1 John 4:10, NIV
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
The hastily buried body of Jesus’ lay in a borrowed tomb. A Roman guard outside. The disciples were in a state of shock and disillusion. Surely, it wasn’t all meant to end like this? What about those words to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6)? And those words of comfort to Mary and Martha about the death of their brother Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)?
It’s easy to imagine what they must have been going through as they remembered all the things He had said and done during those precious three years. The disciples were naturally caught up in all the emotions and activities of the moment. It was far too soon for them to be thinking through the theology of what was going on at that very moment!
But towards the end of His life, the Apostle John summarised the experience in the simple words of our scripture for today – words that embraced everything that the old covenant sacrificial system had anticipated, but which now had brought that era to an end with the most extraordinary and only complete sacrifice. At that very moment Jesus had become what John the Baptist prophesied (John 1:29), “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
Jesus had died in the place of every sinner. He was right at that moment enduring the hell of separation from Father God and atoning for our sins. He was suffering in your place and mine. Hallelujah, what a Saviour.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for paying the price for my sins, for being willing to accept the punishment that should have been mine. As I dwell on your amazing love, help me to be willing to walk in your footsteps and gladly serve you all my days. Amen.