Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O Lord.
|He is the image of the invisible God. Col 1:15|
Jesus demonstrated his faithfulness to God's plan by going to the cross - knowing what was coming and choosing the sacrifice that saved us.
In Jesus we see a perfect righteousness - perfect because it cannot be moved. It is unshakable.
In Jesus we see in part, the mystery of the cross. We know by faith that Jesus came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves and by his blood we are forgiven forever.
Can we see God?
They walked up a hill outside the city. Jesus carried the cross on his back. Jesus had never done anything wrong. But they were going to kill him the way criminals were killed.
They nailed Jesus to the cross.
"Father, forgive them," Jesus gasped. "They don't understand what they're doing."
"You say you've come to rescue us!" people shouted.
"But you can't even rescue yourself!"
But they were wrong. Jesus could have rescued himself. A legion of angels would have flown to his side - if he'd called.
"If you were really the son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!" they said.
And of course they were right. Jesus could have just climbed down. Actually, he could have just said a word and made it all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,000 people.
But Jesus stayed.
You see, they didn't understand. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.
"Papa?" Jesus cried, frantically searching the sky.
"Papa? Where are you? Don't leave me!"
And for the first time - and the last - when he spoke, nothing happened. Just a horrible, endless silence. God didn't answer. He turned away from his Boy.
Tears rolled down Jesus' face. The face of the One who would wipe away every tear from every eye.
Even though it was midday, a dreadful darkness covered the face of the world. The sun could not shine. The earth trembled and quaked. The great mountains shook. Rocks split in two. Until it seemed that the whole world would break. That creation itself would tear apart.
The full force of the storm of God's fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own Son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.
Then Jesus shouted in a loud voice, "It is finished!"
An it was. He had done it. Jesus had rescued the whole world.
"Father!" Jesus cried. "I give you my life". And with a great sigh he let himself die.
Excerpt taken from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally-Lloyd Jones
(Watch Dr. Linebaugh's Knox Seminary chapel sermon - Who God Is)