The Day of My Salvation

I was saved 2000 years ago, for that is when my sin debt was paid by Messiah.  

Messiah came at a time when sin and Satan held dominion over this planet in a most powerful way. The nation of people where Godliness should have abounded was lying helpless in the clutches of a dark ruler to the point that they did not recognize their own Messiah when he walked among them. Not only were they ignorant of Messiah’s presence, they rejected that which was good as if it was evil. Messiah came unto His own and His own received Him not. Their rejection was not passive, but quite aggressive in that the greatest leaders among them initiated Messiah’s death.

A simple death was not sufficient. With the help of the Romans they lifted Messiah high into the air as one cursed by God. There Messiah hung between Heaven and Earth as if He were not fit for either. Rusty nails pierced His flesh and drove shards of skin into the wooden cross beams. Blood flowed. A vine of long thorns was twisted into the form of a crown and fixed upon his head. The sharp points pierced skin revealing a glimpse of skull. Blood flowed. Nails served as anchor driven within His feet allowing enough flexibility of His legs for Him to lift Himself up almost involuntarily to grasp a breath that He may utter a word. Blood flowed.

One can only imagine the pain of the cross. The body endured pain beyond one’s imagination, the mind was pressed to its breaking point, the emotions were wrenched. But for Messiah King one more blow was delivered. Unseen by the naked eye somehow the Father laid my sin upon the Son. The pain of the cross seemed to pail in comparison to the pain of Holiness being pierced through by sin. The fangs of sin filled with the venom of death were buried into the soul of Messiah just as nails were driven into His body. “My God“, He cried, “My God, Why have you forsaken Me?”.

From eternity past the gaze of the Father had found the Son well pleasing. But now the Holy eyes of God found the Son utterly detestable, for in the Son he saw me. Oh how could my sin stand in the presence of God? It must be judged! All creation calls out for my sin to be judged! And there in Messiah King it was judged. The verdict of guilty was proclaimed in Heaven and the sentence fell as the blood flowed. My Lord cried out, “It is finished”.

The life of the body is in the blood and the blood was gone, the blood was spilled out, and there it laid upon the ground the blood of Creator mingling with creation and creation trembled under its weight. The sky grew dark. Many graves were opened in an immense quake and as if to say “enough” they spewed forth their dead.

The head that had no where to lay in life, found rest in death in the tomb of a rich man who had recognized the King. For three days Messiah’s body lay there cold and dead. It was as if the Father wanted to prove how utterly dead Messiah was. A stone and a seal were set over the tomb by the Roman guard at the request of the Jewish Elders. Such a seal was never broken by man in fear of death. But Angels have no fear of Rome. One of God’s Holy Angels rolled the stone from the place where it was lodged, opening the tomb for all the World to see after three days were complete. Messiah had satisfied wrath and had conquered death. He had risen.

Where is my sin? It died with Messiah, yet it did not rise. Now 2000 years after the fact I look to the cross. I see my sin in Messiah. I look to the tomb and find it empty. I look to my Lord who lives in a state of Eternal Glory. Where is my sin? It was judged on a hill called Golgotha. Oh it died a bloody death in Messiah.

Now life wells up from my inmost being just as the King promised. Death where is your victory? Where is your sting? Death is swallowed up by life. Just as Messiah’s death brought life to many dead bodies that day – I live, yet with the stench of death upon me. Just as those who lived on that day died again, one day I will die. But after a while I too will leave the grave for when the Father looks on me, now, He is well pleased.

The Lamb was Silent

The following short story was adapted from the Gospel accounts of Jesus arrest. I wrote it for use in the intro. to my sermon this Sunday.  

The familiar smell of the Olive press filled the night air mingled with the faint fragrance of something like a magnolia blossom that rose from our body of the Lord still fresh with the nard poured upon him just a day earlier. The pleasant aroma along with the stillness of the Jerusalem night seemed to sing a lullaby to the heavy hearted disciples making it difficult for them to watch and pray.  

The stillness of that night was short lived. The beautiful scents were overtaken by the smolder of torches. The only sound in the Garden had been a prayer cried out by the Lord in groans that words could hardly express. But suddenly there were some 600 men in that grotto, soldiers, priests, Pharisees, Sadducees all led by one man who was very familiar to our Lord, a man from Kerioth named Judas.

Here a mixed multitude stood before the band of disciples, but this multitude was not like the one they were so accustomed to. Large crowds had often pursued Jesus, but never with swords and clubs.  

Jesus stood there in perfect peace. Moments earlier the Earth under Him seemed to quake as He prayed so fervently that bloody sweat fell from His brow. But now He was calm. Like the lamb approach by a Sheppard as so many times before, but this time the Sheppard’s face was void of expression, for this time was different. The same Sheppard that had escorted the lamb to green pastures would now lead the lamb to slaughter and the lamb was silent.