As we have been looking into being freed in Christ we have slowly been working towards the key to freedom. God sent his Son to provide grace which is the key to escaping the bondage of sin. This grace was not an easy burden for Jesus to carry. He had to endure much and took on living among us so that He could be a worthy sacrifice.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2: 3-5
Since the time sin entered the world man has sacrificed many things to try to appease the sin that separated us from God. For thousands of years the Israelites sacrifices, animals and birds to God for this very reason. But the sacrifices themselves were not the answer, much like today, the heart behind the sacrifice is just as important. Jesus came into this work a child like any other human. The distinguish him, God sent him to a virgin, to show the world that this baby was not just an ordinary child. If Jesus had been born through the conception of Joseph and Mary, then his claim of being the son of God would be in jeopardy. It wasn’t easy for Joseph to accept this but that’s why he had his own visit from an angel. He was to accept this woman as his wife as he was to raise Jesus as his own.
Unlike the different children in the bible that were foretold by angels, Mary wasn’t given any special instructions on how to raise him. Jesus had an ingrained knowledge of right and wrong and because he wasn’t born of two sinful humans he was the only one ever born without sin. Samson was born with a list of things he was to avoid so he could fulfil his calling as a Nazareth. Jesus was born with a connecting to God, that we can never imagine. He grew up just like we did, we don’t believe he was sheltered off in a monastery until the appointed time like some movie where the hero shows up to save the day. No, we know from scripture that Jesus went where his family went. We know he learned his earthly fathers trade of carpentry. Jesus experienced everything we would, yet he always chose to not sin against God.
We see the depth of Jesus love in serving God when we see his cries in the Garden. He in his prayers asks that this sacrifice he must be fulfil be taken, yet even in his request, he turns it back to God saying ‘your will be done’. As a man he had a desire to remain, I don’t believe it was a selfish desire but a self-preservation desire. No man wants to die, yet Jesus accepted what needed to be done because he saw the bigger picture and what the sacrifice would accomplish. Without the sacrifice of the sinless man, we would still be trying to appease our sins with the blood of animals. Jesus death on the cross was the last sacrifice needed so that man could experience grace and an appeasement of sin unlike never seen before.
How can we apply this grace to our lives? Why would we even want to? Sin separates us from God. God desires to have a relationship with you. It is why you were created. Sin is the dividing stick that decides where we spend eternity when we pass on from this earth. If you want to spend eternity alone disconnected from God, then the path of sin will take you there. The grace given through the sacrifice Jesus made brings us into the love and joy only found in a freed relationship with God. You can only find this by asking Jesus to rescue you from your bondage of sin. Jesus can be your advocate, the one who stands in your place and when judgement is being delivered to those in sin he will stand there beside you crying out “this man is free, I have taken his sin”. Have you accepted Jesus sacrifice? Are you ready to make that step? Make the choice today, don’t delay for you do not know what tomorrow will bring. Delaying making a choice is an, unfortunately, a choice on the path of sin.
Father, many reading this have not yet experienced your grace. I pray that even today they cry out to you and are freed. Let them not delay another moment in hopes that they can choose later. Later may never come. Open their eyes to the truth, send someone to speak to them, maybe even words form today’s message that there is no way they had read it, but making it ring true. Work in the hearts of those who have accepted to share their faith with a passion unseen in many years. Move mightily in this world so that the people will know you are God. Amen