Messiah Dies

CrucifixionIllustration:  “Crucifixion” by Edward Vardanian, 2003.  Oil on canvas.

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit” (Matthew 27:50).

Today’s Scripture passage tells about the fulfillment of the painful prophecies of Messiah, given first to Adam and Eve, and spelled out in detail by Isaiah. It was time for Jesus to “bruise [the serpent’s] head” (Genesis 3:15). Jesus was rejected by His people and, without argument or defense, allowed Himself to be made the victim of Satan’s plot to destroy humankind. Scourged and hung on a tree, Jesus suffered the death and the abandonment by God that sin deserves. Maybe Satan celebrated this apparent victory, or maybe Satan remembered God’s promises and knew defeat was inevitable.

As Abraham promised his son, Isaac, when they climbed Mt. Moriah (see Dec. 4), God provided the Lamb for the sacrifice. Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, became sin for us that we might be spared God’s punishment. It was the final great sacrifice, modeled in the thousands of sacrifices the Jewish people made to atone for their sins before God. But Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for everyone, for every sin, forever. This was God’s plan all along, through 4,000 years of faithfulness to His unfaithful people. There was no victory for Satan in His death.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for standing between me and Satan, sparing me from the death I deserve. In You I have true life and salvation. Amen.

As We Wait: Without Christ’s death and resurrection, His birth and life are meaningless. His teaching is just wise words with no power. Thank God today for His resurrection power.


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