“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jesus the burnt offering

“And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Gen. 22:2).

“If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.
And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces.
And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: And the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:
But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.” (Lev. 1:3-9).

“And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;
Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.…
And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish.
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.
And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:
And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.” (Lev. 4:27,28,32-35).

The burnt offering was a solemn event. The repentant one confessed his sin upon the head of the animal and then the animal, innocent of the wrongdoing, was slain in the place of the sinner by the sinner.
After the person would “slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering…. The priest shall burn them upon the altar… and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.”

This was a remorseful experience. That pure baby lamb, dependent and gentle, had to die; the sinner, we, must kill the innocent. My wife was given a baby goat once. She brought it home and he kicked around at our place. He loved to sit in my wife’s lap as she bottle-fed him. His long eyelashes and tiny nose danced as he slurped up that milk. He walked on his tippy toes, tapping his way as he went, because his hoofs pointed downward, and he loved to jump straight up sometimes. We had him for a few weeks before I had to leave and truly got attached to him. And he quickly got attached to us, nudging himself into everything we did. We got attached to him because he attached himself to us. He lived to be loved. We loved him because he first loved us.

But then came the day that my wife realized that he would grow up and we had no place to keep a full grown goat. So she gave him to a man who would raise him. But that man didn’t have the motherly care or affection for the kid that Zeny gave him. So after three weeks, the baby goat died. The man fed him, but, he died from lack of affection and loving physical contact; he had no purpose in living; he died of no love.

After slaying the kid or the lamb, then it was burnt before the Lord. After millions of animals were killed this way through the four millennia, the One they all pointed to came to this world, darkened by Satan and sin, and died for mankind.

Our sins have crucified the hearts of Jesus and God. So the Son of God presented Himself before His Father, in our place, accepted the destruction we deserved, “for the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23).

So, Jesus came “as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7). “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” (2Cor. 5:21).  All the wrath of God toward sin, all of His hatred of it, all of the sorrow and grief He saw in sin’s indulgence of self, its laziness and weakness, its boasting and self-centricity, all of the Father’s pent up frustration and anger was focused on His Son.

And we, with eyes healed of their blindness can look at the infinitely expensive ransom money our sin cost God through the loss of His Son in order to spare us and reclaim our love and obedience. Thus Jesus united two hopelessly separated individuals when He reconciled God and man.
He was our burnt offering because He took our due justice, and fire from heaven consumed His soul like the fire that fell upon Elijah’s altar.

His cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” show the separation taking place by His Father. Sin separates us from God, and God was looking upon Jesus as sin which He detests. “God left Him,” (2Chron. 32:31) the Originator of life divorced His life from His Son.

Intense, jillion volts of wrath boiled Christ’s soul. His mind was being stressed to the maximum. Every evidence of love was flayed and boiled. Christ’s joy, His love, His hope were breaking down and turning into mush. Yet, Jesus’ response to such torture was to cling for more evidence, to hang on to His joy in the Lord, to reach out to God’s love and hope in His grace unto the end. This He did until His last conscious thought, as He descended into shock and death. Jesus’ tenacious seeking His Father’s presence is why His Father was satisfied.

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa 53:10,11).

Not only did our Savior’s response to total spiritual annihilation resolve His Father’s infinite grief, but Jesus learned spiritual vacancy more than what would ever be needed to satisfy the unfallen worlds and angelic hosts. And as man would look at the depths of their redemption, they would be brought up out of sin.
Satan desired God to destroy sinners as soon as they had sinned. But sin is so caustic that it will sin even in the middle of its destruction. Even Adam and eve would have passed through the death of hell that Christ experienced, but they would have gone down shaking their fists at God for it. The travesty of witnessing this would have put the capstone on Lucifer’s work of damaging God. Certainly the Cains and Hams and Nimrods of humanity, which really encompass include all of us, would pass through hell making a mockery of God. But, would Adam and Eve the beginning of the creation of God? Yes, even the nicest of us turn into raucous swine in the overwhelmingly miserable hellfire of God’s wrath.

