“But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed”
From the beginning, and throughout the history of Israel, God has made it clear that our salvation cannot be achieved through our own work and efforts but only through the sacrifice of another.
As Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and from God’s presence an animal was sacrificed so that God could clothe them for their future life. God’s covenant with Abraham was sealed with a sacrifice. God’s call for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac pointed towards the time when, on the same mountain, God would sacrifice His own Son. The Exodus from Egypt began with the sacrifice of lambs, whose blood painted on the door-frames of their dwellings ensured that the angel would pass over the Hebrews when he moved through Egypt bringing death to the firstborn sons.
The life of the Israelites in their journeys to the Promised Land and in their time there was marked with regular sacrificial offerings as prescribed by God. And finally there was the time when Jesus – identified by the Baptist as the true Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world –sacrificed Himself on our behalf. He did this to achieve for us what otherwise would have been completely impossible – cleansing us from our sins and guilt and presenting us faultless before God.
The animals affirmed the need for sacrifice. Once the real sacrifice – that of Jesus – had taken place – no further sacrifice was required. His was and is ‘the one full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.’
God clothed Adam and Eve in the skins of the slain animal for their life in this world. Jacob was clothed in the skins of animals to appear to be Esau so that he could receive Isaac’s blessing of the first-born. Now through faith we are clothed in the reality of Jesus Christ so that we may in all honesty and truth enter into the presence of God and receive His love and blessings as co-heirs with Jesus Christ Himself.
- “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Romans 13:14)
- “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17)
As we move to celebrate Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the World without Whom there would be no salvation, not future and no hope. With Him there is Light and Love and Life.
Our salvation is a precious gift – treasure every moment of it with our Lord
Thank You Father for giving us Your Son – thank You Lord Jesus for giving us Your life, now and forever, Amen.