I’ve been in situations that seemed hopeless. I knew in those moments that either God would act, or life as I knew it would fall apart. God has always come through, often in more amazing ways than I could have ever dreamed!
The rebellion of all mankind long ago had taken it’s tole on all God’s creation. Pain, suffering, torment, fear, anxiety, sickness, and death …. Treachery against God and it’s penalty repeating itself from generation to generation. If God didn’t act, there would be no hope. (Romans 6:23 NLT)
The only way was for a sinless man without treachery against God to pay the penalty for those who’d broken God’s laws. As God’s Son, Jesus was sinless. Yet he was also fully man. He felt hunger and pain. He knew sickness; he’d felt grief. He experienced everything we have. He had even been tempted on many occasions by Satan. (Matthew 4:1-11 NIV, Hebrews 4:15 NLT) Jesus was the only perfectly sinless man to pay the price. He did so willingly.
The plan to kill Jesus, surprisingly, came through one of his closest followers. Judas had become more disgruntled with Jesus over the past months. It wasn’t what he’d thought it would be – following Jesus.
It also wasn’t a secret that the religious leaders had been looking for a way to get rid of Jesus. Judas, listening to Satan’s influence, decided he was their man to do the job. He liked the idea that he’d earn a bit of money on the side. 30 pieces of silver to be exact. (Luke 22:1-6,47-53; Matthew 27:3-10 NLT )
He went to them in secret. The plan was put in motion. He’d look for a time to catch Jesus “off guard, surprise him”. The temple guards would be waiting.
Judas’ plan seemed to succeed without a wrinkle. Jesus was in custody, and a mock trial had judged him guilty of death. Why, even the Roman governor, Pilate, had washed his hands of the whole foul scenario, and given the religious leaders permission to crucify Jesus on a Roman cross.
It seemed rather simple actually. It all transpired so quickly.
And the serpent thought he’d won.
Satan didn’t realize Jesus had come willingly, for this very day. Jesus could have, with all his heavenly authority, called down legions of angels to rescue him. But he didn’t.
He gave himself willingly to every beating, whipping, mocking, scourging, nailing, and piercing he received. As God, he knew the events that would take place. As man, he faced them head on, feeling every torment fully. (John 18-19 NLT)
His body heaving to catch every breath, the nails tearing at the fibers of his hands and feet, his body bleeding from so many wounds he was unrecognizable, He willingly took upon himself our punishment, paying for every rebellious act and every treacherous deed that enslaved us, with his own life’s blood.
As Jesus hung, paying our penalty,
loosened as God turned away to allow his Son to carry every act of mankind’s treason. (Matthew 27:45-47 NLT)
Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28-30 (NLT)
Later in the day, men removed Jesus’ dead body from the cross, and laid him in a borrowed tomb, unaware that God’s plan to crush the serpent’s head was finally being enacted.
Three days later, God commanded death’s grip to loosen on his Son’s body, and sent angels to roll the stone away. (John 20 NLT)
Jesus rose from the grave. His sacrifice had dealt Satan a crushing blow, as God had promised! Both Satan, sin and death forever put in their place, bowing before Him.
For the rest of eternity, any who would call on the name of Jesus to pay the price for their rebellion, would also find that sin would no longer hold them captive, in both life and in the grave.
Transformation from death to life – in all ways possible. (Romans 6:23 NLT)
Adam and Eve’s descendants once again able to walk with God in the cool of the day, as their father Adam had once done.
All because of God’s amazing grace.
You may also want to view: The Ransom Payer