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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 41

The Significance of the Death of Christ (continued)

Significance of the Cross

a. Christ Made Sin For Us

There is the Cross. Looking now on that dark side of the Cross, what happened on that side? Is it too terrible a thing to say that the Son of man took the place of satan? He took the place of that very nature which had come from satan into the race, the place of the outpouring of God's wrath because of enmity. He as made sin in our stead (2 Corinthians 5:21). What is sin? We find in this dealing with the goats on the day of Atonement, the words are these - "Aaron shall ... confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, even all their sins" (Lev. 16:21). All their sins; their transgressions (their rebellions) and their iniquities (their perversity). That is put on the goat of destruction - rebellion and perversity. Does this not give some new tremendous meaning to that word "obedient unto death?" Why did the Lord Jesus sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground - what the Apostle speaks of as resisting unto blood, striving against sin (Hebrews 12:4)? He had been called upon by the Father to become rebellion, perversity, to take the place of iniquity and transgression, and to have all that laid upon Him. "He was wounded for our transgressions (rebellion), He was bruised for our iniquities (perversity)" (Isaiah 53:5). Why did He say "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up" (John 3:14)? Why was it a serpent that was set up? You see the nature that He was asked to accept at that moment. Know Him in truth of His being, know Him as He really was, know how for three and a half long, weary, bitter years, He fought against all that evil, refusing everything that belonged to it - refusing pride, refusing the temptation of the devil to act independently of God, to accept a kingdom independently of God - how He had fought all the way through against that which satan tried to put upon Him - and at the end to be asked by the Father to accept it for our sake! Can we enter into it? We cannot.

"He became obedient." Oh, what obedience meant in His case! Obedient to God Who said, 'Will You, for the sake of the race, take all that, be judged as that, be dealt with by Me as that, step right into that very position and let Me deal with You so that My wrath due to enmity against Me is poured out upon You in judgement, and that the complete withdrawal of My presence becomes known to You in awful reality and You cry, "My God, My God, what hast Thou forsaken Me?" (2 Corinthians 13:4); He could not save Himself. The outworking of sin in the Cross was like that; the goat of dismissal sent for, far away. "I cry in the daytime, but Thou answerest not" (Psalm 22:2). There is no one to answer the crying from the far desolate wilderness of God-forsakenness, God- abandonment. We cannot not enter into it. In order to undo for us that power of satan, for one terrible, eternal hour, He tasted death; the wrath of God, the remoteness of God, and utter impotence and helplessness.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 42 - (b. Christ Accepted of God)

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