2001-04-10 - Vicarious Sacrifice
The Prophecy Fulfilled Series, Part 24
Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.
Romans 5:6,8 For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly...But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Being the week preceding Easter I wanted to come up with something original concerning the sacrifice of Christ. After thinking for some time, I have concluded that there is nothing original needed in this area. The wonder of the sacrifice of Christ for sin is quite original on its own.
We might ask ourselves who it was who died? Can we really say that on the cross God died? Yes, we can, and He died in the place of all those who come to him in faith and repentance. This makes the event we remember, in a special way, this coming Sunday, an awesome event. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to call the sacrifice of Christ for sin the most important historical event in the history of the world.
He died to save His people. Therefore the death of Christ is the greatest example of love ever exhibited. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 Christ also died to satisfy the justice of a holy God. Sin must exact a penalty because nothing unholy can enter the presence of God. "For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy..." Leviticus 11:44 Christ's sacrifice brings us peace with a holy God. He died in our place. That is why his atonement is call vicarious.
Even when we think of the results of Christ's sacrifice we cannot exhaust the theme. His sacrifice accomplished our salvation. All those who are part of the invisible church are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. And you might notice that I am using the past tense, "accomplished," "covered." It is finished, and our salvation is sure. We have the resurrection as a seal to show that God the Father accepted Christ's sacrifice.
Lastly, the sacrifice of Christ resulted in the overthrow of satan and the kingdom of darkness. Satan no longer has dominion. He has been cast out. "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out." John 12:31 He has been judged. "...because the ruler of this world has been judged." John 16:11 Romans 16:20 tells us that God, "...will soon crush satan under your feet." And finally, Matthew 25:41 says that an eternal fire "...has been prepared for the devil and his angels." All these things are true because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I hope you have a wonderful Easter and a great week preceding it. And remember, in truth, every Sunday is Easter because every Sunday we gather with fellow believers to remember the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,