Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 24: Matthew 26-27


Christianity is unique from all the other religions of the world in this respect. They all portray God as far removed from us and give us systems to reach for him and hopefully satisfy him. Christianity alone shows God stoop to reach us, knowing that we could never reach Him. It alone shows that He was willing to die in our place, taking the punishment for our sins.

In an effort to discredit Christianity, many try to argue that Jesus never claimed to be God. They say that He was merely a teacher who was taken to be martyred and became a legend. These chapters show that is not the case. Twice, Jesus professes that He is God (26:63-64, 27:11) and the results of His execution are so remarkable, that many believe. Jesus is not merely a man, He is God; God come with a purpose, to rescue us from ourselves.

We also see that Jesus was not merely swept along by events over which He had no control. Even though He lost His life, Jesus was in complete control of all that took place. He went willingly, knowing that this was part of the Father's plan to save humanity. He willingly submitted to the Father's desire (26:39) and laid down His life. He was aware of all these events before they ever took place. They had been planned before the world was even founded. He knew Judas would betray Him. He knew the money Judas received would eventually be used to buy a potter's field. He knew the night that this was to take place. He knew that Peter would betray Him and that He would be buried in a borrowed tomb. Jesus was no victim. He was a willing sacrifice. In fact, He could have stopped it at any point (26:52-54), but then what would have happened to us? We would have been forever lost, without hope of salvation.

All of the Bible points to this moment. The moment that would atone for our sins. The event that would open the possibility for us to be reunited with God. The moment when God was crushed, beaten, mocked, and died for the wrongs that we committed; when our sins killed Him.

If God went to these lengths for us, doesn't it deserve our attention? If He would pay such a heavy price, shouldn't we stop and surrender to Him? Instead, the cross becomes a trinket, the crucifiction becomes old hat, and our lives continue as they were. We overlook the moment when God was sacrificed for us. Isn't it time that we stopped running; that we turned to God. Shouldn't we echo the prayer of Jesus, "Not as I will, but as you will"? Doesn't this demand the response of the Roman soldier, "Surely he was the Son of God!"?

The sacrifice has been made; now we must accept it.

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