When the Apostle Paul was known only as Saul of Tarsus, he sought to destroy the body of Christ. He guarded the coats of those who stoned Stephen, and the blood of that day only gave him a thirst for more. As an enforcer for the Sanhedrin, his manner and methods presaged the horrors of the Inquisition. He was violent, cruel, and passionate about persecuting Christians. Such was the man who would become one of the most prominent figures of the first century church. How could one who had imprisoned, tortured, and murdered Christians later serve them without a life-debilitating guilt?
When sin crops up in our lives (and it will), we don’t need to deny it or hide it. We need to bring it out into the light of the Son by confessing it. When we ask the Father to forgive our sins for Christ’s sake, He is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness. Once the sin sacrifice has been offered, we need to proceed to the burnt offering, consecrating ourselves to God.
The Son declared on His exit from heaven that He knew the Father had no pleasure in the animal burnt offerings and sin sacrifices. Because His heart is to always bring pleasure to the Father, He did something about it. “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,” He said. He came to save us, but His motivation was to bring pleasure to His Father.
Intercession is importunate. It is to continually beset somebody with repeated and incessant requests, like the woman who pleaded with the unjust judge, “Avenge me of my adversary.”
We were not redeemed by silver or gold, but by the precious blood of Christ! What gives the blood of Christ its worth? It is sinless. But it isn’t simply sinless by nature; it is also sinless by proof.
In the economy of God, the devil wound up being sin’s paymaster. Death is the paycheck for sin. But let us move on to a refinement of terms. Instead of being paid wages, let us think about the payment of fines.
The story of Jesus Christ is bloody—bloodier than most of us are willing to contemplate. Centuries of artistic expression have whitewashed the horror of Calvary. Instead of a naked convict, we have the loincloth-clad Christ. Instead of a face ripped, bloated, and bleeding from hours of beating, we have serenely closed eyes.
Modern man, particularly modern Western man, lives with the illusion of having mastery over time. We strap it to our …