Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Way of the Cross (24)

As we saw yesterday, none of us can fulfil God's standards or keep God's law. Even our righteous deeds can't help us, because they're so caught up in sinful motives.

Our next Psalm (40) is attributed to Jesus by the writer to the Hebrews, as the witness to what he would do when he came:

In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
Then I said, "Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."
(Psalm 40:6-8)

Here we see prophecied the perfect obedience of the Son to the Father, the only one who truly delighted in the Father's will, the one who willingly went to the cross in obedience. Temple sacrifices would not and could not make us right with God - but they pointed to the one perfect, sufficient sacrifice of perfect obedience, the life lived, the death died, in perfect trust.

Lawbreakers become lawkeepers, not through moral effort; not through trying harder. In Jesus' obedience we are credited with obedience, and his grace transforms us, gives us a 'heart transplant' to love and keep God's law, just as Jesus did. It doesn't happen immediately, we still fail and fall; but God's grace empowers us to get up, repent, and keep going. And all through the obedience of the Son to death, even death on a cross!

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