January 3, 2011

The Father Sent the Son to be the Savior of the World


To keep God's Words in your heart, read Charles Haddon Spurgeon's Daily Meditations

There is salvation only in the blood of Christ.

As a shepherd, Abel sanctified his work to the glory of God and offered a sacrifice of blood upon his altar. The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. This early type of our Lord is exceedingly clear and distinct: it clearly manifests the great fact that the Son is coming.

Abel was hated by his brother, hated without a cause. And even so was the Savior: the natural and carnal man hated the accepted Man in whom the Spirit of grace was found and rested not until His blood had been shed.

Abel fell and sprinkled his altar and sacrifice with his own blood, and therein sets forth the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, slain by the enmity of man while serving as a priest before the Lord. "The good Shepherd layeth down His life for the sheep." Let us weep over Him as we view Him slain by the hatred of mankind, staining the horns of His altar with His own blood.

The blood of Jesus has a mighty tongue and the importance of its prevailing cry is not vengeance but mercy.

It is precious beyond all preciousness to stand at the altar of our good Shepherd! We see Him bleeding there as the slaughtered priest and we hear His blood speaking peace to all His flock, peace between man and his offended Maker, peace in our conscience, peace between Jew and Gentile, peace all down the ages of eternity for blood-washed men.

Abel is the first shepherd in order of time, but our hearts shall ever place Jesus first in order of excellence. Great Keeper of the sheep, we the people of your pasture bless you with our whole hearts when we see you slain for us.

"His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." --Luke 22:44

The mental pressure arising from our Lord's struggle with temptation so forced His frame to an unnatural excitement that His pores sent forth great drops of blood which fell down to the ground.

This proves how tremendous must have been the weight of sin when it was able to crush the Savior so that He distilled great drops of blood! This demonstrates the mighty power of His love. This sets forth the voluntariness of Christ's sufferings since, without a lance, the blood flowed freely. No need to put on the leech or apply the knife; it flows spontaneously. No need for the rulers to cry, "Spring up, O well;" of itself it flows in crimson torrents.

If men suffer great pain of mind, apparently the blood rushes to the heart. The cheeks are pale, a fainting fit comes on, and the blood has gone inward as if to nourish the inner man while passing through its trial. But see our Savior in His agony; He is so utterly oblivious of self that, instead of His agony driving His blood to the heart to nourish Himself, it drives it outward to bedew the earth. The agony of Christ, inasmuch as it pours Him out upon the ground, pictures the fullness of the offering which He made for men.

Do we not perceive how intense must have been the wrestling through which He passed, and will we not hear its voice to us? "You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Behold the great Apostle and High Priest of our profession, who sweat even to blood rather than yield to the great tempter of our souls.

Newsboys - You Are My King (Amazing Love)

"Without the shedding of blood is no remission." --Hebrews 9:22

In none of the Jewish ceremonies were sins, even typically, removed without blood shedding. In no case, by no means, can sin be pardoned without atonement. It is clear, then, that there is no hope for us outside of Christ since there is no other blood shedding that is worth a thought as an atonement for sin.

Sin will yield to nothing less potent than the blood of Him whom God has set forth as a propitiation. What a blessing that there is the one way of pardon! Why should we seek another? Persons of merely formal religion cannot understand how we can rejoice that all our sins are forgiven us for Christ's sake. Their works and prayers and ceremonies give them very poor comfort; and well may they be uneasy since they are neglecting the one great salvation, endeavoring to get remission without blood.

Jefferson Bethke - Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus

My soul, sit down and behold the justice of God as bound to punish sin; see that punishment all executed upon the Lord Jesus, and fall down in humble joy, and kiss the dear feet of Him whose blood has made atonement for you.

It is in vain when conscience is aroused to fly to feelings and evidences for comfort: this is a habit that we learned in the Egypt of our legal bondage. The only restorative for a guilty conscience is a sight of Jesus suffering on the cross. "The blood is the life thereof," says the Levitical law, and let us rest assured that it is the life of faith and joy and every other holy grace.

