The closer we look at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the more horrible it becomes. He suffered at a level which is beyond our ability to comprehend. For not only was He abused mentally and physically, but for the three hours between noon and 3:00pm He was in spiritual agony as well, separated from the Father, bearing our shame and guilt. There are no words we could use to describe such torment if we could even begin to understand it. Paul put it this way, He (the Father) made Him (the Son) who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Co 5:21). Jesus had never felt sin before that moment and then the guilt of the entire human race came crushing down upon Him (Isa 53:5).
Tonight, lets remember what He did:
From what has He rescued me?
John 5:24-29 a resurrection of judgment
Revelation 20:11-15 an eternity of living with my passions, attitudes and memories separated from God in spirit, but immersed in the fire of His glory
in that place there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth
How can I possibly thank Him for rescuing me from an eternity of torment and carrying me with Him into the glory of Gods presence? Though I can never earn my salvation, only receive it by faith, I am still left with an enormous moral obligation. Paul described it this way:
do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that
you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body. (1Co 6:19, 20)
Peter says this:
you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life
but with precious
blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (1Pe 1:18, 19)
There is only one proper way to respond to this great debt we owe God, and that is to surrender ourselves to His plan to use us to rescue others.
Romans 12:1 (my paraphrase) The only logical way to respond to the great mercies God has given you is to worship Him by presenting your body as a living holy sacrifice. This is well-pleasing to God.
2 Corinthians 5:15 ...and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
He wants me to use my gifts and the opportunities that are available to me, as He leads me, to help rescue others. This decision transforms my life into a form of worship. Not earning anything, because in Christ everything has already been given to me, but heartfelt thanks to the God who asked His Son to drink my cup of wrath (Mt 26:39, 42)
Communion: 1 Corinthians 11:23
So, tonight as I hear afresh the report of my Saviors sacrifice, I receive again by faith His death for me, and my heart overflows with thanks and I respond by presenting myself as a living sacrifice. The days I have left belong to Him and I choose to please Him in the way I live them.