watch much), and we said “He did this for us.”
Do you ever marvel at this? Do you ever stop and wonder? The God of the Universe sent His Son to become one of us, and Jesus, both fully human and fully divine, fulfilled all of God’s righteous requirements, for us, and died in our place, so that God’s covenant could be fulfilled, and we could be with Him for eternity. This should cause us to weep! This should cause us to live differently, and seek His holiness, for it was His holiness that was crucified in our place. This should cause us to look at all that He has done for us, and to go after Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. He deserves nothing short of all of us, though that is inadequate to give. Yet He deserves that and more. Do you ever stop and wonder at it all? How, then, will you live after wondering at the depth of God’s love for you and for me?
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.