Theme of the Week: Suffering
Bible Verse: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 CSB
Scripture Reading: John 1:29-34
We don’t have to get very far into the Ten Commandments to realize how often we’ve broken them. Whether or not we have actually constructed idols, our hearts are inclined toward unworthy loyalties. Whether we have served anything or anyone other than God may not be apparent on the surface, but our conscience knows. Whether we have murdered, committed adultery, stolen, lied, or coveted may not be obvious to the people around us, but our inner impulses betray our facades. If we really got a glimpse of God in all his majesty, with our own souls exposed by his light, we would cry out as Isaiah did, appalled at our uncleanness (Isaiah 6:5). We’ve been thoroughly tainted by the world’s rebellion.
We would like to claim ignorance as an excuse. But God’s divine nature and power are visible in creation, and we still choose not to seek him, at least for a time (Romans 1:20). Unawareness is not a good defense with a God who promised to be found. So we are left with our guilt, stuck in our habits, and insistent that “we’re only human”—forgetting the high honor of being human and the divine image we were originally given. We really are in desperate, self-inflicted need.
The Incarnation of God and his unblemished sacrifice offer the perfect remedy. The source of life grew up specifically for an appointed time of death. Jesus was resolved in his purpose: He insisted that he must suffer terrible things and be killed (Luke 9:22). There was nothing accidental in his crucifixion, no tragic twist of fate that resulted in an untimely death at the hands of executioners. It was “the LORD’s good plan to crush him” (Isaiah 53:10). Why? Because the cost of our rebellion had to be paid. The tide of sin had to be reversed. Death had to die.
That is the inauguration of the new covenant, not the end of it. The Cross did away with the penalty of our sin, but it is more powerful than a legal decree. It actually cleanses us of sin. It removes guilt and transforms lives. It leads to resurrection—a new life untainted by the old. We may spend years learning to see this new life as it is meant to be; eyes coming out of darkness always take time to adjust to the light. But we should never settle for less than the Lamb intended. He transforms us to be like him.
Content taken from The Promise of Lent Devotional: A 40-day Journey toward the Miracle of Easter by Chris Tiegreen. Copyright ©2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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