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Determined

by Nancy Harry


 There is one spoken of in scripture that was to come to save the world and turn the people's hearts back to the God who loves them. He was referred to as the Messiah, the Savior. In time there was one born in Bethlehem from the line of David. He came teaching, healing, and performing miracles among the people. He often taught obedience to the law. In this passage he summarized the Ten Commandments: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31)


Sin has been the downfall of man through the centuries. None are righteous. But the keeping of the law wasn't enough to wipe a person's slate clean and make him righteous. For those that rely on the observance of the law, it was written: "Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out." (Deut 27:26) For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (James 2:10)


Because of sin's grave consequence - the penalty of death - only blood could atone for it. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Heb 9:13-14)


Only blood can atone for sin. And it was to be the life blood of Yeshua that would atone for all mankind. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)


How old was Yeshua when he realized his destiny was the Messiah, the Christ that was sent to save and heal the world? We aren't told. But from the scriptures he would have known how his life would end - But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth….After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:5, 8-9, 11)


The time was drawing near for him to become our sacrificial lamb. As he prayed to God in the garden of Gethsemane, the weight of what was about to transpire in his life was overpowering. He asked a few of his closest friends and disciples to go with him and to continue praying. But they didn't realize the severity of what Yeshua was facing. It had been a long day and they were tired, so instead of praying they fell asleep. In the intensity of the moment, while sweating drops of blood, Jesus asked of God, isn't there another way? But the answer was still the same - it is the only way.


Without a cause, many came to arrest him. Peter, his disciple and friend, was quick to use the sword in his defense. His response took Peter by surprise: "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" (Matt 26:52-54)


Many have thought it was the Jews' fault that Christ was killed, others blamed the Roman soldiers. It was really neither if you go back to the root of this whole scenario. Sin is responsible.


Because we have all sinned in one way or another, we are each at fault. It was because of our sin that he had to endure this tragic end. The world needed a Savior. And certainly, we each need a Savior - someone to stand with us and for us. The one who paid the penalty for you is willing to answer that call when you repent of your sins and ask him.


It's true that he could easily have called down angels from heaven, but he didn't. He knew his destiny and was determined to fulfill it. He dedicated himself to it. God's son, Yeshua, came to pay all our debts. Because he was willing to pay the penalty of death for you, you are now offered forgiveness for your sins and an awesome eternal future. Are you thankful for the sacrifice he made for you?


It was God's love that sent him to the world. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)


Scriptures taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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