Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Stand-In

Jesus died on the cross for our sins; He died for us.

These are true words, but they don’t tell the true story. These words are too easy to read, and too easy to say. A king leads his troops into battle, and dies for them. Our country’s soldiers go overseas and die for us. These things are true, but they don’t speak the penetrating truth of Jesus’ death. Jesus didn’t just die for us, as these did.

The king dies, and his soldiers go home from battle, perhaps as victors. In a few short days and months they will re-tell the tales over and over of THEIR battles. The king’s sacrifice will be quickly forgotten. Our soldiers who die overseas for us are often not remembered at all, not even for a day. Few people pray for them, few honor their sacrifice, or their memories. Jesus’ death is not like theirs, but I think we often treat the death of Jesus in a similar manner.

Jesus died for us. These words don’t state the matter with a truth the impacts our hearts, because it is not the whole truth. The whole truth is hard to hear, hard to contemplate. It would scare us in a way we could never forget. We would have nightmares about it. We would dwell on it and never understand; we would NEVER forget. It’s why it’s important we know in our hearts the real truth of Jesus.

Jesus didn’t just die for us, He died IN PLACE OF us.

WE were the soldier in battle, watching our wounds bleeding out our death. WE were the king seeing the arrow headed for our heart. WE were the condemned man walking up the scaffold seeing the rope above us, feeling the noose tighten around our throat. We were lost and alone, and then the giant beast raised up in front of us and growled, his sharp teeth showing blood from his last victim. WE were the next victim. WE were about to die, and no one, nothing could save us. We may have been praying our last prayers, but we expected no help. We expected quick, but painful death. Our end was here; we perspired heavily, and our heart beat rapidly, what we knew were its final beats.

But then it all stopped. It was like a dream, or a movie put on hold. It was like we awoke from a nightmare, still sweating, but with relief. But then, we saw the truth. It was no dream. The wounds were still bleeding, the arrow was still piercing the heart, the noose tightened and the trapdoor opened, the beast closed its jaws on the neck and ripped it open. It was still happening – but it wasn’t us. He was there. It was happening to Him. He was dying in our place. We watched with both horror and fascination – and wonder. How? How did this happen?

We might forget details, but later in our lives we probably will reflect on what led us up to the point of our expected death. In some way, undoubtedly, we deserved it. Some actions put us up to the final moment. Probably we’d sometimes think on that, but perhaps not. But what we would never forget is the horror of what happened, the look on His face – at us. He looked at us as He died. HE KNEW! He knew that He was dying in our place! He knew we belonged there, but He chose, willingly, to take our place. How could He do that? Why did He do that?

He didn’t just die FOR US. He died IN PLACE OF US. How could we ever forget?

Lord, I will never forget what You did for me. You came here and took my place, so that I could go there. I want you always with me, as I journey through my life to your kingdom.

2 comments:

  1. ^^ 謝謝你的分享,祝你生活永遠多彩多姿!.........................

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  2. 也許我翻譯不好,但我怕你不明白我的想法。如果你閱讀並理解我的職務稱為“什麼”的問題,你會知道我不是一個誰應感謝。

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