The Ultimate Sacrifice

How often do we reflect on what Jesus actually did for us?

God sent his Son…literally part of himself…to earth to experience human-ness. (Immanuel, God with us. Isaiah 7:14)

He was a baby…He was a boy…He was a son and a brother…He had friends…He was betrayed by friends…He experienced sadness, joy, love, anger…He was wrongfully accused…He was beaten and humiliated…He died a painful death…

Yet through all of this, he never sinned. He remained the pure “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). He did this so that his death would pay the price for our sins.

The story doesn’t end there. He conquered death and rose again – going before us to prepare our place in heaven. And having walked in our shoes, he stands as our mediator – reconciling us to God. (1 Timothy 2:5)

Whenever I really reflect on who Jesus is and what he did, it shakes me to the core. I can almost see Jesus smiling at me and saying – “I did it for you.” And I am eternally thankful.

Isaiah 53 – one of my favorites:

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord ’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet The Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord ’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord ’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. (Isaiah 53:1-12 NLT)

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