Friday, April 22, 2011

The Ultimate Sacrifice-DD 4/22/2011

"At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Mark 15:34

Jesus was anticipating his Passion when he began the true Lord's prayer (one he prayed himself) in John 17. He said, I glorified you on the earth, having accomplished the work which you have given me to do. And now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with You before the world was." This points to an idyllic existence in which God, in his plurality was self contained, self sufficient and complete. There was utter perfection because God was from eternity past, all that existed. Everything changed, however, when He decided to create. It was known that creation would need a Savior. Acts 2:23 refers to Jesus when he is spoken of as being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, that the wicked have crucified and killed him.

One can only imagine the conversation between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit when it was decided who would save man and by extension, all of creation. One can almost hear Jesus originating the words eons later credited to Isaiah, "Here am I Lord. Send me." And so he left unimaginable perfection and completeness with the Godhead (retaining his perfection), put on flesh and was incarnated on earth to be the sacrifice for man's great sin in the garden.

During this time, he walked with both man and God, teaching, feeding, healing and providing example for the one and loving, obeying, communicating with and representing the Other. Since time immemorial, however, he knew that he must, in his fleshly state, die. He loved his creation (John 1:3) so much that he was willing to commit his life for our salvation.

Beloved, what has become known to the world as the Easter season, the word in fact being a translation of Passover, is all about this sacrifice. Though we spend lots of time going along with the worldy traditions of "easter" eggs, chocolate bunnies, baskets of gifts and new clothing, we spend little time focusing on what this time is really all about. We were never commanded to observe his birth, but our salvation is found in his death, burial and resurrection. In fact, we celebrate the Lord's Supper every Lord's day by partaking of the bread representing his broken body and the fruit of the vine which represents the blood spilled on our behalf. We do this because our Deliverer said, "this do in remembrance of me."

Remember the idyllic perfection of our triune God's existence? When Jesus was brutally persecuted, beaten, ridiculed and hung on the cross, he willingly took on the sins of the entire world. These sins were all those ever committed, those being presently committed and those that would yet be committed. God, in His perfection, cannot be where sin is. It was necessary at that time, that He seperate Himself from that part of himself that was being sacrificed for sin. As terrible as the entire ordeal of Christ's Passion was, the absolute worst part of it all was this separation. For the first time in eternity, God the son was without God the Father. He was utterly alone, ashamed, unclean and the embodiment of sin. And then he died a painful, humiliating and brutal death at the hands of the very hands of all of us whom he came to save and be a part of the idyllic existence.

There is Good Friday for you.

Loving Like Jesus,


No comments: