By Benjamin H. Liles
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. ~ Isaiah 53:3-4 NKJV
"We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." ~ Mark 10:33-34
This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases." ~ Matthew 8:17
Jesus did this to fulfill what God, the Father, planned to do. The plan was not just to condemn sin through a blameless death. It is to put an end to sin and eternal separation. Some will choose to believe and obey the Father through Jesus Christ while others will forsake Him who died to make us righteous. These people do not believe they are worthy of His love.
As Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith." For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened" (Romans 1:16-17; 1:20-21).
Should we choose to live our life, dying to self, and accepting the power of Christ we are made alive and abide with God. But if we choose to disobey Him, we condemn ourselves to sin, death, and Hell. Ezekiel penned these words by what God revealed to him: "However, if the watchman sees the sword coming but doesn't blow the trumpet, so that the people aren't warned, and the sword comes and takes away their lives, then they have been taken away because of their iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood" (33:6).
In other words, Christians have a duty to witness and let others know of Christ's absolute authority not just to cleanse us from sin, but to pardon us from the wrath of God. Therefore it is to our benefit to honor God and then to our fellow men and women. It means loving Him and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Father, I thank You for everything You do. You sent Your Son in my place, taking my infirmities, my sins, and my disabilities. Almost everyone of us on this planet we live, which You gave to us, needs You and Your gracious love. It means taking the promise of Your Son and accepting what He's done on our behalf. I realize I am never able to pay back what You did for me. It's like John Schlitt sang in one of Petra's songs: "I have a grateful heart, that You have given me. And it can only come from You. There is no way to begin to tell You how i feel. There are no words to express how You've become so real. Jesus, You've given me so much I can't repay. I have no offering..." And that's the whole truth. What can I bring to You, Lord, that You've already done in my place? Nothing. I have nothing to give back to You, just myself, just my love and gratitude. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.