By: Peter Larocque – November, 2018
As we approach Thanksgiving this year I find myself so thankful to God who so loved me and still does love me in spite of all my sin, failures and screw ups. Knowing this, God still gave His Son Jesus for me and not just to save me from hell, but to give me Eternal Life and make me righteous, fit for Heaven!
At the Cross of Jesus Christ, God placed all my shortcomings, all of my sin which guaranteed me a place in hell, on the body of Jesus. We read this in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” All of my ugliness, all of my bad habits and attitudes especially concerning work, God put on Jesus. Including all my past, present and future sins! Jesus’ blood keeps cleansing me continually! His blood is the fountain that never ends! And there is so much more of why I am thankful for Jesus.
Under the Law of Moses, the children of Israel were covered under the blood of bulls, goats or lambs and pigeons. Bulls covered the rich, goats or lambs for the middle class and pigeons for the poor. All of these were sacrificed, killed humanely, the animals were not tortured.
They were sacrificed with one stroke of the knife swiftly and most likely in the throat area and never dying in pain. These animal sacrifices could only cover sin, they couldn’t take them away which is stated in Hebrews 10:4, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
But Jesus our Passover Lamb which was pointed out by John the Baptist in John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Then mentioned later by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:”
Jesus’ sacrifice was anything but humanely! He was tortured and felt every bit of it! The Bible says in Isaiah 53:2-5, “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows,[our pains] and acquainted with grief:[our sicknesses] and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, [deceases] and carried our sorrows:[pains] yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised [crushed] for our iniquities: the chastisement [our guilty judgment] of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Excruciating pain tore through His body at the cross. Every malignant cancer, every tumor, every sickness, every disease came upon Him all at the same time. He who knew no sin took upon Himself the mountainous weight of all men’s darkest and foulest sins. He took it all Himself and became unrecognizable as a human being, despised and rejected!
Back in those Bible days, under normal circumstances criminals found guilty for lesser crimes would be wiped, scourged, and criminals found guilty for major crimes would be crucified, our Jesus the innocent lamb received both. He was tortured on our behalf so that not only would our sins be forgiven, washed away by his Blood but our sicknesses and diseases would be healed by his stripes!
This one-time sacrifice which we read about in Hebrews 10:12, “But this man, [Jesus] after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;” This sacrifice need never be repeated! Whereas the sacrifice of animals had to be performed again and again!
This offering of Jesus as it says in Hebrews 10:14, “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” This sacrifice makes us perfect and sanctified in the eyes of God Almighty! This my friends is the Grace of God!
Galatians 1:3-5, goes on to say, “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Jesus’ death on the cross not only delivered us from this world but also from every curse that was on our heads, he took on Himself! We read this in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree[cross]:”
So, knowing the real significant of the cross of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, this makes me very thankful to God for this wonderful gift, The Gift of Jesus!
The Great Philosophers of the world say, “Know thyself”. Those who are of the spiritual warfare movement say, “Know your enemy”. But Jesus says in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” To know God and His Son Jesus Christ whom He has sent is the Greatest Knowledge of All!
This Thanksgiving Season when there are so many things and circumstances to cause me to be unthankful, I am thankful to God for giving me Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior! I am also thankful for my wife Pam, my children and their spouses, my grandchildren, friends, and readers of my column every month.
Love you all! Happy Thanksgiving!