CHRIST – OUR SUBSTITUTE
[Genesis:3:1-19]; [Isaiah:53:1-12]; [Matthew:27:27-56]; [Ephesians:2:1-13]
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
God created man to worship and praise Him. He planted a beautiful Garden, and made everything man needed to be happy. God then placed Adam in the Garden of Eden and made him lord over His handiwork – the virtual prince of this world. In the cool of the day, God would come down and walk and talk with Adam and Eve. In order to continue to enjoy the peace, beauty and harmony that existed in the Garden, God gave them a commandment. “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” [Genesis:2:16-17]).
Adam and Eve disobeyed this commandment of God through the deceit of Satan, and therefore fell into sin and lost the image and favour of God. And because Adam and Eve sinned, every person who has ever been born into the world is born with the nature of sin in him. Then when he commits sin, he deserves to die, because God’s law states, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” [Ezekiel:18:4]).
But God still loved Adam and Eve. He was very disappointed that they had not loved Him as He wanted them to. However, before He drove them from the Garden, He promised to send the Redeemer [Genesis:3:15]), Who will conquer the enemy and give man power to “go, and sin no more.” God’s law, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” still stands. However, Jesus the Son of God, the Fairest Jewel of Heaven, God’s Beloved, was willing to leave His beautiful Home and come to earth to suffer and die that God’s Law might be satisfied without man suffering for his own sins.
The angels in Heaven knew that Jesus would come. They desired to look into the mystery that the Son of God could die for sinners and make them ready for Heaven. It was an angel who announced to Joseph that Jesus would be born of Mary; the angel said, “He shall save his people from their sins” [Matthew:1:21]). According to prophecy, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. At the age of thirty years, He started His ministry. At the end of His ministry on earth, He made the supreme sacrifice for the redemption of mankind. Jesus died in our stead to wash away our sins, and He also shed His Blood for our sanctification [Hebrews:13:12]).
a) What happened to humanity that necessitated the need for a substitute? The Fall of man. [Genesis:3:6-8], [Genesis:3:17-19]; [Romans:5:12], [Romans:5:17-19].
b) By Whom did God promise to redeem fallen man? By Jesus, the Messiah. [Genesis:49:10]; [Exodus:12:13]; [Numbers:24:17]; [Deuteronomy:18:15]; [Isaiah:7:14]; [Isaiah:9:6-7].
Item 2: What are some of the consequences of sin?
- Separation from God/Spiritual death: [Isaiah:59:1-2]; [Ezekiel:18:20]; [Romans:6:23].- Travail/Misery: [Genesis:3:16-19]; [Ecclesiastes:2:26].
- Sickness/Disease: [2 Kings:5:25-27]; [Isaiah:1:5-6].
- Lack of Peace: [Isaiah:48:22]; [Proverbs:28:1].
Item 3: Was this promise of the coming Messiah fulfilled? Yes! Through His
- Birth: [Matthew:2:1-6]; [John:1:14].
- Suffering and Death: [Matthew:26:38-41]; [Luke:22:44]; [Luke:23:44-47]; [Mark:15:34]; [John:19:38-40].
- Resurrection and Ascension: [Matthew:28:1-7]; [Mark:16:9-14]; [John:20:19-20]; [Acts:1:9-11].
Item 4: What are some of the benefits we get from Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection?
- Salvation (freedom from sin): [Matthew:1:21]; [Matthew:26:28]; [John:3:16]; [1 Thessalonians:5:9].
- Healing: [Isaiah:53:5]; [1 Peter:2:24]; [James:5:13-15].
- Protection and Provision: [Exodus:12:13]; [Proverbs:18:10]; [Philippians:4:19].
- Hope of Resurrection: [Job:19:25-27]; [Isaiah:25:8]; [John:14:1-3]; [1 Corinthians:15:51-53]; [1 Thessalonians:4:14], [1 Thessalonians:4:16].
a) What can we give Him Who gave us His all? Our heart and love – [Deuteronomy:10:12]; [Matthew:22:37]; Our Talent – [Matthew:25:14-15], [Matthew:25:20-22]; [Luke:19:13]; [Romans:12:6-8]; Our Devotion and Service – [Joshua:22:5]; [Ephesians:6:7]; [Colossians:3:23]; Our Substance – [Deuteronomy:16:17]; [Luke:21:2-4]; [2 Corinthians:9:6-7].
b) What can we give to others?
- Love: to bring sinners to Christ: [1 Corinthians:9:20-22]; [Romans:10:1]; [Exodus:32:32] and for the brethren: [1 John:3:16]; [1 Peter:1:22]; [Romans:12:10].
- Kindness: [James:1:27]; [James:2:15-16]; [1 John:3:17-18]; [Romans:12:13].
- Service: [James:1:27]; [2 Kings:4:9-10]; [Acts:9:36-39].
No one will ever go to Heaven who has not had the Blood of Jesus change his nature and take out his sinful instincts. No man is able to remove the nature of sin by himself. It takes the Blood of Jesus, the sinless One to wash his sins away and remove the nature of sin.
When a man comes to Jesus and asks Him to forgive his sins, he becomes a “new creature” in Christ Jesus, as he asks with faith in His Blood that was shed on the Cross of Calvary. No one will be able to get to Heaven on his own righteousness, nor will he be able to work his way in by good deeds. After we are saved, we keep the love of God in our hearts by daily consecration and prayer.
We are eternally grateful of Jesus, our substitute. He did all these for you, what will you do for Him and others?
Challenge: Have you been reconciled to God through Christ our Substitute?
1. I gave My life for thee,
My precious Blood I shed,
That thou might’st ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead.
I gave My life for thee;
What hast thou given for Me?
2. I spent long years for thee
In weariness and woe,
That an eternity
Of joy thou mightest know,
I spent long years for thee,
Hast thou spent one for Me?
3. I suffered much for thee,
More than thy tongue can tell
Of bitterest agony,
To rescue thee from hell.
I suffered much for thee;
What canst thou bear for Me?
4. And I have brought to thee,
Down from My home above,
Salvation full and free,
My pardon and My love.
Great gifts I brought to thee,
What hast thou brought to Me?
5. Oh, let thy life be given,
Thy years for me be spent,
World-fetters all be riven,
And joy with suffering blent,
I gave Myself for thee;
Give thou thyself to Me.
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