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Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Pound of Flesh

Whenever I sin against you, I have done something that can never be taken back or undone. I have caused pain. And whether or not I understood exactly, how much pain it would cause or how deep a wounding it would be – and whether or not I intended to cause you pain or harm – it's still a sin against you. I am responsible for harming you.



That day on Golgotha did the Jews and Romans fully understand that they were murdering the Son of God? Did they set out that day to kill God's Son? Even in the midst of the crucifixion did they fully understand what they were doing? No, I think not. But they became guilty of that crime nevertheless. Jesus would carry the scars into eternity.



No matter what their intent or how much they understood they were still guilty of murder. They were still responsible for the torture and the crucifixion of God's Son. Nothing anyone could do would ever change this.



Cain could never do anything to bring Able back from the dead. It didn't matter if he was sorry for what he did or not. He would forever be guilty of murdering his brother and Able would remain dead.



Adam and Eve would be guilty of disobeying God and would suffer the consequences of their sin until the end of their days. Did it matter that they didn't understand that now all men would suffer death because of what they did? Did it matter that this was not their desire or intent? They had to suffer the consequence and pain of their sin. They could not remain in the Garden of Eden. Others had to bear the pain of their sin.



Do you think that Jesus had to suffer any less because Judas' betrayel was not meant to wound Him as much as it was done to advance Judas? He was distraught to the point of suicide over what his actions had caused, but that did not make him less guilty. Jesus suffered horribly because of Judas' sin against Him.



The Bible is filled with examples of this. David sinned against Uriah who unjustly endured the consequences of it. Paul was beaten more than once because he preached the gospel and tried to impart its power to helpless hopeless men. Don't think that your sin will go unnoticed or that no one will be hurt because of it. Don't think that you are the less guilty because you did not mean for another to get hurt. And don't try and excuse yourself from the guilt of the crime or make it less offensive because you meant no harm.



A law broken is exactly that. It is either broken or it is not. What's wrong must be made right. But we are powerless to do that. Can Cain bring Able back to life? Can Adam undo his disobedience? Can he erase the heartbreak he caused God when he disobeyed, lied to and hid from Him? Could David bring his own child back to life? Could he remove the ache from Bathsheba's empty arms? No. The pain of sin is bitter.



God introduced a new option – a new way to deal with sin. It's called FORGIVENESS. It does not take away the pain of a ruined reputation or a life destroyed. It does not erase wrongdoing. It does not make the wound smaller. But it pays the price of our own wickedness – yours and mine. It removes the guilt of our sin. It satisfies JUSTICE. It balances the books and pays our debt. It does not take the pain away that sin causes. It is more powerful than that. It makes possible GOOD. It triumphs over death. It releases the guilty from their punishment. It pays our debt. It sets us free from our sin. because Jesus PAID.



It does not remove the consequence of pain. My sorrow over the betrayel of someone against me does not just disappear. But the sin itself was charged to Jesus' account and taken from the sinner's account. That pound of flesh I wanted was given alright – just not by the sinner. Jesus gave it. I now must release my desire for revenge. I got my pound of flesh – from the Son of God. If I insist on revenge after that, I am saying Jesus didn't pay for the world's sin and He didn't satisfy the penalty for sin. I'm calling God a liar.



The sinner now has a choice:

1)try to pay for his sins and make them right himself.

Or

2)accept Jesus's payment on our behalf for his sin.



If I choose the first option, I will remain in debtor's prison until every bit of repayment is made. If I choose option two I humbly accept God's gift of payment on my behalf – I let go of the demand for you to “make it up” to me, and I love in the midst of the pain you caused me, because that's what HE did for ME! Why else do you think Jesus was a man of sorrows?



Let go of the sin I sinned against you. I must let go of the sin you sinned against me. We got that pound of flesh we wanted – when whips tore His flesh; when the words broke His heart; when His clothes were taken and He hung naked upon the cross; when the nails were pounded into His wrists, and when He saw the Father's back.



His pound of flesh.... It is enough. It is more than enough.



FATHER, forgive me. I knew not what I did....

2 comments:

Cyndi said...

So powerful, so potent,so true! A message so opportune!!!

es said...

anna, i just reread it again. truly, insight given by god, of supreme importance.