Friday, April 10, 2009

Now I Wear His Righteousness

'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?' (Ps 22:1)

'So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha' (John 19:17)

Where were those who had followed him? Where were his disciples? Surely one of them would come to his aid and help him bear his cross. But no, for the Scriptures had stated long before, 'Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered' (Zech. 13:17).

No disciples to aid him. No angel to strengthen him as there had been in the garden. At Bethlehem, when the Saviour was born, the night was changed to day as the glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds. On Golgotha the day gave way to night as Christ sank deeper and deeper into the abyss of damnation. At Bethlehem there were countless angels praising God; on Golgotha legions of darkness filled the impenetrable gloom, hoping that darkness would finally triumph over light. Heaven was silent.

Christ felt both the hurt of man's injustice and the weight of God's justice as he went forth to bear the full curse of sin and so to be accursed of God. He was to die on a cross and 'cursed is every one that is hanged on a tree' (Gal. 3:13). Matthew Henry comments, 'Those that see him thus hang between heaven and earth will conclude him abandoned of both and unworthy of either'.

Christ became a 'curse for us'. He bore our sin and its consequences, even the curse of a holy God. He was treated as if he were a sinner. God's curse is intrinsically holy. It is his condemnation of sin and the sinner. Christ as sin-bearer was inevitably accursed of God. Just as blessing reaches its fullness in heaven, so the curse reaches it fullness in hell, and Christ experienced the curse in its fullness.

He 'took the curse upon Himself in order that He might satisfy us with His blessing'. While it is true that 'He came to preach the Gospel, His chief object in coming was that there might be a Gospel to preach'.

Now, the forgiven, restored sinner willingly takes up his cross and follows the Lord Jesus Christ. That cross is whatever the Christian suffers for the sake of Christ and his truth. In bearing that cross there is peace and blessedness as the Christian experiences the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. Not that we can share in the redemptive suffering of Christ, but rather that we seek by God's grace to deny self, accept the anguish of the struggle against sin and bear meekly the scorn of a world that rejects Christ. 'There are some who would have Christ cheap. They would have Him without the cross. But the price will not come down'.

The hand that reaches out for salvation must be empty. Everything of self must be disowned. We are debtors to mercy alone. We are all beggars. - Taken from The Cross He Bore, by Frederick Leahy

Now playing: Aaron Keyes - Not Guilty Anymore
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Three On Thursday

Here are three random things I have learned in the last week.

  • In 1996, these mummies were discovered in Egypt. I found it somewhat fascinating because people had been virtually living on top of the tombs for years and didn't know they existed. They were only discovered when a donkey tripped and knocked a hole into the roof with its hoof.
  • If your doctor tells you that you need to lower your cholesterol, do not, under any circumstances, mention that fact within earshot of your children. They will not allow you to eat anything for the rest of your life. Actual quote, "You," said one sibling to the other, "May have as many sticky buns as you would like. Dad can't have any because his cholesterol is too high."
  • I am constantly reminded that surrender is not a daily event in a victorious Christian's life, rather it is moment by moment. Col 3:3 "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." For someone who has died to sin, it is far to active in my life to be called dead. Yet I take hope in knowing that His grace is sufficient in this also. I have been purchased by His blood, therefore my life is hid in Christ, my Savior and my God.

Now playing: Sara Groves - The Long Defeat
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Expanding My World

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' Matthew 25:34-40