We watched the Passion of the Christ again last night as a family. Our three oldest children really watched it for the first time and it left an impression on them about what Jesus has done for us – for all of us – that will not fade as time wears on. We will see to that. That’s our part. As the story unfolded, we watched in horror at the scourging of our Lord and there were many questions. Good questions – seeking questions. I was reminded of how the Israelites were instructed to teach their children of the deliverance and exodus from Egypt. We have the same monition about our stories of the Lord and His deliverance of us. We must tell the younger generations why we have the faith we have and what Jesus has done for us – corporately and personally.
When Pilate offered Barabbas or Jesus to be released, I was reminded that Jesus is still setting the captives free. He is still setting the murderers, rapists, thieves and scoundrels free as He stands and receives the punishment they (and we) so rightly deserve.
Isaiah 52:14 As many were astonied at thee;
his visage was so marred more than any man,
and his form more than the sons of men.
Jesus was so battered and beaten you couldn’t tell he was a man. He suffered so much because the price of sin is death. And, the sin of the world was upon Him. He became sin who knew no sin so that we might be free! He suffered degrading humiliation and torture beyond description because of His love for us! He set His face like flint to go to the cross. He embraced the cross! If only people could get this and understand. He was clean, pure and holy yet became sin so that the price that was demanded would be paid – and paid in full. We cannot add to the price He paid by our work or will or anything. The price was paid by God because He knew we couldn’t bear it or pay it. The verse that always makes me choke is:
Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
It pleased the Lord to bruise Him who knew no sin. God was pleased to see His Son suffer! Oh, that hurts to consider that. Could I do that with any of my sons? No way. But, God was pleased because He knew the awful price demanded of sin and that’s why He hates sin so much because He knows the awful price it exacts upon all those who succumb to it.
Yet, our Father, our heavenly Father spared no expense for His rescue mission to save us! He gave His very best to save us! The enemy thought he had beaten God when Jesus was sacrificed. Three days later, he was scared out of his wits when Jesus came out of the tomb! When I told my children that Jesus raising from the dead scared the devil and gave him the worst day of his life, they immediately saw the amazing power of God’s plan and they really understood how magnificent the resurrection is!
Yes, our Lord was battered, beaten and tortured and torn beyond our ability to absorb it. But, three days later He came out of the tomb and now sits at the right hand of our Father in heaven! He is victorious and He utterly defeated death and hell! He shall live forevermore! And, so shall we – with Him! Oh, what a savior! Oh, what a God!
It’s Memorial Day here in America – a day we honor those who gave the last full measure for our land and it’s people. And, that is appropriate. We should honor our brave and courageous people who paid the ultimate sacrifice. In a very real sense, Jesus was the first to die for us! There have been many who since followed but I am reminded that He loved us before the foundation of the world and He set His face to go to the cross.
Father, please heal our land! We humble ourselves before you and ask you to heal America. America is staggering under the weight of sin and self-abasement. Help us to return to you and put Jesus back in His rightful place as our King and our Lord. When this land was founded, we swore to serve no king but Jesus. Let those words echo throughout this land again as we honor our fallen brothers and sisters! Abolish abortion in all its forms in our land. Restore marriage and heal our families Father! Restore the family altar and help us to teach our children the great truths! Help us give your Word it’s due prominence in our lives! Help us return to you in true humility and love! Help us to once again become a beacon of light to a lost and dying world! Father, we pray in the name of Jesus, The Holy Anointed One! Amen!