Before God was anything else, before time began, he was father. He was holy, all wise, all powerful and ever present father, the One who was love itself. What would it be like to have a father like that? Jesus knew. What was it like to live in union and harmony with such a father and the Holy Spirit in a place where no sin could spoil anything? Jesus did.
Yet Jesus—God the Son—willingly left that ideal situation to come to earth and take care of the sin problem for us! In becoming incarnate (that means becoming human), he was born to die. That was his purpose.
When thinking about the passion of Christ, which we do each lenten season, someone might say, “Oh, that was easy. He was God. God is able to do anything.” True, he was God, but he was also man and he died as a man. Philippians 2:5-11 says he “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant.” He laid aside his godly powers to live as a man and die as a man—except without sin. This is the only way he could pay the price for our salvation. Only a perfect man could rescue us from the evil one.
Jesus became “sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,”(2 Cor. 5:21). What a trade-off! When he had accomplished this, he did away with the bondage of sin forever when he rose from the dead. It is like he broke the locks off our prison doors so we can go free.
Now we can choose to believe him and walk out the door, or we can stay in our bondage. But he tries to draw us toward him, to convince us of his love and mercy so we will walk out into new life. Some don’t believe they’re in a prison and say “I’m not a sinner.” But everyone starts out under bondage to sin, according to Romans 3:23. It doesn’t help to deny the fact.
One must acknowledge one is a sinner before one is able to respond to a Savior. But when we do, when we accept what he has done for us and in gratitude turn our lives over to his control, we are blessed with a wonderful relationship. For Jesus is just like his father—love itself.
What do you think? I would love to read your comments and discuss them.
Judith Vander Wege