January 12th 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name

“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.”

John 3:16 NIV

God has existed for all eternity.

There was a time when the universe was created. There was a time before that when the angels were createdthe Bible tells us that the angels shouted for joy when the universe was fashioned. Job 38:4‑7 asks, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” We know that God had a redemption plan for us “from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

But why did such a plan have to involve the death of His Son? And why such a gruesome death? We know that sin produces death, but couldn’t Christ just have been beheaded? Surely Christ would have been the perfect sacrifice whatever method of execution had been adopted.

But againwhy have a plan which involves the death of your only son? Why not pick a rose and offer that to God as a means of atonementmuch less messy than slaughtering animals? Yet, if we did it this way, then surely mankind would build barns to store up roses and then go out and sin with impunity? It would have been impossible just as “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin” (Hebrews 10: 3).

Indeed, the one true sacrifice could only be that of the Son of God, “who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished…so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:14). I might not understand it fully, but I am still grateful that it is there.

Prayer

Father in Heaven, it is a mystery how the creator of all things stepped out of eternity and joined us here on planet Earth. It is also a mystery that there was no other way to destroy sinthat only the death of your Son could set the world right. Thank you, dear Father, for this incredible sacrifice, given to us all.

Amen.

Study by Richard White

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