“[God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
This morning’s message about the woman caught in adultery from John 8:1-11 had me thinking a lot about Christ’s self-sacrifice on my behalf. What an amazing thing it must have been for this woman, caught in the act of sin and therefore guilty and condemned before the Law, to have heard Jesus say, “I do not condemn you! Go and sin no more.” Immediately, when we read these words, we should think, “How could he say such a thing?” She was, indeed, guilty of this sin. The Old Testament penalty for such sin is clearly death! (See Lev 20:10 and Deut 22:22). So how can Jesus just set her free?
We who know the Gospel know! Jesus can free her from the penalty of her sin, because He himself was soon to take that penalty in her place as he went to the cross and suffered the death she (and we) deserve. (See 2 Cor 5:21 above).
Last week, I ran across an old poem that well expresses the wonder of this grace. It’s called He Bore Our Griefs by Jacobus Revius (1586-1658)
No, it was not the Jews who crucified,
Nor who betrayed you in the judgement place,
Nor who, Lord Jesus, spat into your face
Nor who with buffets struck you as you died
No, it was not the soldiers fisted bold
Who lifted up the hammer and the nail,
Or raised the cursed cross on Calvary’s hill,
Or, gambling, tossed the dice to win your robe.
I am the one, O Lord, who brought you there,
I am the heavy cross you had to bear,
I am the rope that bound you to the tree,
The whip, the nail, the hammer, and the spear,
The blood-stained crown of thorns you had to wear:
It was my sin, alas, it was for me.
Thanking God for the gracious gift of Christ’s death in my place! Pastor Scott