Oh! how sweet to view the flowing
Of my Savior’s precious blood;
With divine assurance knowing
He has made my peace with God.

Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us.

He had been all night in agony; He had spent the early morning at the hall of Caiaphas; He had been hurried from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate. He had, therefore, but little strength left, and yet neither refreshment nor rest were permitted Him. They were eager for His blood and, therefore, led Him out to die, loaded with the cross.

Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews: every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Savior was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before, but this of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe. My soul, stand here and weep over His poor stricken body.

Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers who pronounce Him guilty, and we see the great Scapegoat led away by the appointed officers of justice.

  • God Himself imputes our sins to Him.
  • The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
  • He was made sin for us.
  • He, the substitute for our guilt, bore our sin, represented by the cross, upon His shoulders.
As we look at the cross upon His shoulders, does it represent our sins? There is one way by which we can tell whether He carried our sins or not. Have we laid our hand upon His head, confessed our sins, and trusted in Him? Then our sin lies not on us; they have all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and He bears them on His shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.

Believers in Jesus, can we gaze upon Him without tears as He stands before us, the mirror of agonizing love?

He is at once fair as the lily for innocence and red as the rose with the crimson of His own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which His stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms.

See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in His lowest case!
Sinners have bound the Almighty's hands,
And spit in their Creator's face.

With thorns His temples gor'd and gash'd
Send streams of blood from every part;
His back's with knotted scourges lash'd.
But sharper scourges tear His heart.

"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" --Psalms 22:1, Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34

We here behold the Savior in the depth of His sorrows. No other place so well shows the griefs of Christ as Calvary, and no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony, as that in which His cry rends the air, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

At this moment physical weakness was united with acute mental torture from the shame and ignominy through which He had to pass; and to make His grief culminate with emphasis, He suffered spiritual agony surpassing all expression, resulting from the departure of His Father's presence. This was the black midnight of His horror; then it was that He descended the abyss of suffering. No man can enter into the full meaning of these words.

Some of us think at times that we could cry, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" There are seasons when the brightness of our Father's smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness, but let us remember that God never does really forsake us; it is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ's case it was a real forsaking.

We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father's love, but the real turning away of God's face from His Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused Him?

In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief; in His case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from Him for a season.

O poor, distressed soul who once lived in the sunshine of God's face but are now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken you. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the luster of His grace. But since even the thought that He has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Savior have been when He exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

Mac Powell - By His Wounds

When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished because all was fulfilled in Him and, therefore, the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay.

The old law of ordinances was put away and, like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside when Jesus died on the cross. That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy seat could now be seen and the glory of God gleamed forth above it.

By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for He was "not as Moses, who put a veil over His face." Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in Him. The annual ceremony of atonement was thus abolished. The atoning blood, which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest and, therefore, the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now because Jesus has entered within the veil with His own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus.

"I have a Brother in heaven; I may be poor, but I have a Brother who is rich and is a King; and will He suffer me to want while He is on His throne? Oh, no! He loves me; He is my Brother."

Christ knows our wants and sympathizes with us. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. In all our sorrows we have His sympathy. Temptation, pain, disappointment, weakness, weariness, poverty—He knows them all, for He has felt all.

Before we can have any right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand His previous glory in its height of majesty and His incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame.

Who can tell us the majesty of Christ? When He was enthroned in the highest heavens He was very God of very God; by Him were the heavens made, and all the hosts thereof. His own almighty arm upheld the spheres; the praises of cherubim and seraphim perpetually surrounded Him; the full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of His throne. He reigned supreme above all His creatures; God over all, blessed forever.

Who can tell His height of glory then? And who, on the other hand, can tell how low He descended?

  • To be a man was something.

  • To be a man of sorrows was far more.

  • To bleed and die and suffer, these were much for Him who was the Son of God.

  • But to suffer such unparalleled agony: to endure a death of shame and desertion by His Father, this is a depth of condescending love, which the most inspired mind must utterly fail to fathom.

  • Herein is love! And truly it is love that "passeth knowledge."

We too frequently ascribe the honor of our salvation, or at least the depths of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than we do the Father. This is a very great mistake.

