Monday, April 9, 2012

Christ Has Done It

"All of us like sheep have gone astray, 
Each of us has turned to his own way; 
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all 
To fall on Him."
Isaiah 53:6

I have heard it said that without a shepherd a flock of sheep will wander and go astray. Isaiah likens our spiritual wandering -- the desire to go our own way -- to straying sheep. And it is "all of us" who do this. Everyone of us. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). But just as a good shepherd will do whatever it takes to bring his sheep back home, Jesus did what was necessary to bring us back home to God. "I am the good shepherd." He said, "the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." Sin demands a sacrifice. In Old Testament times, God commanded the Israelites to make animal sacrifices for substitutionary atonement. An animal's death took the place of a person's death, death being the penalty for sin (Romans 6:23). Exodus 29:36a says "Each day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement,." God's love for sinners compelled Him to offer His Son as the perfect, final sacrifice for the sins of men. When Jesus cried "It is finished" just before He died on the cross, He was declaring that atonement for all the sins of all people for all time had been made. The LORD had caused the sin of all of us to fall on Christ. Jesus' sacrifice made a way for the wandering sinners to come home to God. Every person on earth can accept His gift of atonement and receive God's forgiveness. Hallelujah! It is finished. Christ has done it.

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