November 13, 2015

The Extreme Extent of God's Love For You!

                                           "Olympos Climbing" by Stefanos Nikologianis/



Just to briefly recap. In the first segment, we saw that God is holy and separate from sinners. For it is sin, that separates us from our holy Creator-God. Then, in the second segment, we saw that God's rules show us that we are sinners. Just like a mirror reveals that we have dirty faces, so the ten commandments show us that we are stained with sin. We saw too, that “the tree of knowing the rules,” could not give life. Still further, we saw that the ten commandments could not give life either! In fact, they both brought about death – separation from our holy Creator-God. So we realize then, that a mirror cannot clean one, it only reveals our dirty faces – so God's laws do the same. So, where do we turn for deliverance then? That is exactly what we want to look at today! Let's check it out!


So, back to the garden we go again. This time we want to look at the second tree, the tree of life. This tree offered its eaters “eternal life.” Yet, Adam and Eve chose not to eat from it. After there sin, God would clothe them with animal skins. This meant that there was death. So, as we saw earlier, this showed that there had to be a substitute for Adam and Eve. It also showed that the payment for sin was death. Lastly, it showed that the remedy had to come from God, not us. This shows, as a picture, what it would take for a person to be restored to fellowship with God.

However, God would continue to underline, and reunderline this picture through the course of the Old Testament. We would see Abel bring an animal from the flock to sacrifice. Again, the same thing was being pictured – a substitutionary death. Later, we would see Abraham place his son Isaac on an altar and a ram taking Isaac's place. Same picture again – substitution! Still later, we would see the Israelites kill the passover lambs in Egypt before their departure. Same picture again! Yet, in this instance, we're given more details. The lamb had specific requirements and eating regulations. It had to be perfect, a year old, a male, some of its blood had to be put on the person's door frame, and it had to be roasted, eaten in the home, and so on. However, this was only the beginning of God using this picture. We discover the Israelites killing tens of thousands of animals for sacrifices throughout the Old Testament, but, when we arrive in the New Testament they stop. Ever wonder why? Ever wonder what all those sacrifices were about? Why all the death?


These questions begin to be answered, when we hear John the Baptist say, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) You see, back in the garden again, God had promised that He would send a deliver to save humankind from their sin. Now, John announces that this deliver has finally arrived, by announcing, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” Understand then, that all the Old Testament sacrifices of animals could not remove sin, it only showed us, as in a picture, what it would take for our sin to be removed and fellowship restored with God. So, who was this deliver? None other than the Lord Jesus Christ! Notice, He is called, “the Lamb of God.” See then, that He would be the ultimate sacrifice for us! He would be the fulfillment of the Old Testament picture of the sacrificed animals! He would be your and my Substitute! The One who would pay by death the penalty for your and my sin! He would be our Savior! This is the reason why there would be no further need of sacrifices. Jesus had paid the the sin-debts of everyone! For it is written, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Then, further, we read, “We have been sanctified through the body of Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:4, 10)


Think of the Passover again. Think how it had to be a male – Jesus. That there could be no blemish – sinless Jesus, and so on. Then, during the Passover, the home with the blood applied would be “passed over.” There would be no death in the home. However, in the Egyptian's home, there would be death – there was no blood applied. Yet, in the Israelite homes there was no death because a death had already taken place – the lamb had died. However, the Egyptians had no lamb. Hence, the Egyptians had to pay the price themselves. In the case of the Israelites, judgment had already fallen, but in the case of the Egyptians, it was still outstanding. What a contrast!

So, what about you, do you have “a lamb,” or will you have to pay your own sin-debt yourself?

Make sure to check back for the next critical puzzle piece in the big picture!

Victor J. Reimer

*All Scripture taken from the ESV.

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