What if Jesus came? Did not His Father send Him? If He spoke wondrously, did not His Father pour grace into His lips that He might be an able minister of the new covenant? He who knows the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost as he should know them never sets one before another in his love.

Are you united with Him? Then believe that you are united unto the God of heaven. Since to the Man Christ Jesus you are brother and hold close fellowship, you are linked thereby with God the Eternal, and "the Ancient of days" is your Father and your friend.

The Father sent Him! Contemplate that subject; think how Jesus works what the Father wills.

“Sanctified by God the Father.” --Jude 1:1
“Sanctified in Christ Jesus.” --1 Corinthians 1:2
“Through sanctification of the Spirit.” --1 Peter 1:2

Mark the union of the three Divine Persons in all their gracious acts. How unwisely do believers talk who make preferences in the Persons of the Trinity, who think of Jesus as if He were the embodiment of everything lovely and gracious, while the Father they regard as severely just but destitute of kindness.

Equally wrong are those who magnify the decree of the Father and the atonement of the Son so as to depreciate the work of the Spirit. In deeds of grace, none of the Persons of the Trinity act apart from the rest. They are as united in their deeds as in their essence. In their love towards the chosen they are one, and in the actions which flow from that great central source they are still undivided. Specially notice this in the matter of sanctification. While we may without mistake speak of sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must take heed that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son had no part therein.

It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit. Still does Jehovah say, "Let us make man in our own image after our likeness," and thus we are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them." See the value that God sets upon real holiness since the three Persons in the Trinity are represented as co-working to produce a Church without "spot or wrinkle or any such thing."

And we, believers, as the followers of Christ, must also set a high value on holiness and upon purity of life and godliness of conversation. We must value the blood of Christ as the foundation of our hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit, which is our meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. This day let us so live as to manifest the work of the Triune God in us.

Jesus had constant fellowship with His Father, and God spoke into His heart so often, so continually, that it was not a circumstance singular enough to be recorded.

It was the habit and life of Jesus to talk with God. Even as Jesus was, is this world, so are we; therefore, let us learn the lesson which this simple statement concerning Him teaches us. May we likewise have silent fellowship with the Father so that often we may answer Him. And though the world knows not to whom we speak, may we be responding to that secret voice unheard of by any other ear, which our own ear, opened by the Spirit of God, recognizes with joy.

God has spoken to us, let us speak to God, either to:
  • Set our seal that God is true and faithful to His promise, or

  • Confess the sin of which the Spirit of God has convinced us, or

  • Acknowledge the mercy which God's providence has given, or

  • Express assent to the great truths that God the Holy Ghost has opened to our understanding.
If we would hear the whispers of God's love, our ear must be purged and fitted to listen to His voice. This very evening may our hearts be in such a state that when God speaks to us, we, like Jesus, may be prepared at once to answer Him.

"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors." --Romans 8:12

As God's creatures, we are all debtors to Him: to obey Him with all our body and soul and strength. Having broken His commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to His justice, and we owe to Him a vast amount, which we are not able to pay.

But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God's justice anything since Christ paid the debt that His people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love.

I am a debtor to God's grace and forgiving mercy, but I am no debtor to His justice, for He will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, "It is finished!," and by that He meant that the punishment of death that His people owed for their sins was wiped away forever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled, the handwriting is nailed to the cross, the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God's justice no longer.

But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord's justice, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise.

Christians, pause and ponder for a moment: what debtors we are to divine sovereignty! How much we owe to His immeasurable love, for He gave His own Son that He might die for us. Consider how much we owe to His forgiving grace: after ten thousand affronts He loves us as infinitely as ever.

Consider what we owe to His power, how:
  • He has raised us from our deaths in sin,

  • He has preserved our spiritual lives,

  • He has kept us from falling, and

  • Though a thousand enemies have beset our paths, we have been able to hold on our way.
Natalie Grant - Held


The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:
And He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee;
And shall say, "Destroy them." --Deuteronomy 33:27


But the Lord said unto him, "Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me,
Too bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." --Acts 9:15-16


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