“Who takes away the sin of the world!”
Billy Graham wrote that “We shall never understand the extent of God’s love in Christ at the Cross until we understand that we shall never have to stand before the judgement of God for our sins … if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we have already come through the storm of judgement. It happened at the Cross.”
When John told his disciples to “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” this was what he was pointing to. When Jesus told people to “Follow Me” this was where He was taking them. When Jesus died upon the Cross, this was what He was achieving. He was taking away the sin of the world. All of our sins, each and every one, the things that have been done and the things that have not been done, sins of thought, word and deed, sins past, present and future, my sins, your sins, his sins, her sins and all of their sins, were dealt with on the Cross.
This was not some arms-length and symbolic action. This was very real. Jesus took our sins and the judgement they deserved upon Himself and into Himself. In some terrible and awesome way the One and Only who was without sin became sin for us and in our place.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us”
(2 Corinthians 5:21)
As we look in shame-filled horror at this dreadful distortion of the Holy One, at this appalling contamination of the Holy of Holies, at this deadly desecration of all that is beautiful, pure and life-giving, He says over us these amazing and grace-filled words,
“Father forgive them”
So the journey came to an end. And, as it finished with His last breath, and the Temple curtain was ripped in two from top to bottom, new Light flooded into our darkness. As He died our sins died with Him, the sentence of death was carried out, the penalty was paid. And we were set free, forever.
If during Lent you become aware of something in your life which should not be there – draw aside, kneel ‘before the cross’ and lifting it in your hands to the Lord say simply, “Please Lord Jesus, this one too” – and let it go.
Forgive me Lord, for being the cause of so much pain. Thank You that Your love makes me worth it. Amen.