Are there things that are impossible for even God to do? The answer is yes, and one of those things would be for Him to ignore the demands of justice. We might be tempted to think He could simply decide to forgive our sins if He wanted to, or could arbitrarily pick any form of payment for our sins. But the fact is if God were to do something unjust He would immediately cease to be holy which would change everything in our universe. Though He may love us it is impossible for Him not to enforce justice. Because He is holy our sin has personally offended Him and unless something is done to rescue us we will all face His terrible judgment. However, there is another powerful spiritual being who has also laid claim to us. The devil constantly stands before God reminding Him of our sin and demanding He deal with us justly. So not only must God be appeased, but the devils demands must also be met.
If we consider what it would take to pay the price owed for all of human sin combined it would seem impossible that anything could be done to satisfy justice. Since the penalty of sin is death it would seem all humans were doomed to die for their sins spending eternity away from Gods presence. But the greatest mystery of all is that God found a way to preserve His perfect justice while at the same time rescuing the people He loved. There was only one possible solution and not even the devil knew that secret. Yet today we can know it because it has been revealed. Our study will bring us to the angels announcement to Mary in the city of Nazareth, but first well peer into the throne room of heaven at the end of time.
1. Revelation 5:1-14 (Dan 7:9, 10, 13, 14)
- vs. 2 Who is worthy?
- vs. 3, 4 no one except,
- vs. 5-7 the Lion (Ge 49:10), Root (Isa 11:1-10) and Lamb (Ex 12:3-14)
- Definition: worthy equal in value to, in a balance scale at least equal weight to that which is on the other side.
- So the question is who has the value to purchase for God men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation (v.9)?
- Who could be our substitute, who could justly pay the penalty for all humans?
2. To be worthy our substitute had to be:
- Powerless (a lamb): a human who could be tempted like the rest of us. God could not come and pretend to die in human form. That would be unjust because true goodness comes in choosing to do good in the face of pressure to do wrong.
- Sinless (a spotless lamb): the only way our substitute could escape the grip of death is by having absolutely no sin Himself. If He sinned in any way death would hold Him too.
- Acts 2:23, 24
- Hebrews 4:14, 15
- 1 Peter 1:17-21
- Priceless (divine): to be a just payment this substitute must have more moral weight than all of human sin combined.
- Son of God
- Philippians 2:1-11
- Romans 8:3
- Selfless (a willing lamb): the sacrifice paid must be a gift of love, otherwise it would only be a murder.
- Matthew 26:42 Your will be done
- Matthew 26:53 or do you not think that I can appeal to My Father and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels
- He 12:2 who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.
3. C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe MacMillian Publishing, New York, 1970, pp. 139, 159
4. How could anyone meet all these requirements?
- A human
- Luke 1:26-35
- There will be no other escape from sin
- There will be no one else worthy to open the book
- There is only one way to receive His gift.