Friday, April 22, 2011

The Picture of Sacrifice

I’m late.  I’m late, because I have spent hours cautiously searching for just the right words to paint a picture of the sacrifice that believers of Jesus Christ, myself counted among them, know that He himself became just for us.  I’ve read passages upon passages of scripture like Genesis 22 – the account of Abraham’s journey to offer up the son he loved as a sacrifice and crucial act of obedience to the God he loved.  I read the account of the Crucifixion in all four of the gospels – Matthew chapters 27 & 28, Mark chapters 15 & 16, Luke chapters 23 & 24, & John chapters 19 & 20.  I even immersed myself in the extensive definition of the word “sacrifice” in my compact bible dictionary.

I read.  I studied.  Yet I felt grossly inadequate to dare even attempt to paint this exquisite picture of sacrifice with the strokes of my vocabulary.  However, I knew that God would give me the words if I asked, so I did.  He didn’t just give me the words.  He gave me something far more precious.  He gave me His word.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
But the LORD was pleased To crush Him,putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:4 – 12, NASB

The Picture of Sacrifice…

Father, thank you for sending your Son.  He came to this earth spotless, left draped in sin that did not belong to Him, but instead belonged to me, and then rose with all power over sin, death, and the grave.  He loved us enough to have our sins pinned upon Him and to become our  picture of sacrifice.  I am forever grateful, and I celebrate the risen Savior today and always!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,