Scripture:  

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished said (to fulfill the Scripture) “I thirst.” 

A jar full of sour wine stood there so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.  When Jesus had received the sour wine he said: “It is finished” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  John 19:28-30

Observation:  

Beaten, tortured over a prolonged time; this beating known and insisted upon by the Jewish authorities and populous all the way to calling out for Jesus’ death by crucifixion.   The Roman governor, consistently saying “I find no fault in this man” bowed to political expediency and sent Jesus to be crucified.  And Jesus went “bearing his own cross.”

Redemption of the world came at so great a cost—the Innocent gave his life to be the Atonement for the Defiled—Me.

Application:  

Innocent–Something that the progeny of Adam cannot ever claim.  

There are so many metaphorical descriptions of Jesus but during this time coming into Easter one dominates: Lamb of God.

In the OT sacrificial system, an unblemished Lamb was sacrificed once per year to atone for the sins of Israel.  Purpose?  Hopefully there were some who recognized that this kind of sacrifice was temporary—it needed to be renewed every year AND there were other sacrifices for different things that took place with different animals.

Are animals innocent?  Sort of: they do not have knowledge of disobeying or being traitorous to the Most High God like Men have—so in that they are innocent.  Does Adam’s treason affect animals?  Scripture says that because of Adam the entire creation groans—until the revealing of the sons of God.

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pain of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies…” Rom 8:22-23

I use the phrase “Preach the Gospel to myself” a lot.  I use the analogy of the “face in the mirror” a lot.  There is purpose behind hammering these two phrases all the time: It is because if I don’t hammer upon them, I candidly forget them. 

I don’t really forget that Jesus died for my sins; I forget why he chose to. 

Easter then becomes a celebration without depth—if I don’t review the “why did he die for me?” often, then I take his bearing the wrath of God (meant for me) flippantly.  If I vigorously affirm John 3:16 but don’t reflect “yeah, but why did He do that for me?” I think I won’t fully comprehend at the End of Days why I would enthusiastically with tears and loud cries throw my crowns at his feet saying “Worthy are You, O Lord, only You!!” 

Jesus hung on a Cross, experiencing, enduring, and suffering physical pain.  That is in this temporal realm.  What did he suffer on the Eternal realm?  I write that because He bore the entire furious Wrath of the Holy God to atone for the Sin of the World.  I can’t imagine that a cross would have been so thorough for that.  Even so…as I finish this writing my head is bowed in shame and believe it or not, in grateful but somber celebration. 

Prayer:  

The repeated sin of Israel was they “soon forgot.”  Lord God, help me to remember your Mercy every day.  I can imagine to others it seems like dwelling on the somber side of things—but if I don’t remember the “whys” of Your Mercy, I fall away mentally and run into the shelter of my own self-sufficiency—where I don’t surrender to You daily.  I cannot remember on my own strength Holy Spirit—I need You.  AMEN.

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