The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Innocent For the Guilty"
"When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation. And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD" (Leviticus 4:14-15).
Throughout history, the sacrifice of the innocent for the guilty has characterized God's purposes in His redemptive dealings with humanity. "The bullock shall be killed." Why? For his own sins and misdeeds? No, as a foreshadowing of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the young bullock died for the sins of Israel. I felt for the innocent animals sacrificed as I read this passage yesterday. They did nothing to deserve their fate. However, I also thought that if they had known what their death represented, they would have died with a great sense of being honored.
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (I Peter 3:18).
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus consists of truth so simple that its pure light blinds the hearts and minds of the proud, the powerful, and the pious. Somebody without sin died for our many sins. It doesn't seem fair, and it would not be if the Gospel did not originate in accordance with the perfectly just dictates of a holy God. Innocence sacrificed for guilt. We do well to often allow such solemn truth to awe our minds with wonder, and our hearts with worship. We also do well to communicate this Gospel with the stark simplicity it demands. Wordy and convoluted explanations of "Christ died for our sins" may well complicate rather than clarify a message that will only be received by hearts willing to acknowledge that no other way of redemption can possibly exist (I Corinthians 15:3). Indeed, those who trust the Lord Jesus have run out of all other answers to Job's most elemental question of old: "How should man be just with God?" (Job 9:2).
Having no sins of His own for which to die, the Savior died for ours: "the Just for the unjust." He was buried for three days as witness to His demise, and then rose again from the dead by the power of God. This is the Gospel pure and simple, which it must be if we are to share it in truth and power. Thereby, God is known as "just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). Or, as the Psalmist beautifully prophecied of the redemption to come in Christ, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (Psalm 85:10). Only in Christ the Just can such hope be found for the unjust. The sacrifice of young bullocks long ago in Israel foreshadowed the simplicity such grace and truth, made possible by such cost of blood and of life.
"Jesus Christ the righteous… He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world."
(I John 2:2"
Weekly Memory Verse
"And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh."
(I Timothy 3:16)
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