” … when Christ came into the world he said, ‘… with … sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I (Christ) said, ‘Here I am — it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, O God’ ” (Hebrews 10:5-7, NIV).
One time when I was about three years old, I was afraid of being spanked. My mother had told me to do something, and I was not doing it. Why? I couldn’t do it — I had not heard what my mother had told me to do.?
My mother and my brother and I were in the very little hall in the middle of our big farmhouse — the hall just big enough for a door on each of three sides, and on the fourth side stairs to go up to the bedrooms – and I was scared. My mother was saying that I had heard her. And she was saying again that I’d better go and do what I was told. ?
I knew she wanted me to go upstairs and get something, but I didn’t know what. Suddenly my brother, maybe a bit over four years old, said, “I’ll do it,” and up those stairs he ran so fast that my mother did not stop him. ?
I don’t remember if I ever did discover what my mother wanted me to get. But my mother was satisfied when my brother went up instead of me.?
My predicament was traumatic for me as a child.
But we know that we persons of responsible age have a similar predicament, though of a somewhat different cause; yet we can discover it has a parallel solution. Our problem arises when we don’t choose to do what we know and understand God wants us to do as people in His world. We read at Romans 1:19 and 20: “What may be known about God is plain to them (to us human beings), because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without any excuse.”
Yes, our problem is that this is sin, and we are without excuse.
It’s not just my problem or just your problem. The Bible tells us, “There is no one righteous, not even one …” (Romans 3:10). And “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …” (Romans 3:23). Moreover, the Bible says, “… the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23).
At the same time, no one can shake a fist in God’s face saying, “I did this righteous act or these righteous acts, so God, you’ve just got to accept me as righteous.” There is no such thing with God as weighing “good deeds” or offerings on one hand against sin on the other. With such bargaining attempts, God is not pleased.
So, does our God condemn us to an eternity of separation from himself and his people? No, he does not. God put His Son, Jesus, on earth in a human body to make God’s Way clear: Jesus, like my older brother, does not want a brother or sister to suffer. He takes pity on us: “I’ll do it,” he says in essence. And “Sacrifice and offering you (God) did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; … I have come to do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:5,7).
Only he, the perfectly pure, sinless Son can satisfy God the Father in our stead. On the cross He made His self-sacrificing full atonement for all people of all time. As my family brother loved me and chose to save me from punishment, so my Brother and yours, Jesus Christ, loved us and chose to do all that was necessary to make full satisfaction to God and go up for us (Cf. Hebrews 12:2). Let us thank him.??
Prayer – O Lord, thank you for loving us and giving Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins. May this be our prayer: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Help us to live more and more in appreciation of the brotherly love of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Isabel Allison Roland, Manitoba, Canada