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Don't Miss It

Posted by Randy Wade on

He who knew no sin became sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:21

In the message on Sunday, we learned of a thing called penal substitutionary atonement. Although it sounds complicated, it simply means that Jesus took the punishment you and I deserved upon himself in order to put us in right standing with God. Jesus became the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sinfulness of mankind when he willingly went to the cross to suffer and die. Unfortunately, the majority of the people in Jesus’ day completely missed that he was the Messiah. They missed what it was that he was doing on their behalf. They missed the forgiveness and the grace that he offered them through his death and resurrection. They just flat-out missed it.

As a result, the folks who missed it kept doing what they had always done. They would bring a lamb to the temple once a year and offer it as a sacrifice for the atonement of their sins. They would approach the priest with a lamb under their arm, hoping that this act of sacrifice would be enough to cover them for the next year. They repeated this routine over and over again. They missed Jesus, and ultimately they missed the point of his coming to dwell among us.

I suppose we need to be careful though. It is entirely possible for us to do the same thing. It is possible for us to come to church week in and week out with some sort of sacrifice under our arm with the hope that God will notice. We bring him our effort, our generosity, our consistency, our kids, our career, our regrets, our fear. Each week we bring him something, hoping that he will appreciate our effort and give us grace for another day. It feels right on Sunday, but we all know the truth that Monday is just around the corner. We all know deep in our hearts that it isn’t enough.

I have good news for you! It will never be enough. You and I do not have what it takes to appease God for one day, much less a year, and certainly not for an eternity. Apart from Christ Jesus, we have absolutely no righteousness to offer God. All we have to offer is filthy rags of brokenness and human effort, and it isn’t enough. I know that doesn’t sound like good news, but it is because as soon as you and I realize we don’t have what it takes to satisfy the wrath of God, we will start looking to find the one who does. When we earnestly look for the one who does, it leads us to the cross of Jesus Christ every single time. Why? Because only Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus is the only way to forgiveness. Jesus is the only way. This is good news because Jesus took upon himself the full wrath of God. He became our substitute.

He who knew no sin became sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:21

Are you looking for a way to be forgiven? Have you been taking feeble sacrifices to the local church house every Sunday, hoping that one day you will take one that satisfies God? None of that will work, so you can lay down those empty sacrifices and go as quickly as you can to the foot of the cross — the cross and death your sin earned — and see that Jesus has already taken your punishment and proven himself victorious over it.

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