Daily Proverbial, from 1 John, 23 January 2013

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also forthe sins of the whole world.  1 John 2, verse 2.

Your neighbor.   The Dalai Lama.   Hugo Chavez.   The guy who sells bagels at the deli.   A Turkmenish yak herder.  Scientists at the South Pole.  The stripper who turns tricks on the side.  An imam in Qum and a neo-Nazi in Hamburg.  Katy Perry.  An Amazon pygmy.  My saintly grandmother.   Your boss.  The pope.  You and me.

Jesus Christ is the one, the only, sacrifice for every sin in life.   Not just you and me, not just people we know, and not just the in-crowd at church:  He is the only atoning sacrifice for all the sins of everyone in the world, including those people mentioned above.   There are over 6 billion of us living on this planet, with maybe another 10 billion who have lived throughout human history.   Jesus Christ is the only way in which the many trillions of sins humanity has committed are forgiven by God Almighty.

If you don’t know much about Biblical history, let’s sum it up with this:  Jesus is the only fulfillment of all the ancient Biblical laws and rites, as well as the only person in all of human history who satisfied all the prophecies foretold about the perfect Messiah.  Buddha didn’t do that.   Mohammed didn’t do that.   Nobody else has ever done that.  Only the God-man Jesus.

There’s more.  Christ is not just the lawyer for our wrongs:   He is the sacrifice a just and holy God demanded for them.   From the beginning of history, God demanded sacrifices for the ways in which we defiled His holy being.  We had become separated from Him and His holiness can’t tolerate any kind of disobedience.  He demanded sacrifices so people could see their need for His love and forgiveness.  None of those sacrifices could ever truly heal the rift, though.   For that to happen, God had to take it on Himself.  He had to make right what we made wrong.   He willingly, heroically, brutally let Himself be murdered in a sacrificial death so that His demand for a holy life could restore balance to our spiritual divide with Him.   Only He did that.   You can’t do it.  The Dalai Lama can’t do it.   Barack Obama can’t do it.   Only Christ could do it.  And He did. 

We have a deep spiritual, emotional, even physical need to release our guilt.   God’s sacrifice in Jesus gives us the way to release that guilt, to give it to Him, and let Him take it away forever.   Think about that today.   Think about it and pray about in your life today.  It’s God’s gift to us.

Jesus, I don’t really understand how You did all that you did for humanity, but thank you for doing it.   Thank you for living and dying so that we wouldn’t be apart from You forever.

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