It was Satan’s wily purpose to see God’s kingdom of trust destroyed when He destroyed sinners and sin. Certainly, Satan and his hosts would curse God through the whole ordeal. They would curse Him then as Satan has done all during their existence since they fell. “He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” (Rev. 13:6).

But, God preempted all cursing toward the righteous Judge by making His Son the first display of the total punishment. Jesus assumed the divine retribution upon Himself, and even in the face of Satan’s total onslaught of temptations, Christ showed what His heart was made of—love to God and love to corrupted man. This is the love of God. It was love that descended into death and took sin with it. The Prince of peace laid down His life, and when sin descended into destruction with Him, honor to God and to His justice on sin descended into annihilation with it.

At his last chance to dishonor God, Satan failed in his temptation to make Christ shake his fist at God and man. Jesus went to His death quiet and obedient, trusting His Father to accept His sacrifice. Satan howled at his failure, and his wails were heard through all heaven. And God’s character and reputation were vindicated.

Jesus was burnt in the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41). He was the red heifer because His dissolving tissue caused the rupture of every cell in His body. His skin, His internal organs were all falling apart under the tremendous power of the jillion volts of spiritual lightning His Father had to send Him in order to sufficiently exterminate sin through throughout the universe.  His rapid death and the water and blood that came out of His side show the condition of His inner parts, that were mutilated by divine power. It was an incomprehensible separation of God from God that caused all of this, and this alone could accomplish the demise of sin.

It was the internal bleeding and blood pouring from His eyes, nose, mouth and ears, seeping from every pour in His skin and every tissue of His body that made Him the red heifer (Num. 19). He was falling apart as His Father departed from Him and His “Spirit … return[ed] unto God who gave it.” (Ecc. 12:7). “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and My tongue cleaveth to My jaws; and Thou hast brought Me into the dust of death.” (Psa. 22:14,15). The jillion volts shook His body with 7000 electrocutions per second, and Christ’s tongue could not speak without the greatest effort to utter His seven sayings. Satan was crowding Christ’s mind, trying to confuse Him. Were it not for His life filled with unutterable love and undying grace, Jesus would not have retained His royal majesty on the cross. He would have presented the look of a man foaming at the mouth and possessed by Satan.

But He hung there dying quietly and subdued, tortured without a single complaint, doing the will of His Father in perfect self-denial, perfect self-sacrifice. His behavior on the cross showed the infinite depth of rest and peace He had always had, from His very conception. He was the only perfect and holy one. He was the Anointed one, “For God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” (Jn. 3:34).

“His ways are everlasting.” (Hab. 3:6).

Our response should be: “I am crucified with Christ.” (Gal. 2:20). Then His life, His power to be a son of God, will be transferred to us and He will live out His life within us. We will be redeemed and saved from sin. Then we will lay down our lives for others, in the hope that they will be crucified with our crucifixion by them, and get a taste of redemption. “As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Rom. 8:36).

The Holy Spirit will then lead them to get a better experience of that redemption, which will happen when they themselves go to the cross and witness Christ’s beautiful and powerful propitiation. Faith will grasp the goodness of God and peace will drive out the chastisement of Satan. They will be crucified with Christ, and then will lay down their lives for others and gain an even better comprehension of the love of God. Even if their contact with the sin in others somewhat infects them because the sin of others led them to disconnect from Jesus, He can readily bring them to repentance and reclaim their faith in Him, which is symbolized by the footwashing that facilitates the first conversion and baptism. The intention of the missionary is to not get carried away in sin, but if he does sin, because his desire is to show others an example of crucifixion and grace toward their anger and mistreatment, he has a holy Friend and Mediator before God, Jesus Christ the righteous.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).

“Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21).


Blogger David said...

Great post, David! You make your point clearly.

What I said last night was that a speaker does not have to "dumb down" his message, or slow it down to a crawl, in order for others to understand. Most people can connotatively understand words and meanings that they themselves cannot articulate. "Just say it!"
We should use language to create meaning. - Daniel Lelong

11/22/2012 7:38 AM  
Blogger David said...

Good advice, Daniel. Thank you.

11/22/2012 6:13 PM  

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