The Sacrificial Lamb

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“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

If you know me at all, you know that I love animals. I thank God that He is Creator, and in His wisdom, love, and sovereignty, He created the innumerable animals that He did. When an innocent animal is injured, wounded, or mistreated, I feel it deep inside of me. I hate the thought of helpless ones being hurt. I have often quoted the verse from Proverbs 12:10 that says, “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast.” God created the animals that walk the earth in Genesis and declared His own creation, “good.” So I feel quite justified in my love for the furry beasts God created. Reading the book of Leviticus can be a shock to one’s senses when you stop to focus on the number of animals sacrificed under the old covenant. Death only entered the scene following the sin of Adam and Eve. Death was the result of sin, and subsequently, sin required the shedding of blood to be atoned for and forgiven.

As I was reading in the Word, I was struck again by the loss of life to animals for the sacrifice of sin. I contemplated that concept for a while, and I found myself at the cross, where it was no animal that was sacrificed for sin. No, it was the perfect and sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ. He came to die and to fulfill the old covenant. He came to die, once for all, to cover my sins and yours and, thus, rendering us no longer in need of a sacrifice of goat or ram to atone for our sins. Even as Jesus was introduced by John the Baptist in John 1:29, we learn that He was always the Lamb of God with His mission on earth never wavering: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

How calloused have we become to the high price Jesus paid for our sins? How ambivalent are we to the physical anguish and mental suffering Jesus endured? We have become so focused on the love of God that we have discounted what His grace cost. Did the Israelites take sin more seriously because of the planning and forethought of the offerings and sacrifices? They had to do it repeatedly. Did this make them more aware of the deep need for atonement? I am so thankful I was born under the new law, following the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. However, do we take grace for granted? Perhaps the better question is: how can I not take the grace and gift of Jesus for granted? Those of us who are “churched” can easily become desensitized to what Jesus did for us, for it is a truth we have known for years. Consider the excitement of a brand new believer. The idea that the perfect love of Jesus compelled Him to come to earth as a human and humble Himself to the point of death on the cross for our sins is astounding to those new to the faith.

This concept made me contemplate ways I could keep the grace of Jesus and the price He paid at the forefront of my relationship with Him. I know that when we are forgiven of our sins, Jesus removes them from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12); however, there is a reason we do not forget our sins. To forget all from which we have been forgiven causes us to forget our great God and Father, and the gift of His love and grace to us in Jesus the Son. Yes, we are all born sinners, and we ALL must recognize our desperate need for a Savior. Yet, for me, I count myself among the worst of sinners. I am the Samaritan woman. I am the woman who threw herself at the feet of Jesus, anointing them with tears and drying them with her hair. I am the woman who has been as judgmental as the Pharisees. I am the woman who is the prodigal son (daughter), and I, too, have been the brother of the prodigal son who was angry and self-righteous. I need Jesus as much as I need my next breath, more so, in fact. I need Jesus every single minute of every single day. I am not okay without Him.

All of these things bring me back to Isaiah 53, where it talks about the Suffering Servant and all Jesus would endure when the Messiah came. He was despised. He was rejected. He was a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He was stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. For both our intentional and unintentional sins. His wounds brought us healing. Our peace with God cost Him dearly. The Lord laid on Jesus the iniquity of all humanity. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted. And He willingly did it all to pay the price that my sins and yours demanded. Why? Because it pleased God. Why? Because God loved us so much He did not want us eternally separated from Him.

Life is not about the right here and the right now. The brevity of life and the sacrifice of Christ should be the motivator to live with eternity in mind. Do you love Jesus? Do you know how loved by Jesus you are? When we fully grasp all that Jesus did for us on the cross of Calvary, we should be bowing at His feet in worship, washing His feet with our tears. Why? Because, “our “her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:47) Do you find yourself complacent in your walk with Jesus? Do you feel like He is far away from you? Have you lost the joy you once felt when you came to know Christ? It is high time for the church of Jesus Christ to remember and to act on what we know is true about God and His love for us. Jesus’ return grows ever nearer. There is no better day than today to hit our knees, repent, and receive the times of refreshing that will come from the Lord Jesus (Acts 3:19-20). Our sins cost Jesus His very life. The only One who didn’t need a sacrifice for sin was the very One who offered Himself as THE sacrifice for sin.

Easter is approaching. Don’t let it come and go as just another holiday on the calendar. Walk the path that Jesus took to the cross, knowing every step toward Calvary, He did for you and for me. He took the steps we could not. He died a sinner’s death meant for us. Let it change the way we live for Him. Life is not in the abundance of one’s possessions. Life is found at the foot of the cross and in the empty tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ. His life brought us healing. His death brought us forgiveness. His resurrection brought us freedom. Remember the cross and the cost!

Published by Dawn413

Jesus is the lover of my soul. Throughout my life, in both triumphs and challenges, Jesus has shown me that He is the ultimate source of satisfaction. There is no other. I love words, and He has filled my heart with a passion for Him, His Word, and writing. I am a mom of both humans and furry canines. I love running, hiking, reading, the ocean, baseball, basketball. I love spending time with my friends and family and doing any activity that can include my pups!

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