The Journey to The Cross, March 16: The Sinless Savior
After the time of the prophets in the Old Testament, there was a period of 400 years where God was silent. No new messengers or messages. No sign of the Messiah, the Anointed One that was promised. But all that changed when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear the Son of God.
Fast-forward through the Christmas story and the little we know of the early years of the life of Jesus. When he was approximately 30-years old, he left the carpenter shop and became an itinerant preacher. His first stop? A meeting with John the Baptizer, where God officially sanctioned his ministry, saying, “This is My Beloved Son. Listen to Him!” But from there, Matthew tells us that Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for 40 days. At the end of that time, when Jesus was physically spent, Satan tried to derail His ministry before it even began. He showed up with three temptations for Jesus – and three times, Jesus used Scripture to shut Satan down. He conquered those blatant attacks. But we also know that Jesus conquered every temptation ever sent His way – and that He was tempted in every way that you and I are tempted but that He never once gave in. How do we know? The writer of the book of Hebrews says it: “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, AMP) We can’t really fathom that – but we know it is true. It has to be. Because if it was not, then Jesus’ death would not count as a substitute for our punishment. Instead, He would have been dying for His own sins, unable to take ours on Himself. But oh, praise God! He fought the temptations, remained sinless and was able to take our sin on Himself. I was rightly declared guilty and sentenced to death; He was rightly innocent of all sin and took my death on Himself. This is great news, rooftop-shouting news!
Adoration: Praise God that your sin was paid for on the cross. Consider praying back to Him 2 Corinthians 9:14-15 (AMP), where Paul writes about, “…the surpassing measure of God’s grace [His undeserved favor, mercy, and blessing which is revealed] in you. Now thanks be to God for His indescribable gift [which is precious beyond words]!”
Confession: Ask Him to forgive you for the areas where you routinely give into temptation and thank Him for the ability to fight temptation with Scripture.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for the specific ways you have seen His grace in your life.
Supplication: Ask God to help you to live out His grace to other people – to show them the same sort of extreme grace that He has shown to you. Ask Him to help you to love all the people in your life so well that they ask you why.