|Posted on August 10, 2015 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
He Nailed It To The Cross!
I have been very fortunate in that no one has ever taken me to court for having failed to pay a debt. No one has ever forced me to move because of a failure to pay the rent. No one has ever come to my house to seize my car because I was behind on the payment.
Only once did a kindly person come forward to pay a debt for me. I think that most of my readers know this person, for He has also done the same for them. His name is Jesus, the humble carpenter of Nazareth. When He left His place beside the Father, becoming human, He also left behind all the prerogatives of Godhood (Philippians 2:6-7). He intended to live on earth as a laborer, working hard just like every other man of the village. He intended to face every temptation and trial that other humans faced (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15), so that He would be able to help them and comfort them in their time of need. And He intended to allow His enemies to torture and beat Him, then to kill Him by a cruel, slow death on a Roman cross – for me and for you! He must have thought often about this, for we read that, the evening before, He passed several hours “in agony” (Luke 22:44), when “His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” Mark tells us that earlier that last evening, Jesus was “very distressed and troubled” (Mark 14:33), and that He “fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by” (Mark 14:35).
But Jesus knew that He could not escape His future! He had come to earth for the very purpose of dying, and He had to see it through to the bitter end! This Man of many words and great deeds said but little while on the cross, but what He did say was significant. The “loud cry” that Mark mentioned (Mark 15:37) was no doubt His cry, “It is finished” (John 19:30), as “He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
“It is finished!” He shouted. His great mission was accomplished! He had done what He came to earth to do. Praise God for that! Because He came to save me, and you, and whoever else will accept Him. He came to pay my debt! And your debt!
It may be that you do not realize that you have a huge debt that needs to be paid – your sins that have accumulated over the years – a mountain of wrongdoing. It has become fashionable to call sins “shortcomings,” and everyone has them. And we have come to think of “shortcomings” as not really all that bad. So we don’t talk much about “sin,” except when we are thinking of other people! Other people sin; I only have “shortcomings.” But God tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This mountain of “sin” that has built up became a debt that we could not pay, so God sent His Son into the world to save sinners!
Paul wrote to the Colossians that when Jesus died on the cross, He “canceled out the certificate of debt” that was “against us,” and that He “nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Paul is saying, in effect, that the Old Testament Law, with its hundreds of rules and regulations that no man could possibly keep perfectly, was “taken out of the way” at the cross. He is saying that God, through Christ, and by His suffering, has paid my debt and yours. But this is only true if we are “made alive together with Him” (Colossians 2:13). This includes accepting Christ as our Savior and King (Colossians 2:10-11), and being “buried with Him in baptism” (Colossians 2:12). He died on the cross; we must “die to sin.” He arose again from the dead; we must also, “in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:1-5), be raised to “walk in newness of life.”
“There was one who was willing to die in my stead,
That a soul so unworthy might live;
And the path to the cross He was willing to tread,
All the sins of my life to forgive.
He is tender and loving and patient with me,
While He cleanses my heart of its dross.
But “there’s no condemnation” – I know I am free,
For my sins are all nailed to the cross.
They are nailed to the cross! They are nailed to the cross!
O how much He was willing to bear! With what anguish and loss,
Jesus went to the cross! But He carried my sins with Him there.” (Mrs. Frank Breck)
Donald R. Taylor