My friend, may I ask you a question? When God decided to require the life of his Son, Jesus Christ, in order to redeem us from our sins, was it because he loved us or because it was required to save us from eternal death in hell?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Parents love their children. In general that’s a pretty safe bet. Of course there are parents who do a better job than others, but I think it’s safe to say that, as a rule, parents tend to love their children. As I think back to my childhood I remember how my parents cared for me. They definitely demonstrated their love and I believe they were highly regarded as parents in that regard. I’d put them right at the top of the list. However, let me ask you this. When my father loaded us kids into the car on Sunday morning to take us to church did he do this out of love? What actually motivated my Dad to make sure heads were counted and everyone was present so that he could start the old Plymouth and make our way to a church that was about 10 miles down the road? You know, I really don’t think my Dad was specifically motivated by a deep and personal love for his kids, although I know he loved us dearly. The reality was this; walking to church would take too long and would be too dangerous. Putting three kids in the back seat and one next to my Mom in the front seat of the Plymouth was the only way we could actually get to church. He wasn’t thinking about how dear we were every time he did this. Rather, he was thinking about how to get there. Walking or hitching wasn’t an option.
The fact that my Dad didn’t kiss each of us when he loaded the car up for church isn’t surprising. Dads are supposed to be pragmatic in these things. How about God though? When he decided to require the life of his Son, Jesus Christ, in order to redeem us from our sins, was that because of an intense love, or was it because it was required in order for us to be saved? Was it because there was no other way?
Oswald Chambers writes: “Never build your preaching of forgiveness on the fact that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. It is untrue to Jesus Christ’s revelation of God; it makes the Cross unnecessary, and the Redemption ‘much ado about nothing.’ If God does forgive sin, it is because of the Death of Christ. God could forgive men in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted to be Saviour [sic] because of His death. ‘We see Jesus…because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour [sic].’ The greatest note of triumph that ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ – ‘It is finished.’ That is the last word in the Redemption of man.”
Jesus tells us in John 17:4. “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” God gave Jesus the task of dying for our sins. Jesus owned it and dutifully carried it out. It was done because it was required. God did and does love us, as John 3:16 states. He could have, nonetheless, required some other way of recompensing our sin. He didn’t. Jesus died because he had to, not because of some tragic set of circumstances. He came into the world to die, and he did. Just as my Dad knew there was no other good way of getting us to church, God was constrained by himself to require the death of his Son to grant you and I full forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus died because he had to; God required it because he was constrained to do so. Jesus needed to be exalted as Savior, and death was the means for that exaltation. Justice. Fathers are like that. They do what must be done because it is the best way, and thus validated for our good.
We pray. Heavenly Father, we know that you are a loving God, but sometimes we forget how just you are and that you are constrained by that justice. Forgive us Father when we forget that there was a price for our redemption, the death of your Son. May we be reminded today of the love that constrains your wisdom, and the wisdom that is unbounded. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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God bless you for Jesus sake.